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I’ve always been fond of India’s ex-Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. His economic reforms allowed my generation to grow up in a financially independent, globalized world. I haven’t read Sanjaya Baru’s book, “The Accidental Prime Minister” but I was keen to watch the movie based on the book. Read on to know my thoughts.
Sanjaya Baru (Akshaye Khanna), Associate Editor of The Economic Times comes on board as the Media Advisor to the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office), when Dr. Singh (Anupam Kher) takes oath as PM. Baru’s role is free of the influence of Congress party heads, as he reports directly to Dr. Singh. He writes his speeches and designs his media image. Towards the end of Dr. Singh’s first tenure as PM, Baru quits his job due to excessive interference by party leaders, and pens a ‘bare-it-all’ book about the politics of that period. The story is presented entirely from Baru’s perspective, therefore may not be a true representation of actual facts or circumstances.
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“The Accidental Prime Minister” is a badly made film. Director Vijay Gutte seems to have been in a tearing hurry, to time its release with the upcoming general election. By making it in haste, the interesting storyline is lost in the frenzy of showing the Congress party and all its major players, in a bad light.
I’ve lost a considerable amount of respect for Kher, after watching this film. When a seasoned actor makes a deliberate mockery of a well-known leader, he is bound to look foolish. In attempting to play a meek and irresolute PM, he overdoes the ridiculous body language, adopts a bizarre voice; and comes off rather a buffoon himself. Dr. Singh will always be known as a highly intelligent, sincere and hardworking man. He may not have been the most vociferous of politicians, but he was definitely an earnest and respected one. Kher does absolutely no justice to this iconic role.
The other actors do an adequate job, though Khanna as a cocky Baru, sometimes goes over the top. The less said about the editing and cinematography, the better. The sets seem to have been constructed simply by adding photographs to the backdrop of various rooms at the Imperial Hotel (read about this hotel here) in Delhi. Baru’s pin-striped suits are too dandified for the hallowed corridors of power, and Dr. Singh’s turban remains firmly on even when he’s comatose in bed!! The entire execution of the film is laughable.
Perhaps the only thing worth mentioning is the story itself. I like the political intrigues and stratagems. I’m not convinced that Baru’s account of Dr. Singh, constantly being at loggerheads with the Congress party, is true; but it’s interesting.
Having said that, you’d be better off reading the book than sitting through this awful film. (Click here to buy the book on Amazon).
Film Rating: 1.5/5
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