It looks like this week political stalwarts from different moral and political outfits are all set for a clash at the box office. While debutant director Vijay Gutte’s Manmohan Singh bio-pic The Accidental Prime Minister is being talked about for all the wrong reasons (unflattering depiction of Sonia Gandhi and her children), director Aditya Dhar’s Uri which opens alongside The Accidental Prime Minister is also based on cold hard political facts, the surgical strike against Pakistan in 2016.
The disadvantage of delving into recent politics is that all the incidents, murky or otherwise, are fresh in the audiences’ minds. There will be hell to pay if the facts are messed around with. While the Congress I is up in arms against the hammy shrewishness of its leaders in the trailer of The Accidental Prime Minister, the spiked references to Pakistan in the trailer of Uri have already won the film a curious audience which is tired of watching the neighbours being mollycoddled by Bollywood filmmakers.
The toughest political drama this week is NTR the Telugu bio-pic on the legendary political leader N T Rama Rao which has his son superstar NTR Jr playing his father. It cannot be easy for a huge star like NTR Jr to play his legendary father. It is never easy to get into the skin of someone this close.
Would NTR capture the essence of the mythical man as seen through the personality of his superstar son? Would Anupam Kher be able to convince Manmohan Singh to watch The Accidental Prime Minister without the real Singh flinching at his impersonator ’s doings? And would the surgical strikes of Uri probe wounds that are too raw to heal?
Political dramas have so far shied away from addressing the issue headlong for fear of a backlash. But now this could change. And the shift in the audiences’ perception of politics and politicians could happen this week. If any of the three political dramas this week succeed at the box office, that would be an encouraging sign for the Balasaheb Thackeray bio-pic which open in two weeks’ time.