Article 370 Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Yami Gautam, Priyamani, Arun Govil and Vaibhav Tatwawadi

Director: Aditya Suhas Jambhale

Article 370 Movie Review
Article 370 Movie Review Is Out! (Picture Credit: IMDb)

What’s Good: The make-up department has done an excellent job

What’s Bad: The makers’ confusion about whether it’s fiction or based on real incidents!

Loo Break: It’s a long movie; you can take as many, especially in the first half

Watch or Not?: If you want to question the motives and ignorance, probably or don’t

Language: Hindi

Available On: Theatrical release

Runtime: 160 Minutes


User Rating:

The story starts in 2016 with the encounter of Burhan Wani, which caused more unrest in Kashmir—followed by the Pulwama attack and a few other circumstances that make Zooni Haksar (Yami Gautam), Rajeshwari Swaminathan, the PMO secretary (Priyamani) and the government question the Article 370 that gives a special provision and a unique status to Kashmir. Under the Article, the state could form its own constitution, flag, and autonomy. The story is about the abrogation of Article 370 so that the Indian government could have direct control of the region.

Article 370 Movie Review
Article 370 Movie Review Is Out! (Picture Credit: JioStudios/YouTube)

Article 370 Movie Review: Script Analysis

Writers Aditya Dhar, Arjun Dhawan, and Aditya Suhas Jambhale have come together to tell us the story of Kashmir and Article 370 in 2 hours 38 minutes. The disclaimer stays longer on the screen than usual, to remind us that it is fictional. However, the places are real; a few events have actually happened, and the Prime Minister and Home Minister of India have a striking resemblance to our current government leaders. So, is it really fictional? Is it possible to fit a story about one of India’s most complex states with a complicated history and present it in such a “short” time without biased lenses?

The makers decided to divide the movie into six chapters. The chapters include the fictional take on how Burhan Wani was killed, the Pulwama attack, a knock on Zooni’s door to join the NIA in Kashmir, the discrepancies in the Article 370 clauses and more.

For a change, the movie has no chest-thumping, loud and jingoistic nationalism. But does that really mean it hasn’t sidelined the current establishment, making them the “saviour” and only well-wishers of the people of Kashmir? Sadly, no. What startled me is we’re shown how only Zooni and Rajeshwari are primarily concerned about the rising violence and disturbance in Kashmir. Zooni is a Kashmiri with a past dedicated to fighting for the “right” thing.

Still from the film

Article 370 Movie Review
Article 370 Movie Review Is Out! (Picture Credit: JioStudios/YouTube)

Rajeshwari sincerely approaches her work and doesn’t say much unless it’s just documents and history talk. But why is the movie based in and on Kashmir missing the voice of its people? It doesn’t even show if the Kashmiris were okay with anything that was imposed on them. Most of the Kashmiris included in the film are mainly corrupt politicians, separatist leaders, radical groups, and extremists and the footage of stone pelters. Zooni alone can’t be considered the voice of the entire Kashmir, especially if she works for the government.

Speaking of how the narrative flows, the first half fails to intrigue you. The events happening on the screen don’t help you connect with what the makers are trying to do to show its connection with the abrogation of Article 370. However, the second half manages to get your attention as Rajeshwari and her team decide to find flaws in this Article that will revoke Kashmir’s special status. On the other hand, Zooni and her NIA team focus on bringing peace to Kashmir, making sure that no innocent Kashmiri is harmed once the Article is revoked. It’s ironic, considering we rarely see the Kashmiris in the story. So, who are they protecting or, instead, promoting?

Article 370 Movie Review: Star Performance

Yami Gautam plays a rage-filled Zooni Haksar in the movie. But her character looks like an extension of what we saw her perform in A Thursday and Oh My God 2. We’re made to think she has too much anger in her because of everything that happens in Kashmir. But it is more about her job, more about her redemption arc. Priyamani, as Rajeshwari Swaminathan, is the opposite of Zooni. She’s calm and composed in dealing with the issue. Even though her screen presence and performance impressed me, I cannot ignore the fact that she represents the “sensible and peaceful” side of the government in the film, trying to manipulate us into thinking that no one else cares about the welfare of the Kashmiris more than them.

Article 370 Movie Review
Article 370 Movie Review Is Out! (Picture Credit: JioStudios/YouTube)

Article 370 Movie Review: Direction, Music

Director Aditya Suhas Jambhale has smartly refrained from showing patriotism in its extreme and aggressive form. Technically speaking, how he structured the second half is impressive because it keeps you engaged. However, you can’t help but wonder why he chose to call his film fictional when it includes several real incidents. Why are the Prime Minister and Home Minister walking and talking like our current PM and the HM? The makers deny that it’s a propaganda film, but anyone with a neutral and fair perspective can smell the underlying intention of the film. It’s not loud, but it isn’t absent.

We’re told how the revocation of the Article was a peaceful process. We’re shown the shutdown of the internet, and our communication services have no impact on the Kashmiris. Even these discussions are led from the point of view of the government and its workers. The ignorance of ground reality in the film is harrowing.

Further, the music in the film doesn’t really do anything to elevate the story’s seriousness.

Article 370 Movie Review: The Last Word

Overall, the movie ends with Article 370 getting revoked “peacefully” with a message that says no innocent Kashmiris were harmed when it happened. Zooni brings closure to her past like she hoped for. In the end, there’s a scene where the makers have recreated a picture of the current PM printed on a newspaper that says something like – PM fulfils his 30-year-old dream with the abrogation of Article 370. But why is no one talking about the voice of the Kashmiris? Apart from Yami risking it all and being the prominent voice of Kashmir’s peace, what I believe is the absurd and fictional part is how disciplined and well-mannered the Indian Media is shown in the film!

One and a half stars!

Article 370 Trailer

Article 370 releases on 23 February, 2024.

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