Sunday, January 13, 2019

Review: The Accidental Prime Minister (2019)

In the context of this movie, it won't be an exaggeration to say that history has repeated itself. First, it happened in 2014 when the book, The Accidental Prime Minister by Sanjaya Baru was released. Baru was the media advisor to Dr. Manmohan Singh and also was someone very close to him. The decision to write a book to let the Nation know certain truth about the PMO and Dr. Singh from 2004 to 2008 wouldn't have been an easy one. It has brought a huge backlash various groups and more importantly has cost Baru the relation he had with Dr. Singh1. Now, with the release of this movie, the history is repeating itself. This nation has seen many movies with politics in it but how many movies we have seen which talks about a real political situation of the Nation; which has characters that actually name and depicts real people? It is heartening to see that the makers of this film had guts enough for this. Surely, this movie has ticked many firsts in Indian cinema boxes.

Many 'eminent' reviewers are calling this a politically motivated and propaganda driven movie but they fail to understand that it is a depiction of a book written by someone who held a very important position in PMO and is not created out of nowhere.

Taking about the movie itself, it shows the events that occurred in the country and especially in the PMO during the first term of Dr. Manmohan Singh which is also called UPA-1. Narrated by Sanjaya Baru, the Media Advisor played by Akshaye Khanna,  it takes you through the events that might feel abstract at times and lack continuity of a drama movie but at the same time, they are very engaging and takes the viewer very close to the real decision making place of the country. To be fair to the movie, there are many ways this story could have been told the makers have chosen this one.

Overall, this movie is a very nice attempt towards showing a part of Indian Political History to the Nation and it should set a trend for more such movies. There is nothing controversial in this and what is shown is already known by the public. But what's different is the portrayal of Dr. Manmohan Singh and good, weak in some sense, strong in some other, but an incorruptible man. This should make people feel good about Dr. Singh as a person. Mr. Anupam Kher, who played Dr. Singh has rightly said in all the interviews that if Dr. Singh's family choose to watch this movie, they will feel happy about it.

1. As evident from the interview post book release and this movie. Interview link -

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Review : Ramoji Film City (3/5)

Yes, it is one of the most popular places in Hyderabad and it is also something for which Hyderabad is known to many people outside. This is the reason why I have been to Ramoji Film City numerous times. Every time someone comes to visit Hyderabad, this by default becomes one of the top things-to-do among the various attractions in Hyderabad.

Then why 3 on 5 and not 5 on 5? Consider the following points:

Bang for the buck? 
User Experience?

I have seen the prices increase from 800 to 1200+ in the past few years. Though price increase is inevitable with time, the facilities increase should also be made inevitable. The facilities are okay for the youth and one time visitors who would have more to see and experience than to complain.
But for the repeat visitors, those who want to see value for thousands of rupees they would be spending for their family trip to Ramoji and especially for the elderly/people who cannot walk or stand for too long, Ramoji does not do complete justice.

For instance, you have to stand in long queues with considerable wait times for many shows. If it is sunny, you have no other option but to do a lot of walking in the sun. The tour buses are good looking but you have to get down and climb up several times (at many spots). Imagine if you have a kid and a stroller. Nothing considerable has been done in these years to make the user experience better is the point I am putting forward.

From the Set of Bahubali

This being said, it is still a good place for an outing if not the best. The shows are getting updated periodically and every time I visit, I get to see new performances. The performances in themselves are well rehearsed and professional. Especially the Spirit of Ramoji Show and the Stunt Show stands out.

They keep on adding new things and on my last visit, I have visited the Bird Park for the very first time. It is very well maintained and a great add-on.

Ramoji is a jewel in Hyderabad's crown and I just hope it is made better for everyone.

From the new Bird Park