With a landslide win in 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, Narendra Modi has become a personality personified beyond average reach. With the release of his biopic starring Vivek Oberoi, his fans, the PR team and the ruling party (BJP) itself, left no stone unturned over the years to make sure everyone had heard about his even more glorified poor childhood as the Chai Wala who becomes the Chowkidar of India.
But there’s more to what fiction can show right? Call it a biopic or a propaganda reel. Here’s our breakdown on what it actually seems to be packaged like on-screen.
A ‘biopic’ is a film that dramatizes the life of a non-fictional or historically-based person. The ‘historical period drama’ on the other hand is a film genre in which stories are based upon historical events or famous people and at last the third genre is called ‘historical dramas’ also known as ‘docudramas’, which attempt an accurate portrayal of a historical event or biography, to the degree that the available historical research will allow.
In the case, the Omung Kumar directorial is hard to say which genre it belongs to. A ‘biopic’ takes us through the life of a nonfictional (real) being that has been proved and justifies it for the audience with details at every step of the way. However, a ‘historical period drama’ is a glorified presentation of a story that are only based on historical events and ‘docudramas’ without evidence make an attempt to provide an accurate portrayal.
As for PM Narendra Modi, there has been no evidence to prove any of the material that has been used in the film. The film showcases the same stories that have been believed to be true without any documentation to prove it over the internet, and what makes it even more questionable is the disclaimer provided at the beginning of the film. It states the movie is a dramatisation of an inspirational story, for which the makers have taken the liberty to add fictional characters and scenes.
The film shows us only parts of his life story that seem fit to raise him as a human being in the eyes of the beholder, aka the audience. Modi is the kid who sold tea as a child on the railway station, he would juggle work and school so efficiently that to his family it seemed like he was the one running the household. Modi is the young adult who (looked like a full grown man) gave up his family and the chance to get married to become a yogi, courtesy Devanand from ‘Guide’.
Modi is the adult who comes back to civilisation to serve his country. First through RSS, then he manages to bring so many people together in opposition of the then ruling government that they create an entirely new political party called BJP. Mind you the film makes it look like everything that happens is either because Modi willed it, or because Congress didn’t want it to happen. From the emergency that Indira Gandhi imposed, to the Godhra train burning that caused the Gujarat Riots, to his visa being cancelled, it all leads to show how great this man is. And a biopic is never biased as it states facts and proves it through amazing actors which was also missing here.
We never find out if he ever got married, or ever got an education, or what he did in the 5 years at Delhi or what he actually thinks. Instead what we do get, is a bunch of back and forth on how Modi Dhul Chatao-phied Congress. We as it is, get enough of that every day on social media, news channels and newspapers, you don’t have to watch the movie for that.