Vijay Ratnakar Gutte directorial 'The Accidental Prime Minister' is a satirical political drama made with a thorough interpretation of Sanjaya Baru's book of the same name. The heart of the film is Akshaye Khanna as PM's media advisor Sanjaya Baru the momentous narrator of the film, as he breaks the fourth wall as well as the secrets of the Congress party showcasing all the internal politics going by Baru's controversial book.
Anupam Kher aka Dr. Manmohan Singh, the former Prime Minister from the UPA government is appointed the PM of the Nation after the 2004 elections victory and we are taken straight to the oath taking ceremony where all the Indian leaders come along. It was surprising to see the tone of the film which is kept comical as most of us expected it to be of a serious nature. The film steers with the replications of the famous political leaders including aerospace scientist A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L. K. Advani, P. V. Narasimha Rao, Kapil Sibbal, the Gandhi family and the internal NSE office members are appointed with the interference of Sonia Gandhi, who wants to know every activity conducted by the PM.
Now, Vijay Gutte has wasted no time and quickly established the firm professional relationship of Mr. Singh and Baru as he requests PM, "The only condition I would love to work with you is that i'll only report to you and no one else" keeping the condition to the former Finance Minister. "Yeh pehle aise PM hai jinke real state business mein koi rishtedaar nahi hai" or discussing who will take the Finance Ministry, every shocking truth has been revealed in this political drama which is enlightening and new to the masses.
Furthermore, Manmohan Singh totally relies on Baru with all the media conferences or even for further PR campaigning which was really surprising to know, these minute facts are out to the whole world as Baru played the guiding light as well as the voice of the gold medal economist. The entire film showcases some hard-hitting truth, facts, revelations about the scams (from the surface) and we see reality taken over this taunt-full political drama. Two centres of power controlling the country as Baru mentions in his book and the filmmakers embedded it in this gripping feature film as well. It was the Nuclear Deal where Dr. Manmohan Singh stood firmly for the betterment of India's economy where the Congress party questioned him and the Leftist party ended up the coalition. The moment where Manmohan Singh asks Atal Bihari Vajpayee about the nature of the Nuclear deal and he just has a smile that says a lot was a mesmerizing moment. Akshaye Khanna's narration is what makes boring politics super interesting just like a cup of tea in cold winter. The fall of Congress following various sting operations and corruption scandals brought the Modi wave in 2014 and real footage is sliced to the film to make it look like a docu-drama which could have been avoided.
Anupam Kher's stellar act is notable and we could feel the agony being in his shoes and following whatever the party president says and keeping mum on the entire corruption scandal controversy whether it was Coal, CWG scam or the 2g scam. Akshaye Khanna makes us believe Baru's version and his insights towards the internal politics going around in the UPA 1 and the UPA 2 regime. Breaking the fourth wall technique has worked big time and Akshaye talking to the audiences and explaining every situation in details feels like he is out there to educate the masses. Top notch narration from Khanna and this particularly adds a whole new dimension in Indian Cinema and yes it worked ! Kher's hard work is paid off and his ardent act has made people appreciate his dedication and honesty towards this weighty character he breathes. Suzanne Bernert as Sonia Gandhi was the closest replication of all. Although Arjun Mathur as Rahul Gandhi and Ahana Kumra as Priyanka Gandhi were barely seen in the entire film.
The film is quite detailed, realistic and a cinematic powerhouse and yes the soul of the film is the art direction and the costume design team. The PMO office, the oath-taking ceremony auditorium, the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha are replicated with the exact detail and such an exact understanding of how the things are technically, is subtly beyond compare. Violin symphonies as the background score have enhanced the film. Aesthetics and costumes contribute a lot and Abhilasha leading the department deserves every praise. Cinematography by Sachin Krishn is visually stunning. Karl Dunne and Aditya Sinha's screenplay make it riveting. Associate writers Jody Medland and Mayank Tewari had researched a lot in perspective of Dr. Manmohan Singh's life and they deserve applause as well. Vijay Ratnakar Gutte executed a solid script out of the most controversial book and yes it would be much more painful for the left and the Congress National Party especially releasing it just before the 2019 mega elections.