The dialogue from Simmba, “Tell me something I don’t know”, could easily be the reaction one can have after watching the movie, The Accidental Prime Minister. The official twitter handle of the ruling party has promoted the film, so calling it a propaganda film won’t need much of an explanation. Propaganda films have always happened in every industry and what is predictably disheartening about The Accidental Prime Minister is its caricature like approach towards characters and incidents.
So the movie is happening from the point of view of Sanjaya Baru, who was the media advisor of then PM Manmohan Singh. In a series of fourth wall breaking moments, we here from Sanjaya Baru how Manmohan Singh was a puppet prime minister who was severely dissatisfied with the treatment he got from his own party, especially during the second UPA.
There is an insider perspective that makes movies like this interesting. A movie like Sanju, which I personally liked, was also called a whitewashing propaganda film. But Sanju had so much of unsaid and new things about Sanjay Dutt that the whitewashing thing almost became a debate with valid arguments. But here that quality is not there. The makers have handpicked a few crucial moments in the tenure of Manmohan Singh and made him look like a fool who doesn’t even know how to respond. In a way it was a smart move. They have tried to project Manmohan Singh as a righteous man and also made him a buffoon.
Anupam Kher plays the role of Manmohan Singh. In his twitter account, he has boasted about the method acting challenges he faced to play Manmohan Singh. But if you see his performance in the movie, it is pretty pathetic and he is making a mockery of the Prime Minister. The walk and mimicking he has done here to be the character is just a ridiculous way of making a character look like a caricature. The ray of happiness in this clumsily written movie was Sanjaya Baru played by Akshaye Khanna. Even though he looks nothing like real life Sanjaya Baru, I must say that it is his narration that is giving some life to this film. Other than these two, there is hardly any other actor there in the film that gets enough space. Key people like Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi hardly get any screen time and the main blame here was given to Ahmed Patel played by Vipin Sharma.
Sanjaya Baru’s book is the source material for The Accidental Prime Minister and the filmmakers were so lazy that they just made him a central character to narrate the story. The fourth wall breaking Deadpool style would have been appealing if the portions they selected to show in the movie had some new perspective or a backstory. The movie almost projects Baru as the reason why Manmohan Singh was a good prime minister. Instead of making him look like a qualified person in a helpless position, the movie depicts Manmohan Singh as a Sardarji joke kind of character in a powerful position with no idea of what to do. The strokes are so broad that the movie almost felt like a quick glance through the major newspaper headings. The tacky visual effects and visuals give the movie the look and feel of a hastily made one.
The Accidental Prime Minister is just a tool to make people remember what all happened five years ago. For the medium of cinema, this movie from Vijay Ratnakar Gutte is doing no good. Looking at the events that happened during Manmohan Singh’s tenure, there was ample material for a much better political drama.
The Accidental Prime Minister is just a tool to make people remember what all happened five years ago. For the medium of cinema, this movie from Vijay Ratnakar Gutte is doing no good.