Cinema, pol­i­tics can’t be sep­a­rated: Kher


NA­TIONAL Award-win­ning ac­tor Anu­pam Kher, who es­says the char­ac­ter of for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh in The Ac­ci­den­tal Prime Min­is­ter, said cinema and pol­i­tics can­not be sep­a­rated since one re­flects the other.

The film, even be­fore its re­lease, faced crit­i­cism for the pro­jec­tion of its cen­tral char­ac­ter and for be­ing timed to hit the screens be­fore the 2019 gen­eral elec­tions in In­dia.

Kher said: “Look, when the au­di­ence are go­ing to the theatre to watch a film, they are reg­u­lar cine-go­ers and movie lovers. They are not en­ter­ing the hall as a voter.

“But, yes, when they come out, the film might linger in their mind. But then, cinema and pol­i­tics can­not be sep­a­rated, be­cause they are a re­flec­tion of each other.”

The ac­tor fur­ther said: “A film-maker or an artiste re­ally can­not fig­ure out why peo­ple are vot­ing for a po­lit­i­cal party. Some vot­ers are loy­al­ists, some are mak­ing a list of good and bad things, to choose a party and the gov­ern­ment. How much can a film con­trib­ute to that?”

The movie is based on an epony­mous book which was re­leased dur­ing the 2014 elec­tions when the po­lit­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion hap­pened and the na­tion voted the Bharatiya Janata Party gov­ern­ment over the Congress-led United Pro­gres­sive Al­liance gov­ern­ment.

Does the film in­tend to in­flu­ence the vot­ers to form an opin­ion on the Congress party by show­ing Singh in a crit­i­cal light?

“It is ridicu­lous to say that peo­ple choose a po­lit­i­cal party and a change hap­pened in the gov­ern­ment be­cause of San­jay Baru’s book. Sim­i­larly, it would be silly to say that this film will change the re­sult of the elec­tion this year,” replied the 63-year-old ac­tor.

Di­rected by Vi­jay Rat­nakar Gutte, the film also fea­tures Ak­shaye Khanna, Aa­hana Kumra and Ar­jun Mathur.

The book gives in­sight into the Prime Min­is­ter’s of­fice, as well as the per­sonal jour­ney of Singh.

And the film’s trailer gives a glimpse as to how the nar­ra­tive will em­pha­sise on the con­tra­dic­tion and dif­fer­ence of opin­ion be­tween the PM and the Congress Party, es­pe­cially its then pres­i­dent So­nia Gandhi.

In fact, such el­e­ments in the book also re­ceived some crit­i­cism in 2014.

Asked if high­light­ing the con­flict be­tween the for­mer prime min­is­ter and Congress party pres­i­dent was the core con­tent of the film, Kher said: “No, no, the story is a very hu­mane tale of a man, who was born into a mid­dle-class fam­ily and, with his merit, he ex­celled and be­came a prime min­is­ter.”

Com­ment­ing on the party pres­i­dent and prime min­is­ter con­flict, the ac­tor added: “It was never a se­cret. It was rather an open se­cret that has come out. It was there in the book as well!

“Ev­ery­one knew that he was cho­sen to be­come a prime min­is­ter by the Congress party and he was the least ex­pected can­di­date. It would be ap­pre­ci­ated if au­di­ences watch the film as a story.”

The Ac­ci­den­tal Prime Min­is­ter is slated to re­lease on Jan­uary 11. | IANS


Anu­pam Kher

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