'Maun' Mohan Singh. That's how present Prime Minister Narendra Modi had once referred to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whose silence was a cornerstone of political mockery and social media 'humour'. Congress vehemently emphasised how Singh regularly addressed the press, spoke on pertinent issues and was present on social media as well. A few years down the lane, the story of Singh assumingly becoming a fall boy for the Gandhis has turned into a film. The Accidental Prime Minister, based on Sanjay Baru's (Singh's media advisor and spokesperson, 2004-2008) with the same name, doesn't try to look fictitious. It is a self-declared narrative of a man trapped amidst a lot of red tape.
The film's trailer was unveiled on Thursday and brought along a range of political debates. Anupam Kher, who essays Singh's character, has given us a glimpse of his political inclination; but that's not what we are discussing right now. Interestingly enough, the official Twitter handle of BJP put up the trailer. Calling it extending their 'wishes' for a film, Union Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore reportedly told ANI, “Can’t we extend our wishes for a film? Congress has been all for freedom, why is it questioning that freedom now?”
Ahead of the 2019 Loksabha elections, is it the BJP's shot to reap benefits from a film? With all due respect to Rathore's 'wishes' for a work of art, a political party doesn't frequently openly lend its underpin to a film. Add to it the fact that the film exactly opines what our ruling party would be glad to reemphasise. Just a pretty co-incidence?
Quite inevitably, at the film's trailer launch, Anupam Kher was asked whether he was indirectly showing his support to the BJP. "I already told you that the first time this film was offered to me, my first reaction was a no. Then one day I decided that I should do this movie. These interpretations will keep on arising no matter what I say. You will deduct your own interpretation. Of course, films related to Patriotism are released during Republic Day and Independence Day. This is a politically inclined film and we would like to release it during the election time. Why not? What is the problem with that? We are very happy and proud with the product," he answered, reports The Republic.
The swift shift from a no to a yes is interesting for sure. Vicky Kaushal's Uri, which revolves around the surgical strike in Pakistan (considered one of the greatest victories of the Modi government and a commendable stance against terrorism), also comes out on the 11th of January and will be clashing with TAPM itself. 'Yeh naya Hindustan hai. Yeh ghar mein ghusega bhi aur marega bhi,' one can hear in the trailer.
Is it safe to say that January will be a cinematic win for BJP?