The movie, Accidental Prime Minister is based on the book 'The Accidental Prime Minister (The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh)' by Sanjay Baru. In the year 2004, Mr. Baru was the chief editor of the Financial Express when he resigned from there to join as media advisor to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Sanjay Baru was a newspaper journalist before joining the team of Dr. Manmohan Singh as a media adviser. He has seen the working of Manmohan Singh and the Govt at that time from the close quarters and as a writer, he has depicted in his book what he visualized at that time. Book itself was a sensation in the media circles and people interpreted the theme of the book in different ways.
In fact, Sanjay Baru was a great admirer of Manmohan Singh and had witnessed the 1991 reforms and the Manmohan Singh's phenomenal rise from an economist to the highest position in the country. Baru, in fact, had seen the transformation in Manmohan Singh from technocrat to politician.
In his book, Baru has told the story of what it was like to work for Singh and managing his public image in media and how their relationship evolved with time. The book gives a view of Indian politics as it happened that time not only in the open corridors but also behind the scenes. Baru has captured the early days of UPA to the high time of the nuclear deal and covered the incidents along with the most important and intimate accounts of the prime minister and his moods during all those activities and incidents happening. The book, as well as the movie, has covered the historical period of these incidents from 2004 to 2014.
The movie was released recently on 11.01.2019. It is doing well in the Box-Office as the first-week collection of the film stands at a total of about Rs 17.50 crores. It is not the usual Bollywood masala movie and from that perspective the collection is impressive.
Cast in the Movie
Director and Co-writer - Vijay Ratnakar Gutte. It is to be noted that he is a debutante Director starting serious direction with this movie.
The main artists in this movie are Anupam Kher as Dr. Manmohan Singh, Akshaye Khanna as Sanjaya Baru, Suzanne Bernert (a German actress) as Sonia Gandhi, Divya Seth as Gursharan Kaur, Arjun Mathur as Rahul Gandhi and Aahana Kumra as Priyanka Gandhi.
About the Movie
The movie is based on the Sanjaya Baru's book and has the same name and has been chronicled by displaying Sanjay Baru as the narrator in the movie. The movie starts from the year 2004 when UPA won the elections in a victorious way and Dr. Manmohan Singh settled in the top post. Anupam Kher has done artistic justice playing Dr. Manmohan Singh's subtle and soft ways and his way of walking will definitely impress the audience.
Right from the beginning, the humbleness of Dr. Manmohan Singh is the key element in the movie along with the authority of Sonia Gandhi which is shown very sternly and strongly in the movie.
As Sanjay Baru is the narrator the movie revolves around him and he appears the most important person managing the media engagements, coverage and reflections of Dr. Manmohan Singh very meticulously and firmly. His struggle to manage the image of Dr. Singh in the media is really stunning and to that extent, his part has been well presented in the movie.
Other characters have also come very close to real life mannerism and behavior of the political party personnel. German actress Suzanne Bernert as Sonia Gandhi looks and acts her part with seriousness and confidence and done her role nicely. Divya Seth Shah as the first lady Gursharan Kaur has done her role just like an ordinary housewife happened to be the first lady of the country. I feel she has done a good contribution in her otherwise difficult role.
The other actors playing as Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi have not much to perform in the movie and they go almost unnoticed in the eyes of the audience as well as the movie critics. There are many mediocre actors who have been taken in the movie to represent some big personalities like then President APJ Kalam, Ahmed Patel, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L K Advani, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Amar Singh and others. Some of these actors have not performed well and appear to be only accommodated with makeup and disguise.
The movie has covered the nuclear deal in great details but not given much focus to 2G/ 3G scams and 26/11 terror attacks. It has just referred them to some places.
The movie has tried to depict the political situation in the party itself in some brave and bold manners and has been quite successful in that account but while doing so the movie makers have ignored many things elaborated in Baru's book. These things happen in movie making while adapting a book. Those, who are really interested in this movie due to its political background, are advised to read the book also to get the feel of things Baru wanted to bring out in public after he had developed differences with Dr. Manmohan Singh.
The public perception of Dr. Manmohan Singh as a noble and honest man trapped in the politics of family empire has been successfully depicted in the movie but those who do not agree and believe in his this image will not be happy with this presentation.
There are no songs or any masala in the movie and that is perhaps the reason for it appearing like a documentary film but is quite engrossing especially to the politically awakened audience. For entertainment, twists and turns, suspense, action and the thrill-seeking audience there is not much to keep them engaged for this 2-hour political satire.
The audience which is interested in the political history of our country will definitely like to watch this movie. Others, who are the ordinary viewers may not enjoy the movie as there is a monotonous political tone and reflections of the Gandhi family empire in those political scenarios right from the beginning.
Sanjay Baru has tried to make the narrative interesting with his gestures and dialogues but that is of temporary relief. The movie is definitely not the one to be viewed with the family in a leisurely afternoon. Some people especially the seniors may like to watch it with their friends getting an opportunity to discuss and analyze this political satire.
The film was released on the same day of release of the blockbuster "Uri: The surgical strike". Most of the film-going audience have gone for Uri. So, the film ''The Accidental Prime Minister" has not been as successful as Uri. But we must understand that this particular film has not been meant for the common public. It has been successful in its own way and the debutante director Vijay Ratnakar Gutte (who is also the co-writer) will be happy.
The Accidental Prime Minister opens with a TV news footage from the 2004 victory of the UPA in the general elections. From this point, Anupam Kher brilliantly carries forward the film with the trademark mannerism of Dr. Manmohan Singh, the character around which the film revolves. Kher has acted brilliantly and has proved his mettle. The acting of Divya Seth Shah as Gursharan Kaur is impressive with her underacting. The acting of German actress Suzanne Bernert as Sonia Gandhi is also worth mentioning.
But I am also impressed by Akshaye Khanna as Sanjaya Baru, particularly when he talks to the camera. The director has mentioned about the controversial nuclear deal with details but did not cover much the infamous scams of the UPA regime.
As the author has said, the film is based on the book of Sanjaya Baru. The director has done a reasonably good job to present the power equation of the UPA regime. I am also impressed that there is no song in this film. There is no scope of any song in the film.
I congratulate Mr. Umesh for this article which aptly reviewed this film which has created some controversy.