Movie Review : The Accidental Prime Minister

The Accidental Prime Minister: Too Accidental to be a wholesome Movie

Bollywood has never had a decent political thriller till date. Every time it tries it has fallen flat excluding one exception which was Prakash Jha’s “Rajneeti”.

“The Accidental Prime Minister” is one such attempt based on the book written by Sanjaya Baru of the same name which chronicles Dr Manmohan Singh’s journey as a Prime Minister from the eyes of Sanjaya when he was the Media Advisor in the PMO.

This movie is unabashedly a strategic move before the election as the movie is complete anti Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. It basically shows how Sonia had the leash of the UPA government and how she manipulated various decisions making Dr Manmohan Singh just a puppet in the hands of the party.

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Adapted screenplay has been credited to a group of writers including director Vijay Ratnakar Gutte, Mayank Tewari (Newton Fame), Karl Dunne and Aditya Sinha. The problem is, that there is no screenplay whatsoever, and you feel the scenes have been directly taken out from the book and the dialogues written on set. Another problem of the movie is the format, as it is neither a docudrama nor a full-fledged movie. The screenplay goes back and forth with no reference point. It deals with a lot of issues like the nuclear deal, the 2G scam but none is shown with a precision and left half baked. More emphasis is given on the various political big wigs who play the power game than to the happenings. The central character or the narrator Sanjaya Baru keeps on talking to the audience, somewhat like House of Cards wherein Kevin Spacey speaks to the viewers, but that concept is stretched so much that you tend to feel irritated after some time. An extremely shoddy work in writing. The dialogues also sounds forced.

If there is anything working for the movie it is the performance of Akshaye Khanna who plays Sanjaya Baru convincingly and earnestly. I truly feel Akshaye Khanna is the most under rated actor of Bollywood. Anupam Kher as Dr Manmohan Singh tries hard to copy his mannerisms and also succeeds, but in copying Dr Manmohan Singh’s mannerisms Anupam Kher forgets to give some depth to his character. Though we cannot blame Anupam Kher entirely because the writing was so shoddy, but somehow Akshaye Khanna rose up to the shoddy writing which Anupam couldn’t. Other actors like Suzanne Bernet, Arjun Mathur, Aahana Kumra, Divya Seth and the rest of the cast look and sound like caricatures.

Technically also the movie is extremely shoddy, especially the VFX. The VFX is so substandard that you can make out that the actors are actually standing in front of a Green Screen.

Director Vijay Ratnakar Gutte whose previous movies Badmashiyan and The Film Emotional Atyachar was nothing to write home about comes back with another shoddy product. He definitely needs to hone his directorial skills to take up such a subject.

It is so sad that such a good content went waste and what we are given is a half-baked, half done movie. You really feel that the movie was made in a hurry with the election in mind, I will go with TWO STARS.

Movie Rating: 2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)

Movie Review : Uri – The Surgical Strike

Uri: The Surgical Strike: Homage to the Indian Army

On the onset I must say “Uri:The Surgical Strike” is a befitting homage to the Indian Army. Debutant Director Aditya Dhar explores the struggles of a soldier to keep our borders safe and the sacrifices his family does to keep us safe. Aditya takes the 2016 surgical attack on POK as the premise and weaves in a story which not only delves on the profession but also the personal life of a soldier.

Aditya mixes fact and fiction in re-creating the events of the surgical strike and molds it in a thriller format which is interesting. The movie starts with a combat sequence and slowly goes to the personal life of the lead protagonist Major Vihaan Shergill (Vicky Kaushal), wherein the movie slows down a bit and you start wondering where the movie is headed, but somehow it recuperates after the Uri incident and the second half is completely dedicated in showing the preparation and finally the execution of the surgical strike.

The story has some adrenaline rush moments and some really emotional moments. All the combat sequences are nail biting and extremely well executed. Amongst the emotional scenes there is one scene wherein Vihaan’s sister Neha (Manasi Parekh Gohil) gets a dead husband’s soiled shirt and asks her brother what she should do as she neither wants to wash it or throw it as it has the fragrance of her dead husband, it was indeed emotional. Aditya tries to be realistic in most parts and in some he just goes the filmi way, especially with some dialogues wherein you really cringe. But overall Aditya manages not to go the chest thumping war drama way or a Pakistan bashing movie. Though I felt where Aditya failed in the writing department is weaving the sequences seamlessly, as it looks a bit scattered and disjointed. I really thought the dialogues could have been better.

It is the performance of Vicky Kaushal as Major Vihaan Shergill that takes the movie into a different level. Vicky proves yet again what a superlative actor he is and he gets into the character so well that you can never imagine any other actor doing that part. Another actor who nails his character is Paresh Rawal who plays the National Security Advisor Govind Bharadwaj modeled on National Security Advisor Ajit Kumar Doval, truly well played. Television actor Mohit Raina makes a solid debut as Major Karan Kashyap, I wish he was given more screen time. Manasi Parekh Gohil as Neha, Vihaan’s sister brings the emotional quotient well as she effortlessly plays her character. Yami Gautam as Intelligence Agent Pallavi Sharma does well in her limited role and does show her mettle. Kirti Kulhari as air force pilot Seerut Kaur has precisely 4 to 5 scenes and I thought she was wasted. Rajat Kapoor as PM Modi looks a bit odd in his white beard make up, but somehow he redeems himself with his earnest performance. Swaroop Sampat as Vihaan’s mother suffering from Alzeimers does her act of a fragile mother well. Rest of the cast also do a good job.

One of the highlight of the movie is the brilliantly executed and choreographed combat sequences, I must mention two technicians who did the good job, one being the cinematographer Mitesh Mirchandani and the second the action director Stefan Richter. The sequences are edge of the seat and nail biting. I will not say it is at par with Hollywood War movies like Zero Dark Thirty or Hurt Locker, but at least it is there, that in itself is no mean achievement.

I must mention the debutant director Aditya Dhar makes an impressive debut, though his product is not flawless but at least the attempt to do something like this and that to convincingly is quite an achievement.

The audience literally stood up at the end of the movie with an applause and slogan of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” that kind of summarizes how the movie connected with the audience. My review or any other critics review just does not matter. It is a must watch movie at least for the sake of our soldiers who lay their lives without a complaint. I will go with Three & a Half Star.

Movie Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)