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Posted at: Jan 11, 2019, 5:52 PM; last updated: Jan 12, 2019, 6:44 AM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW: THE ACCIDENTAL PRIME MINISTER

Nothing accidental about the motive

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Film: The Accidental Prime Minister

  • Cast: Anupam Kher, Akshaye Khanna, Arjun Mathur, Aahana Kamra, Suzanne Bernert, Vipin Sharma, Divya Seth
  • Director: Vijay Gutte
Nothing accidental about the motive
A still from the movie ''The Accidental Prime Minister''.

Johnson Thomas

First time director Vijay Gutte’s attempt to adapt Sanjaya Baru’s The Accidental Prime Minister appears far more malicious than informative. Baru (played here by Akshaye Khanna), as we read from his memoir, had issues with the Advisory Council led by Sonia Gandhi, and the members of the PMO and his angst appears to be a by-product of that disgruntlement.

Gutte’s film goes one step further and lampoons the Gandhi family in unfair caricature while making out politicos like Ahmed Patel (Vipin Sharma) and Prithviraj Chouhan (Ramesh Bhatkar) look like sneaky players. Neither Baru nor Gutte manage to substantiate their impressions with fact.

They merely pander to gossip and idle chatter while connecting dots that don’t exactly add up to what is being suggested.

The allegation that Manmohan  Singh was merely warming the throne for PM in waiting, Rahul Gandhi, for 10 years on-the-trot, is so fallacious that it puts into question the entire electoral system, intelligence of the Indian people, as well as conjures up a Congress party as a behemoth with all-pervasive power over the masses. That obviously can’t be true given the turn of events.

The film also lays the blame for corruption on Sonia and Rahul’s doorstep when it was in fact the UPA allies who were actually caught in the crosshairs of notional loss-making by CAG. It was a faux narrative carried forward by the Anna gang, Kejriwal, IAC and the BJP in opposition and resulted in Narendra Modi getting elevated to power. 

The truth as we know it today is way different from what we were persuaded to believe then. Gutte’s film basically panders to an anti-Gandhi family narrative while portraying Sonia (Suzanne Bernett), Rahul (Arjun Mathur) and Manmohan Singh (Anupam Kher) in derogatory light.

The performances by the actors resembling the three main characters is so undermining that it seems intentional and therefore unpardonable. Anupam Kher is unforgivably toonish, Suzanne Bernett struggles with her Sonia Gandhi impersonation while Arjun Mathur doesn’t even manage a favourable look. None of the cast makes an impression here.

The writing is perverse while the narrative fails to find cohesive entreaty. Gutte’s selective use of stock TV footage to buttress the negative implications here makes for a terribly biased perspective. This is certainly not cinema, it’s propaganda of the worst kind!

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