The Accidental Prime Minister Movie Review 2019: Political Drama Gets Real

Writer-director Vijay Ratnakar Gutte films the story of a dignified man who squirmed in the PM's chair in such a sympathetic manner that Dr. Manmohan Singh comes off as helpless and weak but not a bad man at all.

The Accidental Prime Minister Movie Review 2019: Political Drama Gets Real The Accidental Prime Minister Movie Review 2019: Political Drama Gets Real Source : Press


Watch it without political prejudice for it is pathbreaking Hindi cinema. Based on Sanjaya Baru's book, it is the first time that any Hindi film has dwelt on PMO intrigue without fictionalising any of the characters.

Writer-director Vijay Ratnakar Gutte films the story of a dignified man who squirmed in the PM's chair in such a sympathetic manner that Dr. Manmohan Singh comes off as helpless and weak but not a bad man at all. Since it doesn't shy away from naming flesh-and-blood politicians and events, it is the retelling of recent Indian politics and the dynasty in Delhi through an insider who had a ringside view.

Sonia naming Manmohan Singh as PM, the walk down the corridor of time for a quick look at who he was before he sat in the coveted chair and the introduction of key PMO officials is stylish and swift. Some of the political drama like the face-off with the Left over the nuclear deal and Sonia's wicked manipulations including denying Narsimha Rao a cremation in Delhi are all very well filmed. Scenes like Sanjaya Baru as his media advisor helping him through a speech rehearsal or prepping him for a press conference give a delightful insight into how the PMO functions. It ends up as an emotional tale about a PM and a man he once relied on.

For those who like the West Wing kind of political drama, this is a pretty close Indian version and non-fiction which gives it a bite.

Suzanne Bernert as Sonia, Divya Seth as Gursharan Kaur, Arjun Mathur as Rahul Gandhi and AahanaKumra as Priyanka are perfectly cast with incredibly true-to-life makeup and getup.

But it is the two key actors, Anupam Kher as Manmohan Singh and Akshaye Khanna as Sanjaya Baru who come home with you. The gait and speech of the former PM is so well enacted by Anupam Kher that it doesn't descend into a caricature and it draws your empathy.

Akshaye Khanna is brilliantly easy as Baru, doing a Kevin Spacey by often talking to the camera. His wry smile doesn't even require dialogue to convey the essence of a scene.

But after a riveting first half, the narrative crawls like a documentary running out of steam and there's a tendency for the bunch of screenplay writers to take many events for granted. Like Rahul Gandhi and the Ordinance scene which comes from out of the blue, foxing those who know nothing about it. The background music too could have been subtler and not so intrusive. 

Verdict: However, telling a real political story makes it literally a ‘politically correct' film. For taking that first step and for those two powerful performances, The Accidental Prime Minister gets a 3.5* rating.


Disclaimer: We are proud that LehrenTV reviewer Bharathi S Pradhan has been appointed an advisory member of the prestigious CBFC. However, her reviews reflect her personal appraisal of a film and do not in any way speak on behalf of the Censor Board.