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INDU SARKAR - Timely as well as too careful exploitation of the subject results in a plain average film. (Review by Bobby Sing)

29 Jul, 2017 | Movie Reviews / 2017 Releases / ALL ABOUT INSPIRED MOVIES / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / I

Post mediocre to awful films as his last projects, Madhur Bhandarkar returns with another real life inspired film made on the Emergency years in India during 1975-77. Obviously made to exploit the rarely explored subject taking advantage of the new political scenario of the country, Madhur very cleverly chooses the title of his film as INDU SARKAR which ironically has nothing to do with either the then Prime Minister of India or government.
 
Revealing the funny details, INDU SARKAR is actually a name of the key character played by Kirti Kulhari in the film, with Indu being her first name and Sarkar as the surname, shrewdly designed to point towards Indira Gandhi and her government. The film has a few short sequences focusing on the character based on Sanjay Gandhi and only one scene where an actress plays the role resembling Indira. So whatever it has to boldly portray about the politics and emergency, you have already seen in the trailers. And that’s exactly the problem with INDU SARKAR and its director, who clearly wishes to exploit the subject gaining some lost ground, but at the same time is also not willing to offend many playing a safe game.
 
In other words, here we do have a Madhur far better than his last many projects, but the film doesn’t serve any purpose made with a careful or fearful mindset in a visibly calculative way.
Revolving around that cruel and tough period of injustice torturing men in particular (taking them away for a small operation of sterilization/nasbandi), INDU SARKAR actually does have a story focusing on a kind-hearted young girl revolting against her husband, joining a rebellion group. But isn’t any highly effective product despite the earnest and impactful performances of its lead actors.
May be the film got lost somewhere in the major cuts given by the CBFC, but it never looks like having any strong intention of exposing the horrifying murder of freedom in those particular years. Even with clear disclosure of some actual real life events, INDU SARKAR remains uninterested in breaking any new grounds of revelation avoiding the actual names.
 
However it has two main performances rescuing it from becoming a simple, forgettable film worth mentioning here. Post PINK, its Kirti once again coming up with a notable emotional act making a strong, positive impact, especially with her expressive final speech in the court. And then its Neil Nitin Mukesh, who truly makes you remember Sanjay Gandhi, looking almost similar playing the cruel power games with a seriously scary attitude (you can even spot an actor with an appearance of Jagdish Tytler amongst his associates). Tota Roy Chowdhury is impressive as Kirti’s husband and a corrupt government officer but Anupam Kher doesn’t offer anything exceptional as the leader of the rebellion group. Supporting cast including Ankur Vikal, Zakir Hussain, Parveen Dabas and Sheeba Chaddha performs well, but Manav Vij genuinely stands out as the honest police officer revolting against his superior.
 
The cinematography and background score remain average, whereas the dialogues manage to leave an impact, particularly while depicting the romance and mature relationship between its lead couple. Madhur also uses a cult qawwali ‘Chadhta Suraj’ in the (better) second half due to its outstanding lyrics. But it was really painful to see people not giving any kind of attention to the famous, life teaching verses of the track.
 
Overall, INDU SARKAR at least has the merit of having a far better Madhur Bhandarkar than what we experienced in a film like CALENDAR GIRLS, but certainly nothing even close to the Madhur of PAGE 3, SATTA or CHANDNI BAR. That sad, the film is still capable of giving a fair idea about those years to the young unaware minds as a timidly attempted visual documentation by an out-of-form director.
 
(The article also got featured in UC-News mobile app in July 2017)
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Shared below are views - Beyond the initial review with more interesting insights.
 
Though as a film INDU SARKAR is much better than Madhur’s last CALENDAR GIRLS giving you occasional glimpses of his capabilities as once acclaimed director, it still fails to deliver anything above average due to its too careful conception or lack of will to boldly reveal the actual scenario. Despite talking about many real life events, the film is presented as a fictional account of an era playing a politically safe game. And that’s exactly what dilutes its overall impact following a rather punctured approach.
 
Having said that, it does help in giving the viewer a beginner’s idea about those times, especially reaching out to the present generation. But if someone really wishes to know more in details and exact terms about the era of emergency and its impact on various sections of the society then he must go through the following references, studying from some reputed links and websites.

1. Watch Hindi films based/related to Emergency as NASBANDI (1978), KISSA KURSI KA (1978), HAZAARON KHWAISHEIN AISI (2003) and Anand Patwardhan’s documentary PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE (ZAMEER KE BANDI/1978)
 
2. Read how KISSA KURSI KA suffered in the Emergency, how the case was dealt in the Court and what happened to its prints resulting in an unrecoverable loss. 
 
3. Read about the reason behind a ban imposed over Kishore Kumar’s songs on radio and television? And how the emergency affected a few other filmmakers and their films?
 
Studying the various links, you will come to know that forced sterilization was implemented in those years with the sole motive of population control. No doubt, the strategy adapted for the cause was horrifying, atrocious and unacceptable conflicting with basic democratic rights of a citizen.

But for a moment just try to think that be it A, B or C political party and its chosen leadership, 
“Why no visionary leader prefers to talk about Population Control in our country showcasing a highly positive, constructive and futuristic kind of thought process?”

Give it a thought!

Ratings : 2.5 / 5

Tags : Indu Sarkar Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Films on Emergency in India, Madhur Bhandarkar on Emergency, Indira Gandhi and Emergency, Sanjay Gandhi and Emergency
29 Jul 2017 / Comment ( 0 )
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