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