From Sardar to Thackeray: Biopics on Indian politicians - List hai to hit hai - 23rd Sept 2021
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From Sardar to Thackeray: Biopics on Indian politicians - List hai to hit hai - 23rd Sept 2021
Nikhil Kumar
Oct 08, 2021
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Podcast transcript:

Welcome to “OTTplay List hai toh hit hai” and I’m your host, Nikhil.

In this podcast, I will share a list of movies and shows from a particular genre, of a certain filmmaker or actor, or just belonging to the same mood.

In this episode, I will take you through the top 5 biopics on Indian politicians. Some have turned out to be authentic depictions while others have courted controversies and even been accused of being sensationalised or sanitised.

Let’s kick off this real to reel list with Sardar.

With Paresh Rawal in the spotlight, Ketan Mehta's biographical feature on Sardar Vallabhai Patel charted the freedom fighter's political career as he rallied for India’s independence. Mehta focuses on the latter half of the freedom fighter’s active years. He captures the crucial moment in Patel’s life where he got involved in reconciling post-independence issues, which included economic concerns and the collective identity crisis.

This film deftly charts the strained relationship that Sardar shared with the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru; how both their ideologies on the integration of princely states within the new geographical boundaries sat opposite to each other. The film also highlights how he negotiated partition meetings amidst a strained environment with Lord Mountbatten and the Mahatma.

The film is playing exclusively on Youtube and has an OTTPlay rating of 7.7

The second film on my list is the Telugu hit NTR Kathanayakudu

This biographical film on Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao was released in 2019. The film captures the myriad roles that the veteran took up in life. From an actor-turned-filmmaker to former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, the film follows NTR’s journey. Director Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi manages to carve an empathetic portrayal of a man who could be as vulnerable as he was resolute. The first half of the film focuses on NTR’s epic rise as an actor in the film industry while the second half follows his ascent in politics.

We, at OTTplay, have given it an overall 5.5 rating and you can catch this film exclusively on Amazon Prime.

Thackeray, that's the third film on my list today

This biopic on Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray narrates the life of the politician who successfully ruled over Maharashtra for over 4 decades. Nawazuddin Siddiqui steps into the shoes of Thackery and the biopic portrays the late politician as a staunch family man, a gifted cartoonist and a resolute leader. To the makers’ credit, this film does not shy away from depicting Thackeray’s trial for allegedly inciting the demolition of the Babri masjid. And this is a brave attempt in a world where biopics have become vehicles to whitewash one’s image.

This movie is a definite dekho on Netflix!

Aandhi, is the next one to feature on number 4

This film is arguably the most controversial entry on this list, since Gulzar’s directorial never officially claimed any similarity to Indira Gandhi, the then prime minister of India. Suchitra Sen, the Bengali film industry’s reigning queen at the time, stepped into the shoes of Mrs. Gandhi. Sen’s character, Aarati Devi was contradiction personified. She was opinionated and polarised, and had to endure multiple personal sacrifices to enable a life of politics and public allure. The success of this film at the time of the Emergency caused the censor board to terminate the film's screening after it completed 20 weeks.

Check out this controversial flick on Youtube, we’ve given this one a rating of 8.4.

The 5th one on this listicle is “ The Tashkent files”

This is another political film based on the death of an Indian statesman and second Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. Director Vivek Agnihotri has tried his best to provide a brief but potent insight into the life of the man. The film has received tremendous praise for its attempt to uncover the events that led to Shashtri’s death via a retrospective lens of the once-controversial Tashkent files. Even though there were certain sections of the audience who clearly noticed the film had its moments of hysteria, the story surely gets our nod.

We at OTTplay have given it an 8 and you can catch this film exclusively on Zee5

That’s about it. But we will be back again with a brand new list of recommendations. This is your host and dost Nikhil signing off until we catch up again!

Outro: OTTplay List hai toh hit hai

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