As far as movie promotions go, The Accidental Prime Minister has had its job laid out fairly easy. The film managed to be the buzz of B-town long before it hit the screens, and will likely remain so for a while.
Based on the 2014 memoir book with the same name, The Accidental Prime Minister is a narration of events, as per Sanjay Baru. The now political commentator has served as the former PM Manmohan Singh’s media adviser. The movie shows Baru’s account of the PM he worked closely with, sparking curiosity for obvious reasons.
Not sure if this political drama is worth your time? Read on to find out.
Directed by – Vijay Ratnakar Gutte
Produced by – Sunil Bohra, Dhaval Gada
Written by – Vijay Ratnakar Gutte, Mayank Tewari, Karl Dunne, Aditya Sinha
Based on – The Accidental Prime Minister by Sanjaya Baru
Starring – Anupam Kher, Akshaye Khanna, Suzanne Bernert, Aahana Kumra
Music by – Sudip Roy, Sadhu Tiwari
Cinematography – Sachin Krishn
Edited by – Praveen K. L.
Production company – Rudra Productions (UK), Bohra Bros., Pen India Limited
“He is a good man in the wrong party”, a common sentiment often hurled at Mr. Singh during the UPA rule seems to be the subtle sentiment of this movie as well.
The movie opens with 2004 TV news archive, showing UPA’s thumping victory against NDA in the then Lok Sabha elections. This is a theme The Accidental Prime Minister keeps going back to throughout, using real life speeches, footage, clips etc. Akshaye Khanna in the shoes of Mr. Baru appears as PM Singh’s media advisor. It’s a role he has played with quite a style, many would agree, literally so.
Although titled “The Accidental Prime Minister”, the film gives you a detailed glimpse of the UPA ruling years, hitting on notes like the nuclear deal, as well as the internal family rules in play. Khanna’s character keeps on breaking the fourth wall, interacting directly with the audience, a tricky aesthetic that might not work for everybody.
Right from the first announcement was made, the movie has been a tricky project, a dice that can roll off in any direction. So, it will work for some people, not so much, for others. However, there is one thing that the makers have unquestionably been spot-on successful at- the casting. Anupam Kher, playing the former PM manages to look remarkably like him. My personal favorite “doppelganger”, nonetheless, would have to be Suzanne Bernert as Sonia Gandhi.
Moving back to the film, Kher’s reedy voice impersonation has received wide praise from many, while out-rightly being rejected by others, myself belonging to the latter category. Moreover, there is no denying the rather too convenient time of the movie’s release, with elections right on our heads.
Like the book, The Accidental Prime Minister movie is a story told from the point of view of Baru. Hence, the subjective angle comes into play. It might come out as a disappointment to those who will be entering the movie halls, hoping for big revelations. Anybody who has roughly followed Indian politics will already know pretty much everything the screen will offer.
However, if you are going for entertainment, you might come out satisfied. Like mentioned, the casting has been done brilliantly, with political lookalikes filling the frame. The movie has its own Bollywood touch of drama, and will definitely entertain the crowd, a large chunk of it.
So, if you have no plans this coming weekend, watching The Accidental Prime Minister might not be a bad idea. Let us know what you thought of the movie. And, here’s to hoping we see more movies from the political scene, without the censor board’s scrutiny, much like this one.