Vijay Ratnakar Gutte's biographical 'The Accidental Prime Minister' (TAPM) is the tell-all account of Dr Manmohan Singh during his first term as the Prime Minister of India from 2004-2009. The film based on a memoir by Sanjaya Baru with the same title, erupted many controversies in the political world ever since the trailer was dropped by the makers. And it had to meander its way to cinema halls through hindrances — from political parties condemning it to petitions being filed in court against the release and its trailer going missing from YouTube. Nonetheless, the film arrived in theatres on Friday and it would be interesting to see the impact it leaves on the Box Office.
Apart from the casting — Anupam Kher as Dr Manmohan Singh and Akshaye Khanna as Sanjaya Baru, Gutte should be lauded for bringing the subject on the big screen, which is controversial and against the strongest family in the political arena of the country. The film begins with a disclaimer that reads that it is entirely based on fiction and doesn't intend to hurt or defame any person, dead or alive and is solely meant for 'entertainment'.
However, for those, who thoroughly followed country's political journey from 2004, TAPM takes them back to the memory lanes, reminiscing situations that led to Singh taking the post of Prime Minister of the country. It also offers a glimpse into high-profile confidential conversations that took place between the then PM and senior party members. However, a major chunk of the film has been dedicated to Singh's interactions with Baru and it may also come as a surprise for many who have known him to be phlegmatic.
The film touches upon subjects like nuclear deal, 2G, coal scam, but it is the relationship shared between Singh and the then Congress president that has been brilliantly highlighted. The few sequences in the film speak a lot about the 'hard' time he faced as the then Prime Minister of the country.
The few dialogues, delivered by Anupam Kher as Singh, -- 'Main party ke against nahi jaa sakta' and 'PM ko kya karna hai, ye ab NAC batayegi?' will make you feel sympathetic towards the latter, who is seen helpless throughout the film. There is a point when your heart may go out to him as he offers to step down from his position in the wake of allegations of scams, carried out by others, but is blatantly turned down by the 'madam'.
And it is expected to come out as insolent for many as he has unarguably been one of the most honest Prime Ministers the country ever had.
The audience may find it unconvincing with the series of incidents swiftly folded one after the other. The oversized-loud background music in the first 30 minutes plays a spoilsport, considering the genre it was attending to. And while there have been a number of humourous exchanges and funny one-liners between Kher and Khanna, it keeps swinging the mood of the movie from serious-comedy-serious again.
The stylists are worth a mention, as every actor looks convincing as the real-life politicians they played in the film. And while it is sheer joy to see the chemistry between Kher and Khanna, the German import Suzanne Bernert as Sonia Gandhi, Arjun Mathur as Rahul and the entire cast should be lauded for their brilliant work. A special reference to the actor who essayed the role of the late BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the flick.
Overall, 'The Accidental Prime Minister' is a one time watch. Catch the film in your nearest cinema for the masterly performance by the actors, if nothing else.
(Rating: 2/5 stars)