Indu Sarkar

It was marketed as a movie based on the emergency that happened in India during 1975. A political stir was there from Congress as they thought it defamed Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi. The anti Congress politics is there definitely in the narrative. But once you finish the film you would realize it is just another fictional story filled with the usual sentiments and predictable turn of events.

Indu Sarkar is this woman who is married to a high power government official named Naveen Sarkar. While the emergency was happening, Indu wasn’t aware of the dark side of it. Once she realized about it she reacted and that caused a lot of issues in her marriage. Indu eventually joins those who were against emergency and the film shows us the struggle of Indu during that period.

First of all full marks to Mr. Madhur Bhandarkar for sensationalizing an ordinary film by giving it a sensitive title and including some controversial figures in the screenplay, just to enhance that publicity. The name of the film isn’t really targeting Indira Gandhi. And if you analyse the pattern and intend of the main story of this film, there is no real need of including Sanjay Gandhi. But that’s where Bhandarkar does his marketing brilliantly. The film is actually a fiction that shows the struggle of a woman who wanted to save two kids who lost their parents in the chaos. And through that the story is trying to convey the various stories of brutality of the government during the emergency period. But somewhere during the process Bhandarkar loses his grip and fails to add layers to the struggle of the rebels. The anger looks very unimportant and the last speech wasn’t enough to cover up all the unbaked patriotism.

I am not at all in support of what was imposed on us during 1975. It was a dark phase in the history of India and it deserves to be explored in a medium like cinema. But when you see a caricaturised venomous Sanjay Gandhi and Indira Gandhi, RSS workers getting arrested by police while they are calmly praying and Muslim families being attacked and the men among them getting forcefully sterilized, I have to say that the intentions here are quite suspicious. And a sick silly censor board who couldn’t bare a dog getting named Jackie Chan, approving this movie without any hesitation gives more stress to that suspicion.  Madhur Bhandarkar had a premise that could have been utilized to visualize the trauma people went through at that point of time. Instead of that he is interested in putting the spotlight on the political games and he wasn’t that effective in presenting all those things. The character arch of Indu has a humane touch, but what surrounds this character is too random.

Kriti Kulhari whom we all last saw in Pink delivers an earnest performance as the stammering Indu. She shows the gradual maturity of Indu very neatly. Tota Roy Chowdhury as her husband Naveen also plays his part nicely. Neil Nitin Mukesh in that awkward prosthetic get up playing the chief (Sanjay Gandhi) was too dramatic and don’t think that he has a fully fledged character in this film. Even Indira Gandhi’s character appears on the screen for hardly a minute.

Indu Sarkar had the potential to be a great story of survival and courage. But Bhandarkar off late has lost his charm in presenting characters in a way one can emotionally root for them. With political intentions ruining the cinematic scope, this film is a victim of flawed writing.

Rating: 2/5

Final Thoughts

With political intentions ruining the cinematic scope, Indu Sarkar is a victim of flawed writing.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.

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