PM Narendra Modi Story: Chaiwala, sanyasi, RSS pracharak, deshbhakt… the film chronicles Narendra Modi’s life and events leading up to his swearing-in ceremony as the Prime Minister of India in 2014. Vivek Anand Oberoi essays the role of PM Modi.
PM Narendra Modi Review: A balanced biopic will engage you, irrespective of your personal views, whereas a story that worships the protagonist and whitewashes controversies is something that you will lap up if you are a believer, and dismiss if you aren’t. This one falls in the latter category.
Though the release of this film was held back by the Election Commission till the elections were over, the timing is still apt since it coincides with a thumping victory for the PM. However, that may be the only saving grace. You can overlook the tone of excessive reverence, as long as you unearth some unknown facets of his personality and life beyond what’s already documented. However, that’s not the case here, as it was in ‘Thackeray’ (starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui), which was relatively nuanced and objective.
Barring the mother-son bond that’s beautifully portrayed by Zarina Wahab and Vivek, nothing really tugs at your heartstrings. A little more emphasis on the chapter that recounts Modi’s self-discovery would have added substance to the storyline.
Be it the Gujarat riots or other controversies that are conveniently blamed on a third party and the fourth pillar (‘corrupt conniving businessman and bikau journalists’), the story reiterates what has already been told and barely scratches the surface. This leaves no room for counterargument, dialogue or debate, which, ideally a film of this nature should encourage. What you get instead is a one-sided costume drama that comes closer to propaganda than to a biography. Even the background score is embarrassingly manipulative.
Vivek has always been a promising actor and he doesn’t simply mimic Modi, which works. He gets the mannerisms, accent and tone right and thankfully doesn’t overdo it.
Whether you believe or don’t believe in the political philosophy of Narendra Modi is secondary, as a film, this one is too lopsided for you to appreciate. It leaves a lot unanswered. While it firmly believes ‘Modi ek insaan nahi, soch hai’, we wish the script was as thoughtful.