New Delhi, Jan 12 : It has been one of the most-awaited biopics in this election season.
One enters the cinema hall to watch 'The Accidental Prime Minister ', a film dealing with the trials and tribulations of Dr Manmohan Singh during his Prime Ministership from 2004 to 2014, hoping to get some new insights into that period of Indian politics, which saw existence of two power centres -- one at the level of the government, with Dr Singh at the helm, and the other at the level of the Congress party where Ms Sonia Gandhi was at the helm.
Instead, what one is treated to is a montage of events during the decade between 2004 and 2014 in chronological order, starting from Dr Singh being named as the Prime Ministerial candidate by Ms Sonia Gandhi and ending with the former announcing in 2014 that it would be his last term as Prime Minister.
Also, barring Anupam Kher and Akshay Khanna, performance by rest of the characters is ordinary.
Directed by Vijay Gutte, 'The Accidental Prime Minister' is an adaptation of journalist Sanjaya Baru’s 2014 memoir, about the alleged undermining of the Prime Minister’s Office under Manmohan Singh.
That the film would be critical about the Gandhi family was expected given the fact that it is based on Sanjaya Baru’s book. However, in adapting the book on celluloid, lax attention has been given to the sketching and delineation of the characters.
All the characters of the film, barring that of Dr Singh, played by Anupam Kher, and Sanjay Baru, played by Akshay Khanna, come across as caricatures of the real life personalities on which they are based.Though much effort seems to have gone in working out the look and accent of the various characters, with details like hair colour, wardrobes and twitching of lips by Suzanne Bernert, etc, etched out to perfection, most of them come across as cardboard cut outs.
For example, characters of Ms Sonia Gandhi and Mr Rahul Gandhi are shown to mouth cliches making them come across as caricatures of the real life personalities.Even the characters of Akshay Khanna and Anupam kher are linear in their portrayal.While Akshay Khanna, as Baru, is shown to display a permanent smirk and attitude in his demeanour, Anupam Kher, as Dr Manmohan Singh, is shown to be self-effasive in his manner. In fact, at times, Kher is trying to speak in a soft, halting voice to portray Dr Manmohan Singh borders on mimicry.
Arun Mathur seems a total misfit in the role of Mr Gandhi. The same can be said about Agana Kumra who plays Priyanka Vadra.There is also a complete lack of effort in portrayal of other politicians like Kapil Sibal, Ahmed Patel and P Chidambaram.
The screenplay of the film is poor. Rather than give an insight into the political scene at that time, the film resorts to cliches.As a director, Vijay Gutte has managed to extract a good performance only from Anupam Kher and Akshay khanna while the others are ordinary. Moreover, he has failed to infuse drama into the proceedings.
The background score, which is so crucial for a film based on a period, is jarring and often gets on one's nerves. Production values are poor.
In short, 'The Accidental Prime Minister' is a film with poor screenplay and full of cardboard characters that fail to draw the viewers' interest.
Rating: 1/5: the sole star for performance by Anupam Kher and Akshay Khanna.UNI