Rating: 3/5 Stars (Three stars)
Star Cast: Kirti Kulhari, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Supriya Vinod, Anupam Kher, Tota Roy Chowdhury
Director: Madhur Bhandarkar
What’s Good: Story, direction, music
What’s Bad: Less focus on emergency
Loo Break: During interval
Watch or Not?: I would recommend this.
Indu is an orphan who grows up in an orphanage. While she dreams of becoming a poet but gets married to government officer Naveen Sarkar and turns a homemaker.
Meanwhile, the government implements Emergency. Forced sterilization, eviction and demolition of slums, curfew follow. The police check every newspaper article before getting published so that not a single word against the government makes it to the newspaper or radio. Even songs of Kishore Kumar are banned from radio and television after he refuses to sing in a government program.
Meanwhile, Indu accidentally lands in Delhi’s Turkman gate slum while it was being demolished. She rescues two children and brings them home. While searching for their parents, Indu learns that they have been killed by the police and labeled as Naxals. But Naveen, an ambitious officer loyal to a powerful minister is unwilling to give the children shelter in his home. This leads to a clash between Indu and Naveen with Naveen asking Indu to choose between his house and the kids.
Which one will Indu choose? A secured life as the wife of a well-settled government officer or to be on the streets with two orphans? She also learns about the reality of the country despite her husband educating her about government’s ongoing Sukhi Bharat Abhiyaan. Indu decides to fight the system.
Indu Sarkar Review: Script Analysis
The story focuses more on Indu, the girl with Emergency playing the backdrop.
Coming from Madhur Bhandarkar, who boasts of films like Page 3, Traffic Signal and Chandi Bar, a more hard hitting tale was expected.
Thanks to the protests and political pressure the film faced before its release, the story has been toned down to that of a girl’s fight against the system and how her life gets affected during Emergency.
Indu’s character appears to be a representative of those common people who raised their voice against the system after remaining silent for months until they could no longer stay silent. Indu is introvert so I don’t know if I can call it a transition of her character from a stammering and obedient housewife to a rebel.
Characters like Naveen Sarkar exist in all times and places who try to take advantage of a situation to fulfill their dreams and ambitions.
There is a reference to “Mummy” by “chief” but neither Indira Gandhi nor Sanjay Gandhi is named in the film. Neil Nitin’s physical resemblance to Sanjay Gandhi is interesting but for once he is not named or mentioned. His subordinates refer to him as chief.
The film has some very powerful dialogues like, “aur aap log zindagi bhar maa bete ki ghulami karte raho” and “Is desh mein Gandhi ke maine badal rahe hain”.
Indu Sarkar Review: Star Performance
This is perhaps Kirti Kulhari’s best performance. The actress who impressed us with her acting skills in courtroom drama Pink, once again shows what she is capable of. Kirti’s character Indu carries the film on her shoulders and so does the actress. More power to you girl!
Bengali film actor Tota Roy Chowdhury, who has movies like Chokher Bali to his credit, delivers a realistic portrayal of his screen character Naveen Sarkar.
Neil Nitin Mukesh as Chief does a good job in his limited role. I would also like to mention his makeup artist for bringing out the amazing resemblance to Sanjay Gandhi.
Anupam Kher as Nanaji, the leader of a non-violent activist group is impressive.
Indu Sarkar Review: Direction, Music
The film will appeal to the young generation of today who did not find Emergency as a chapter in their history books but are curious to learn about it. Also a lot of films have not been made on the topic. It’s a nice attempt by Madhur Bhandarkar, who is known for his wonderful style of storytelling.
However, I feel the period drama could have focused a bit more on Emergency instead of highlighting the story of one girl. A brave attempt although. The film makes the viewer think and educates them about the turbulent 19 months of India’s democracy, which a character from the film described as India’s battle for her second Independence.
The background score is good. I loved the song Yeh Awaaz Hai sung by Monali Thakur.
Indu Sarkar Review: The Last Word
A nicely narrated story of how common people’s lives were impacted during an emergency. I would recommend watching this one.
Indu Sarkar Trailer
Indu Sarkar releases on 28th July 2017.
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