Last night, I decided to dedicate today's first-day first-show to the Anupam Kher-Akshaye Khanna starrer, The Accidental Prime Minister — based on Sanjaya Baru's book of the same name — instead of going with the other, more obvious choice, Uri. But not all your decisions turn out for the better, as I learnt. And then, one must bear the brunt of it, too.
Ironically enough, that was also the crux of the film itself — a deserving man, who's proved his merit time and again, had an immense responsibility thrust upon him.
Whatever the circumstances may be, he must rise to the occasion and do what's expected of him. And he starts off, only to be poked, jabbed, and ultimately get thrown under the metaphorical bus.
No, I did not just describe ex-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whose Prime Ministerial tenure the film is based on.
I just described Anupam Kher.
A veteran actor like Kher clearly should have seen through the amateurish storytelling style of Vijay Gutte, of Badmashiyaan and The Film Emotional Atyachar (what were those again?). Akshaye Khanna — I'm a big fan, personally — should have harnessed his dimple-chinned cockiness perhaps just a little bit. Abhilasha Srivastava and Shrikant Desai (the costume designer and make-up artist) should have been a little less influenced by House Of Cards and Suits.
But none of the above happened. For reasons beyond the realm of our understanding, perhaps.
The result? A half-baked college film-like production, shot in a green room with Janpath superimposed at the back. Even that had no finesse. The background score is loud and often unnecessarily thriller-ish. For want of a better word, it is an insult to all cinema lovers' sensibilities and the art of filmmaking itself.
Let's face it, it's a two-man film with Kher and Khanna in the lead. So discussing the others would be as futile as watching the film itself.
Kher's portrayal of Singh is cartoonish — and if you didn't feel that way after watching the trailer, the film will hammer it into your head.
In parts, I was confused about whether I was looking at Kher playing Singh or Barney the purple dinosaur!
Akshaye's Baru himself looked completely out of place — decked in chic, tailormade pinstripe suits with a pocket square and a tie perfectly matched in the first half, he looked more like James Bond with a licence to make you roll off the chair laughing! In the second, he was like the old beret-wearing uncle who was once cool. (Psst, he didn't actually wear a beret, but he could have since nothing in this movie makes sense anyway!)
Social media cells of various parties are capable of stringing together footage and making a better film than this one. And we've probably seen a few such films, forwarded to us on WhatsApp.
To round up — don't make the same choice that I did.
Go watch Uri instead.