Accidental Prime Minister Review: An accidental watch

Accidental Prime Minister Review: An accidental watch

Accidental Prime Minister

Cast: Anupam Kher, Akshaye Khanna, Vipin Sharma, Suzanne Bernert, Munish Bhardwaj, Arjun Mathur, Aahana Kumra
Director: Vijay Ratnakar Gutte
Rating: 2/5

The 17th Lok Sabha Elections are around the corner and here is a film that is in a way setting the tone for the political battles we are to witness. It is one of the many films we will be watching in the coming months that revolve around political figures.

The Accidental Prime Minister (The APM) is already infamous and has been repeatedly called as a 'propaganda piece' by few political parties, while others call it the behind-the-scenes of the political developments between 2004 and 2014.

It lies somewhere in between and is a sad piece of cinema coming from a veteran actor like Anupam Kher.

The book of the same name (written by Sanjaya Baru who served as Dr Singh Media Advisor between 2004 and 2009) which the film is based on is apparently an inside story of the time when Dr Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister. Sadly, it is a one-sided narrative of the politics and ends up being uni-dimensional. If we are to believe how the story goes here, the hero of the story is not Dr Singh but his media advisor Sanjaya Baru (Akshaye Khanna).

The film is a random commentary on the political atmosphere and feels like an amalgam of popular jokes, memes, and controversies of that time period. Not that we expected anything else, but the Accidental Prime Minister is documentary-esque and confuses the audience with a mish-mash of real news, snapshots and the actors in the film.

Accidental Prime Minister starts with a dramatic background score, setting the tone for the remainder of the film which is over-dramatised (including Anupam Kher, who gives Dr Manmohan Singh an almost comical twist). One wonders if the film is trying hard to stand to its disclaimer of meaning to be purely for entertainment. And a tasteless one at that! Because one could have expected some real eye-openers from it, but we end up watching things we already know, with a comic twist.

The director, Vijay Ratnakar Gutte, has tried breaking the fourth wall with Akshaye Khanna's Sanjaya Baru giving us a live commentary of his views, but it is not successful in creating an impact.

However, not everything is hopeless with Accidental Prime Minister. For instance, the scene when Dr Singh enters the PMO after his swearing-in ceremony, we are given a glimpse of his journey -- from Finance Secretary to PM-- that makes us expect a lot from the film. Akshaye Khanna with his half-smile impresses and is the only exceptional thing about the film. German actress Suzanne Bernert as Sonia Gandhi is also remarkable and tries to play her role to perfection. Other actors are placed in the movie as caricatures or for comic relief.

Accidental Prime Minister suffers from shoddy editing and a lack of continuity. The background score is in sync with the mood of the film but is forgettable. The film will fail to impress even the political amateurs, leaving the audience feeling sorry for this accidental piece of cinema that tries too hard to be a political commentary.