Movie Review: Indu Sarkar

Attributes: Movie Reviews

CAST: Kirti Kulhari, Tota Roy Chowdhury, Anupam Kher, Neil Nitin Mukesh

DIRECTION: Madhur Bhandarkar

GENRE: Drama

DURATION: 2 hours 19 minutes

Indu Sarkar is set during the Emergency and presents a fairly irregular account of the 19 months of Emergency between years 1975-77 in hurried montages.

In a country like India, where politics is more theoretical than practical, making a political film in itself is a doubtful matter. The people in power here are extremely scared of anything that can reveal the rotten picture of Indian politics and keep painting it rosy. By any chance, if the film takes some real shape, it has to go under the knife of government and the final result is nothing more than a shallow mask filled with cellulite.

Indu Sarkar (Kirti Kulhari) the film’s protagonist is an ordinary Indian woman with extraordinary daring. Kulhari’s portrayal of Indu is quite affecting; her character’s journey from shrinking housewife to anti-Emergency activist is schematic but believable. This mocking reference to other Indu aka Indira hovers about the film.

Son Sanjay Gandhi, not actually named but called, comically as Chief. Neil Nitin Mukesh. The actor leaves a strong impression with some serious acting skills. The resemblance of the actor to the person is eerie with the real life Sanjay.

In the procedure of making it look more effective by telling the story of a woman ‘Indu’, the movie actually lost its subsistence. And the result is a mere subtle version of the Emergency era in India where the intensity of Indu also got lost amid all the attention given to the Emergency. Indu Sarkar could have been a better movie if Bhandarkar would have kept the film a close analysis of the events that led up to one of India’s most riotous periods, and its after-effects.

There have been many typical Bhandarkar styles flashing moments in the movie like the forced mass sterilization, razed neighborhoods’ and suppressing the media which create some strong drama. But still, the essence of the movie appears to get lost every now and then because of the confused main focus.

Better balance with a stronger outlook would have made Indu Sarkar a perfect example of a period film for this generation. Overall, Indu Sarkar certainly doesn't show anything we didn't already know about.

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