The Cinema Station’s Rating: Third AC Journey (3/5)
After being away from the theatres for almost 2 weeks I needed something strong to lure me back to my Mecca. First of all, kudos to the Supreme Court for getting a highly debated film like Indu Sarkar out in the open. The film marks the return of Madhur Bhandarkar back into mainstream cinema and despite the fact that he has been away for a long time, Indu Sarkar is a decent attempt to come back to the celluloid.
Indu Sarkar is the story of Indu, our protagonist, whose character is shaped and set brilliantly in the starting minutes of the film. Indu is a shy, submissive, under confident and stammering orphan who has faced a rather demented childhood. Things start to get better for her after getting married to a government official Naveen Sarkar (Tota Roy Chowdhury), who works for the ruling Government. The thing with Indu Sarkar is that despite it zooms in on one of the most controversial times of Indian politics it does not reach up to its potential. Madhur Bhandarkar tries to weave back his magic but there are moments where the fault line is exposed with a heavily convoluted plot with excessive emotion, unwanted dilemmas and too many characters.
What goes in the film’s favor is its coverage of the times of the 21 months long, Government imposed Emergency. The writers seem to get their facts right as we are exposed to the Turkman incident and scenes of people being forcibly sterilized. The 1970’s are brilliantly covered and I should give credit for that to Bhandarkar and his team.
Characters are perfect; Indu and Naveen, as I discussed earlier are done really well. Supporting characters of Anupam Kher, Manav Vij, Sheeba Chaddha, Pravin Dabas, Zakir Hussain, Ankur Vikal and Rashmi Jha help the cause, but at one moment, they just start seeming surplus. If Kirti Kulhari nailed her role as the protagonist, Neil Nitin Mukesh, essaying Sanjay Gandhi took villainy to an all time high. Neil’s character is well portrayed and sets the tyrannical mood of the Government in those dark times.
The journey could have been great, but its spiceless twists, running time and lack of a stable tone impact the over scoring merits of this intense political drama. Music does not do much in the film and that is another put-off. Indu Sarkar actually made me realize how important music is to our film industry.
However, towards the end of my heavily emotional and powerful journey, Indu Sarkar and Madhur Bhandarkar do leave behind a lot of unsettled dust regarding the activities that took place during the Emergency. One could argue that the film is significantly flawed and lacks some basic attributes but in the end, it sticks to its purpose and that’s what impressed me.