The Accidental Prime Minister Movie Review: Anupam Kher, Akshaye Khanna are the nucleus that binds the film
The Accidental Prime Minister Movie Review: It's Anupam Kher and Akshaye Khanna's brilliant performances that makes this Vijay Ratnakar Gutte directorial a must watch. They form the nucleus of the film.
Movie: The Accidental Prime Minister
The Accidental Prime Minister Director: Vijay Ratnakar Gutte
The Accidental Prime Minister Cast: Anupam Kher, Akshaye Khanna, Suzanne Bernert, Aahana Kumra
"I hope history will be kinder to me than the contemporary media," was murmured by former Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh during a press conference in January 2014. In the same year, his trusted aide and media consultant Sanjaya Baru took the task of unmasking 'The Accidental Prime Minister'. The 'accidental' timing of Vijay Ratnakar Gutte's cinematic adaptation of the book's release is questionable given the upcoming elections, but it's Anupam Kher and Akshaye Khanna's performances that are the major talking points of the film.
The Accidental Prime Minister traces the journey of the most misunderstood political figure in Indian politics. Through the eyes and ears of Sanjaya Baru (Akshaye Khanna), we get a microscopic look into the naive, innocent and well-read PM Manmohan Singh (Anupam Kher). The first half of the film looks into PM's first term, Baru as his media consultant and close ally, PM's subversive equation with Sonia Gandhi, who was the actual in-charge up until PM putting his foot down and offering his resignation, if the nuclear deal was rejected. The second half looks into the second term of PM Singh and his gradual downward fall at the hands of his own party.
It's PM Singh's subtlety that kept him as an underdog throughout his decade-long tenure. It's Anupam Kher's subtlety as PM Singh that sets him apart and makes him an underdog protagonist. Dr. Manmohan Singh had been ridiculed his entire life for his feeble voice and nervous demeanour. Kher's portrayal could have been caricaturish, which it was at some points, but the actor bravely becomes one with PM Singh. Towards the end of the film, Anupam Kher accomplishes his goal as you feel empathetic towards the real-life personality he plays. He sinks his teeth into the political figure and tells his story like it should have been told. It is Akshaye Khanna as Baru who steals the show and is an equal protagonist. He is the perfect balance to leave the audience gripped and not falter from the ongoing story. Akshaye's performance is as crisp as his tailored suits and he plays the narrator who breaks the fourth wall and adds the right dosage of sagacity. It's the scenes between Kher and Khanna that showcase the equation between Singh and Baru and why only the latter could write The Accidental Prime Minister. While the other characters like Rahul Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee are satirical and don't hold much importance other than showcasing the key elements that took place in PM Singh's life, Suzanna Bernert does a fine job of bringing Sonia Gandhi to life on the silver screen.
When it comes to the direction and writing, Gutte, Mayank Tewari, Karl Dunne and Aditya Sinha have not shied away from naming names and documented certain aspects of the book very well. However, they did hesitate from venturing more into the scams such as 2G and Coalgate, which were a major element of PM Singh's fall to the ashes. The writing felt very convenient at times. The cinematography and editing by Sachin Krishn and Praveen K.L tried to bring a sense of rawness and modernity to the table but somehow had a Que Sera, Sera attitude about the same. While certain scenes were well orchestrated and put together (interlacing the past and present), the fast-forward scenes and different camera angles were exhausting to comprehend and took away some of the charm of the movie. The background score was initially distracting but picks up the pace in the second half and the inclusion of no songs was a perfect choice. The Accidental Prime Minister was just a few inches short from being a masterpiece.
The Accidental Prime Minister (movie and memoir) does not negate Dr. Manmohan Singh's history but rather puts the political figure on a pedestal of innocence, who was dwindled by a powerful political party. It's Baru's love letter to Dr. Manmohan Singh, that deserves a watch at the cinema halls, purely for Anupam Kher and Akshaye Khanna's brilliant ode to The Accidental Prime Minister.
Will you be watching The Accidental Prime Minister today as it releases in the cinema halls? Let us know your views in the comments section below.
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