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Accidental Prime Minister Compels India To Talk Manmohan Singh And Corruption Before Election, A Review

The media advisor to former prime minister Manmohan Singh, with his boring job, has been able to commercialize a story of his boss right to the screen. No one would have imagined this possibility when the book was launched in the midst of the 2014 election; when it also made a buzz with the allegations giving birth to controversies. But with the change of government after the election, things cooled down and people forgot their highly qualified yet good-for-nothing economist PM. Only till next election though.

Accidental Prime Minister poster

Directed by - Vijay Ratnakar Gutte
Starring - Anupam Kher, Akshaye Khanna, Suzanne Bernert
Storyline: Non-fiction, dramatized biography of former PM Manmohan Singh

Prime characters 
Sanjay Baru: Media advisor to the PM and the narrator
Manmohan Singh: The Accidental Prime Minister (2003-2014)
Sonia Gandhi: The villain-in-chief, is an evil Italian woman using proxies to get hold of power and control things remotely through Manmohan Singh
Rahul Gandhi: Incompetent leader unfit for politics and the son of Sonia Gandhi


Suzanne Bernert as Sonia Gandhi

The movie takes the viewers back to bad corrupt India acting as a reminder that how corrupt previous UPA government used to be. The film opens with the Congress-led UPA winning the 2004 Lok Sabha election and the drama that followed with Sonia Gandhi elected as the leader, who later had to refuse to be prime minister on the nationalists demand. But the ruling Party very carefully choosing someone whose loyalty can't be corrupted, no matter how corrupt government he is taking control of. So that the power remains with the noble family.

The main purpose of the movie, I presumed, was to take the aam aadmi (common citizens) to the inside of the power centre, something which is unknown and remains untapped. Though all I can say that it was a weird film which is neither a spoof nor a documentary but still attempts to show real-life politicians in a dramatic way, those who are directly involved in the power struggle. The advent of Narendra Modi to power toppling the corrupt government Dr Singh was made the commander of as the happy ending confirms the nexus between filmmakers and Bhakts. It begs the question if it is ethical in a democracy for a storytelling platform to be allowed in this way.


Being Manmohan Singh is certainly not easy as he has barely seen interacting with human emotions. The man has mostly seen delivering a formal-styled written speech with a light-blue turban. Very few people know who he was before his tenure as PM. Anupam Kher has tried his best but, on several moments, he appears to be totally different Manmohan Singh. Akshay Khanna in the shoes of Baru seems to be very enjoying, often connects to the audience directly breaking the fourth wall. But only with a bit of exaggeration. Suzanne Bernert as Sonia Gandhi has nailed it, especially her Hindi accent is totally heart-winning.

Arjun Mathur plays Rahul Gandhi

Side actors look impassive unable to put the required emotions. On several occasions, they appear out of place. Singh’s wife Gursharan Kaur (Divya Seth Shah) keeps saying: Aap Kucch kehte kyon nahi? Priyanka Gandhi (Aahana Kumra), just like her role in Indian politics, shows up very little on the screen but the makeup team has done their job well. Arjun Mathur playing Rahul Gandhi as an uninterested guy dumped in politics came as a disappointment as there was no scene of him watching chhota bheem or Pogo channel.

Impact On Realpolitik

I don't think it's going to make big difference in the upcoming election. Congress cannot demand a ban as it would be against the fundamental right of freedom of expression. It is ironic that the right which is supposed to topple the existing government has been timely used to maintain the status quo. It cannot be a coincidence for the film to be released months before the Lok Sabha elections. Electorates are often underestimated, sometimes mistaken as a pool of gullible idiots with no intellect. But time and again these misconception has been proven wrong with the result being veteran politicians and expert pollsters having to face dire humiliation.


Sanjay Baru did a damn right thing to present the story of Manmohan Singh to the people. Not for his retirement but to publicize the former PM for what he was, not the weakest prime minister but an accidental prime minister. A man of high intellect and integrity however a poor decision maker. Not the actual head of the corrupt unholy coalition government of UPA, but only a proxy. He was made a PM to make sure he never behave like one off camera. What suited him was the title “respected economist and professor” an intellectual man, not a political one. It would even be disrespectful for him to be called a rubber stamp PM. Just like it is for the president of India. Though the movie too doesn't do justice to Dr Singh as there are little attempts made to highlight his achievements as an economist.

Anupam Kher becomes Manmohan Singh, Akshay Khanna as Baru

But whatever Manmohan Singh was, he should not be exploted by powerful people to settle political self goals. If Sonia Gandhi used Dr Singh as her pawn to not lose her grip of power, Narendra Modi is no different. Manmohan Singh is not a multi-use dumping bag who can rescue the unfulfilled promises. Just like previous UPA government, former PM is being used by the present regime through proxies and for that reason, they cannot take a high moral ground for corruption and nepotism. The timing of the release of the movie raises questions whether the government is trying to cover up their failure.

The movie is a thumbs up for throwing some light on the lives of the Nehru-Gandhi India’s top political dynasty opening up a debate while a big thumbs down for imposing their opinion on the viewers about those who are still active in politics is obviously not good for democracy. But definitely, a pleasure to watch for the political enthusiasts. The characters which India learnt to detest during the era of scams are the ones brought to the stage for entertainment, which itself is quite entertaining. Only mind to not take it as a documentary film.


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