Yes, it's all whitewashing, and what's even more bothersome is the absence of the promise that we once saw in Vivek Oberoi in Company
Narendra Modi biopic poster
PM Narendra Modi
U/A: Biography, Drama
Director: Omung Kumar
Cast: Vivek Oberoi, Barkha Bisht, Boman Irani
Going by his recent decision to laugh at something utterly inappropriate that he shared on Twitter, it could be deciphered that Vivek Oberoi's sense of judgment is clouded. But, even then, it's not rocket-science for anyone to conclude that this film, a biopic on Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, is far from being a well-rounded biopic. We aren't sure if Oberoi cares too much about his film being termed as a propaganda film, given that he's oft proclaimed his devotion for the politico. In an interaction with him on Monday, he was pretty certain that the film will open in theatres on a momentous day. Given Modi's landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections yesterday, Oberoi is of course, right.
While disappointing, it's not surprising that the film worships its muse like a demi-God. It is utterly one-dimensional, with cardboard characters, few of who were not even worthy enough to be given a name by director Omung Kumar. If you are familiar with the political dynamics of the country, it's easy to play a guess-who. At most places, they are shabby replicas of Sonia Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh. Even so, they are stuck with bad stylists. Shown from the prism that lacks objectivity, the film is also hence devoid of nuances. Incidents are chronicled on the basis of the whims of writers and the director, and shown from the perspective of the muse. Not once has the team attempted to delve deeper into any issue.
Check out the trailer here:
Jumping from one incident to another, the film paints Modi in broad strokes of noble. He digs canals to ensure women in villages don't make the tiresome journey of four miles to get water. He is also a feminist who believes in educating young girl. Also, he has no tolerance for Pakistan; his rage directed not towards terrorism, but the country, as it is. Our pro-Army protagonist discusses militancy in Kashmir with utmost simplicity. Who cares about delving deeper into this intricate issue when tasked with the job of smoothening the cape of out poster boy of development?
This comic book approach that Kumar takes is dangerous. It never rises above the fable he tries to create. Evidently then, he uses the film to reduce the magnanimity associated with the Godhra riots to a 'chingari' that resulted from a businessman's grouse towards him. Caricatures of sell-all journalists trigger the damage caused to him after they represent matters incorrectly to favour the party in power. Yes, it's all whitewashing, and what's even more bothersome is the absence of the promise that we once saw in Oberoi in Company. Certainly has a lot more to offer than strutting on screen with blaring rap background score for company.
It's a costume drama which could pass as a school play. But on a day like today when the man has been voted back to power with such majority, there isn't much much to contest on - 'Modi ek insaan nahi, soch hai'. The film is strictly for laughs but the joke is on us, guys.
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