The Accidental Prime Minister Reviews (Top Critics)

By Komal Nahta

The story starts in 2004 when the UPA alliance was voted to power. Sonia Gandhi (Suzanne Bernert), as president of the Congress Party, announces the name of Dr. Manmohan Singh (Anupam Kher) as Prime Minister of India. Soon, renowned political journalist Sanjaya Baru (Akshaye Khanna) is called in and appointed as the PM's media advisor. Sanjaya Baru's first condition, while accepting the job, is that he would be answerable to the PM only.

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By Mohar Basu (1/5)

Given the imagery in the trailer, it is impossible to walk into The Accidental Prime Minister anticipating anything. The intent of its makers is evident: its strategic release, months prior to the election, solidifies its positioning as a propaganda film. Films are meant to have fodder for debate and discussion. And the topic of discussion here, I propose, is how Mayank Tewari, the writer of Newton (one of India's most balanced political films) and Hansal Mehta (Shahid) came up with something as abhorrent as this.

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By Meena Iyer (3/5)

Based on the book The Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh by political commentator and policy analyst Sanjaya Baru (Akshaye Khanna), this film is a fictionalised adaptation of Baru's time in the Prime Minister's Office, during the first term of Dr Manmohan Singh (Anupam Kher) as the PM of the Congress-led UPA Government. The 'tell-all' account is his observation as Media Advisor and Chief Spokesperson of Dr Singh from May 2004 to August 2008.

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By Rahul Desai (0.5/5)

It's no hidden secret that Bollywood bows to a party in power. But this film, this month, is a watershed one; it marks the exact moment in time the Indian film industry shed the "film industry" from its identity and simply became Indian. With a capital "I". With names like (vocal filmmaker) Hansal Mehta and (Newton writer) Mayank Tewari attached to this production, the writing is on the saffron wall: nobody is immune to the epidemic.

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By Suparna Sharma (2/5)

The charge goes that many Indians, but most vocally its elite liberals, hold the concept of and commitment to secularism above all else. That they are so loathe to the idea of a Hindu-supremacist party enforcing its Hindutva agenda, they often overlook the flaws and misdemeanours of the Congress. That for them, which includes me, the full term of this BJP-led government has been like living through a long, unending moment of personal shame.

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By Vishal Verma (3/5)

Anupam Kher - the actor with remarkable brilliance, redefines perfection in his pitch perfect portrayal of Dr Manmohan Singh. A lesson in acting for aspiring actors/students, Anupam Kher within a snap of a moment transforms into the former PM on screen. Those leaning shoulders, that trademark walk where the hands hardly moved, that unparallel poker face expression, that sudden pinch of humour during conversations all is so well studied, nuanced and delivered with unmatched finesse.

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By Samrudhi Ghosh (1/5)

Akshaye Khanna, who plays Sanjaya Baru in The Accidental Prime Minister, says, "Sachchai ko likhna itihaas ke liye bohot zaroori hai." In the same breath, he professes to not know all the facets of the truth or even how many facets the truth has. Directed by Vijay Ratnakar Gutte, The Accidental Prime Minister, based on the book of the same name by Dr Manmohan Singh's former media advisor Sanjaya Baru, comes across as a half-truth and full propaganda against the Indian National Congress ahead of the 2019 general elections.

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Hindustan Times
By Raja Sen (1/5)

I've been thinking about a film called Ramgarh Ke Sholay. Made in 1991, it was a tacky, no-budget parody inspired by The Three Amigos, where Amjad Khan, gamely reprising his role as Gabbar Singh from the classic Sholay, was surrounded by various Hindi movie lookalikes - from a duplicate Dev Anand to an artificial Anil Kapoor - as they tried to save the titular village. Vijay Ratnakar Gutte's heavily publicised new film, The Accidental Prime Minister, based on the book by Manmohan Singh's former media advisor Sanjaya Baru, feels rather improbably like that Sholay spoof.

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The Hindu
By Namrata Joshi

There are some films which leave you at a loss for words. Not because they are overwhelmingly good but because they are unfailingly and irredeemably bad. Vijay Gutte's The Accidental Prime Minister, based Dr Sanjaya Baru's book, throws light on the dynastic control and power play at the PMO during the reign of Dr. Manmohan Singh. It left me with barely a few monosyllables here and there to describe the dull, tortuous experience.

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By Bollywood Hungama (2/5)

THE ACCIDENTAL PRIME MINISTER is the story of the ex-Prime Minister of India. In 2004, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), which has Indian National Congress as the principle party, wins the Lok Sabha elections. Sonia Gandhi (Suzanne Bernert), president of Congress and chairperson of UPA, is all set to become the Prime Minister. But the opposition protests against this development since she's not a natural born citizen of India.

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By Nandini Ramnath (1/5)

There are two wonderful things about The Accidental Prime Minister, a tactless, humourless takedown of the functioning of the Prime Minister's Office under the Congress party's Manmohan Singh. One is that the movie takes full advantage of the Constitutional right to free expression to talk about real political personalities using their real names.

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By Utkarsh Mishra (2.5/5)

When Sanjaya Baru, former media adviser to the prime minister, released his book The Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh in 2014, he did it only because he thought Dr Singh 'deserves a better treatment'. By his own admission, Baru was disturbed by the way the PM was ridiculed in the media over the multiple scams that surfaced in that period while his party was not making a genuine effort to salvage his image.

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The Times Of India
By Ronak Kotecha (3.5/5)

Based on the book with the same name, The Accidental Prime Minister chronicles former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's (Anupam Kher) relationship with his media advisor Sanjaya Baru (Akshaye Khanna). While the film focuses largely on how Baru struggled with managing Dr Singh's public image, it also touches upon United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's key milestones, like the nuclear deal and Congress President Sonia Gandhi's undisputed authority within the party.

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By Priyanka Sinha Jha (2.5/5)

It is a universally acknowledged fact that as far as it concerns political biopics, Sir Richard Attenborough raised the bar exceptionally high with Gandhi, his ode to Mahatma Gandhi. And thus far, no political film from India has come close. When the trailer of The Accidental Prime Minister first appeared, there was hope that we may finally have a credible political film that represented actual events with the cinematic flourish that it deserved.

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The Indian Express
By Shubhra Gupta

Going in, you are aware that The Accidental Prime Minister has been crafted from the point-of-view of the author of the book (of the same name) that the film is based on. You are ready for a very personal slice-of-life, not an all-encompassing macro look at the UPA years during which Manmohan Singh was the PM, and Sanjaya Baru his media adviser.

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By Saibal Chatterjee (1.5/5)

The timing of The Accidental Prime Minister is no accident. But everything else about the film is. It seeks to capture an important juncture of Indian political history. But devoid of cinematic finesse and totally clueless about how to go about the onerous job, it hits the skids at the very outset and never recovers. Co-written and directed by first-timer Vijay Ratnakar Gutte, the film has an unequivocal agenda and spares no effort to make its point in bold relief.

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