Cast: Vivek Oberoi
Director: Omung Kumar
What’s it about:
A biographical take on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s life and times. The film charts his journey from childhood to the time he made it as the Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy.
To say that PM Narendra Modi is a propaganda film, wouldn’t be wrong. But to say that it’s not an entertaining film, would be wrong.
Co-written and co-produced by actor Vivek Oberoi, PM Narendra Modi finally releases on the day the maverick Indian PM wins his second term in office with a thumping majority – even better than his previous feat in 2014. The film just pushes the Modi card forward and with no subtlety. The narrative begins from Modi’s childhood in a small village in the Indian state of Gujarat. His scenes with his family, especially his mother played by actress Zarina Wahab are pure gold. They will make you choke with emotion. Wish director Omung Kumar had explored it more.
Vivek Oberoi, of course, fills in every frame with his towering performance. Although, I wish his accent was equally spot on. The actor doesn’t manage to get the trademark Modi style of speaking but delivers an honest and measured performance. Rest of the characters are reduced to mere caricatures. This includes the ones from the opposition - all shown to be conniving and corrupt. It doesn’t help that none of the other characters make any impact considering play an important role in Modi’s journey. Some of the characters are not explained well but given major parts.
The film clocks in a good pace and touches upon all the landmark events in Modi’s eventful career up until 2014. His successful stint as the Gujarat CM is entertaining but the more controversial events are airbrushed with convenience. The opposition ploys are made to look quite childish while every attempt is made to glorify Modi’s larger than life image. But all of this doesn’t mar the entertainment value of the film. In fact, a lot of time, this decisive glorification makes it a very seamless watch especially considering the fact that the Indian PM has gone from strength to strength.
Through his years in power, the Indian political landscape has seen very interesting dramatics and the film cashes in on it. The narrative feels fictional at many points but knowing the situation on ground zero somehow will keep you interested and adequately invested.
So if you’re a fan of Narendra Modi and/or Vivek Oberoi, this film is for you. It tells you what you might already know, but with a cinematic largesse that feels almost unreal but entertaining.