“The Accidental Prime Minister” | Biographical movie OR Political comedy, with funny imitations?

Have you read the book “The Accidental Prime Minister” by Sanjaya Baru?

If not, then here are some noteworthy points about the book:

Sanjaya Baru is well reputed financial journalist who worked full-time as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s media advisor and chief spokesperson from May 2004 until August 2008.

Baru wrote a book named “The Accidental Prime Minister” which got released in 2014. The book is a collection of his memories of his stint as PM Singh’s media advisor.

If you have not read the book then do read it, it is an interesting book.

Movie named “The Accidental Prime Minister” is releasing coming Tuesday

That said, a movie bearing the same name(and rightly so) as Baru’s book is releasing on January 11, 2019. It is an Indian biographical film directed by Vijay Ratnakar Gutte and written by Mayank Tewari; and is based on the 2014 book of the same name by Sanjaya Baru. So there must be no confusion that the movie is not some artistic expression disconnected from Baru’s book bearing the same title. The movie is based on the book. In fact it stars Anupam Kher as Manmohan Singh; and Akshaye Khanna as Sanjaya Baru.

accidental prime minister, anupam kher, manmohan singh, akshay khanna, sonia gandhi, jayantilal gada, sanjaya baru

The Accidental Prime Minister movie is being heavily marketed


The movie is being marketed heavily on All India Radio, private radios, TV news channels, entertainment TV channels, online and; regional & National newspapers (Full front page advertisements). If I’m not mistaking then many BJP leaders including the prime minister have shared a tweet or more about the upcoming movie. They are welcoming it.

Is INC (Indian National Congress) sharing the movie based on Baru’s 2014 memoir?


No. It is seeing it as a propaganda to put the party and its leaders in bad light. The party is not paying much attention to the movie. Although there is a dislike by the way its leaders are portrayed in the movie.

Where does an average biographical movie enthusiast stand amidst this build-up to a movie claimed to be based upon a biographical memoir?


Now that you know whey I asked you whether you read the book or not. Lets move further.

I think the easiest way to decide whether to watch a biographical movie is to see to what extent the movie is actually based on the book.

Going by the trailers out there and the 2014 book; the movie seems inaccurate. If said in other words, the movie broadly seems to be an “incorrect presentation of the facts”.

It seems that the movie has taken too much creative liberty.

For instance, in the trailer, we see Baru’s character referring to scams and how Dr. Singh’s family tells him “enough is enough” (he must free himself from the indirect or direct control of the party executive, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, other top leaders). Such a narrative is not present in the Baru’s 2014 book.

The book recalls an entirely different perspective where the author(Baru) always sees Manmohan Singh as a self guided man who is always strong in his convictions. He also presents the former PM as a man who knows what is good for the country. As far as Congress party leadership is concerned, the author rarely recalls any moment where it interferes with PM’s work and Government policies, except for those Govt. policies which are for people’s welfare. The book author also remembers the former PM as a strong man of few words, who knows how to get things done. In the book, whenever Sanjaya Baru as media advisor tells Dr. Singh to market his Government’s achievements; he softly though sternly tells him that “There is no need to market good work, it will speak for itself”.

There are many small and big portrayals in movie trailer itself, which when compared to the book look very inaccurate.

The movie will release coming Tuesday, but going by the news reports and movie promotions so far, it seems that it will be broadly inaccurate. This becomes even clearer when actor Akshaye Khanna says The Accidental Prime Minister is a mature entertainer and after watching it, people will come out of the theatre with a smile. Logically and responsibly speaking, a biographical movie must be much more than a “mature entertainer”. It must be broadly as well as discretely accurate.

To conclude, it is better to read the book, before deciding to watch the movie. The movie seems like a propaganda. For instance, Sanjaya Baru’s book starts and ends with his tenure as Dr. Manmohan Singh’s media advisor. That is the time period from 2004-2008. The book ends at 2008. Surprisingly enough, the movie trailer seemed to suggest that Sanjaya Baru was the media advisor and chief spokesperson of Manmohan Singh during 2011 period where the Government was accused of multiple scams. Isn’t it a broad inaccuracy for a movie which markets itself as biographical movie based on a book bearing the same name?

What is good about the movie: The casting.

Going by the trailers, Anupam Kher as Dr. Singh, Akshaya Khanna as Baru and others look convincing.

At best, it will be some sort of political comedy, with funny imitations. So it can be entertaining.