In one particular scene in director Omung Kumar’s biopic on Narendra Modi titled PM Narendra Modi, Indira Gandhi is shown as this worried woman who wants to arrest this new sensation of Gujarat, Mr. Narendra Modi. While plucking roses from her garden she asks her subordinates to arrest Modi. While leaving the garden, she casually asks her advisors to declare the emergency, and the director wants us to believe that it was the fear of Modi that made Mrs. Gandhi declare the emergency. If you think that scene makes total sense, then this movie is perfect for you and you don’t need the assistance of a review to decide whether you should watch this movie or not.
PM Narendra Modi is structured as the journey of Narendra Modi. The movie begins with the anxious meeting of the UPA leaders who are wondering whether a “chaywala” can actually become the PM of the country and the movie directly goes to Modi’s childhood and shows us how he evolved as a human being and eventually became the PM we all know.
According to the movie or the director, a lot of the facts that we know are incorrect or there are so many facts that we didn’t know. According to the movie, it was Narendra Modi who hoisted the flag in Lal Chowk and not Murali Manohar Joshi in the 1991 Ekta yatra. It was the master plan of Narendra Modi that made the international media aware of the brutalities of the Indira Gandhi government-declared emergency. During the Gujarat riots, Narendra Modi asked the Congress-ruled neighboring states for help and none of them helped. And the movie’s creative liberty has created a Narendra Modi who has done an unscripted live press interview just before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Well, all these are aspects that you and I can argue as none of this has any solid proof (barring the Ekta Yathra). But this movie should at least work as pure fiction, right? There also this movie is a letdown. The glorification of the hero is happening in every breath of the film and the writing of the film was competing with the government-funded ads we see on television.
Omung Kumar and the story writer Sandip Ssingh are obsessed with the idea of worshipping. As a kid, Modi sells tea, on the way to school he passionately salutes the flag and he also offers free tea to Indian Soldiers. Out of the many kids his mother has, only Modi showed care for his mother. He read Budha’s life story and decided to live a life like that. When asked to do a character in a drama, he changes the whole script and spoke about women empowerment. In one particular scene, the RSS head is tensed about bringing at least a thousand people for a rally against the ruling government of Gujarat. Just when he mumbles “who will do that in this last minute”, our hero Narendra Modi’s voice comes from the backdrop and we hear him say “I will” and the classic masala movie moment happens. As you may have probably noticed in the trailer, everything that was used against Narendra Modi was planned by the opposition and the movie claims that it was an industrialist who planned the Godhra incident. The screenplay is very linear and it is running in full speed to include everything in Modi’s life within the 130 minutes of runtime. The dialogues are competing with daily soaps here.
Vivek Oberoi is trying hard here to get the Modi mannerisms correctly. But his over polite portrayal makes the performance more of a fancy dress on screen. The star cast of the movie may have a lot of names playing numerous real-life based characters. But the screen time is so minimal that you won’t even remember the role of his close aide Amit Shah(played by Manoj Joshi) in this movie. Zareena Wahab is that extremely supportive mother. Boman Irani plays the role of Ratan Tata and has only two scenes. Prashanth Narayanan is placed as the crooked industrialist villain.
The hologram technology that we have seen only in sci-fi English films plays a key role in the lengthy climax rally sequence of the movie. The execution of that particular sequence along with the clunky script itself makes sure that you don’t need to have an Anti-Modi or Pro-Modi agenda to call this movie a poorly made propaganda film. Even a movie like Sanju had propaganda problems, but the craft managed to convince the audience and that was sadly not the case with this campaign ad.
The glorification of the hero is happening in every breath of the film and the writing of the film was competing with the government-funded ads we see on television.