The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, September 17, 2019


Reelpolitik: India election films get Bollywood vote
Indian Bollywood actor Akshaye Khanna (L) talks with Director Vijay Gutte during a promotional event for the upcoming Hindi film "The Accidental Prime Minister", in Mumbai on January 7, 2019. Sujit Jaiswal / AFP.

by Udita Jhunjhunwala


MUMBAI (AFP).- Bollywood filmmakers are seeking to cash in on this year's Indian general election with a host of political movies, some of which smack of propaganda according to critics.

The Hindi film industry has a long tradition of producing politically tinged flicks but industry watchers say 2019's offerings are more partisan than ever before.

"What we have this year are quite a few films, some of which are biopics, that appear to be uncritical and unabashedly push the agenda of a particular party, its policies and political philosophies," said reviewer Nandini Ramnath.

"The Accidental Prime Minister" and "Uri: The Surgical Strike" were released on Friday. Films about the lives of two prominent politicians air later in January while a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also in the works.

The silver screen and politics have often intertwined in India. Many actors have become politicians while Bollywood has not shied away from tackling political issues in its plotlines.

"Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro" (Let it be, friends) became a cult classic in 1983 for its satirical takedown of corruption while 2010's "Peepli Live" was praised for tackling the difficult subject of farmer suicides.

Political movies have also fallen foul of the government. "Kissa Kursi Ka" (Story of the Chair) and "Aandhi" (Storm) were both banned by then prime minister Indira Gandhi in the 1970s.

The former (1977) was viewed as satirising her politics while the latter (1975) was allegedly based on her relationship with her estranged husband, who died several years earlier.

'The real and the reel'
Supporters of Gandhi's party, Congress, have tried to stir up controversy around the "The Accidental Prime Minister", holding protests and even going to court, unsuccessfully, to try to block its release.

They claim it portrays senior Congress members in a bad light and is propaganda for Modi and his ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) -- allegations the director denies.

The Hindi-language film sees veteran actor Anupam Kher, a vocal supporter of Modi, play the leader's predecessor Manmohan Singh, also of the Congress party, as premier.

It is based on a memoir written by Sanjaya Baru, a former advisor to Singh.

"This film is not about politics but about the relationship between Dr Singh and Sanjaya Baru through Baru's eyes. They are both heroes of the film. It's not propaganda," director Vijay Gutte told AFP.

Some social media users and film critics have accused Kher of comically mimicking Singh's slow and measured way of walking and talking but the actor believes he has captured his mannerisms perfectly.

"It will take you a little time to distinguish between the real and the reel," Kher tweeted last month when posting a photo of Singh alongside one of himself in character.

"That is the authenticity and the sincerity one has applied in portraying #DrManmohanSingh," he added.

'Spread ideas'
Several movies touching on politics were released during India's last election year in 2014, notably "Youngistan" and "Bhoothnath Returns" in which superstar Amitabh Bachchan played a ghost running against an evil candidate.

Filmmakers say it makes good business sense to release movies with a political backdrop in the run-up to an election while others may be secretly hoping that they translate into votes as well.

The nationalistic, all-guns-blazing "Uri: The Surgical Strike" which celebrates the Indian army's strikes on militants in 2016 in response to a raid that had killed 19 Indian soldiers, is likely to be popular.

Modi was widely lauded for the operation and the film sees Vicky Kaushal play an army major in charge of avenging the attack -- which India blamed on its arch enemy Pakistan -- on the Uri base.

"Thackeray", a biopic about divisive Mumbai politician Bal Thackeray, who died in 2012, is tipped to be a hagiography designed to boost support for the Shiv Sena -- a Hindu chauvinist party he led and founded.

A Shiv Sena politician has written the screenplay of the movie which is scheduled to hit screens on January 25, around what would have been Thackeray's 93rd birthday.

January will also see the release of the first of a two-part Telugu-language biopic on actor-turned Andhra Pradesh politician N.T. Rama Rao.

"... Popular cinema has emerged as an arena for propaganda, with a greater ability to sway opinion and spread ideas than other media," said Ramnath, a critic for Scroll.in.


© Agence France-Presse






Today's News

January 14, 2019

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery presents an immersive installation by Charles Long

Andrew Jones Auctions kicks off the new year with sale that includes over 500 lots

LX, a new art space, opens on 60th and Park Avenue

Sotheby's to offer The Collection of Anne H. & Frederick Vogel III

Exhibition presents New York's first solo show of self-taught, octogenarian American artist

Marc Straus presents a new series of work by Chris Jones

Animated film to spotlight bear that served in WWII

CUE Art Foundation opens a solo exhibition by Cal Siegel

Kaiser Wilhelm Museum presents selected works from the collection of the Kunstmuseen Krefeld

Exhibition at Skoto Gallery brings together the works of sixteen artists

Solo exhibition of new paintings and ceramics by Saira McLaren opens at Sargent's Daughters

Eduard Planting Gallery opens an exhibition of works by Astrid Verhoef

Abigail Ross Goodman appointed Consulting Curator at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum

Thierry Goldberg opens Snow Day, a group exhibition

Reelpolitik: India election films get Bollywood vote

Massive 'Iceberg' hits Garment District this Winter, illuminates Broadway pedestrian plazas

Elisabeth Wild's first solo exhibition with Carbon 12 opens in Dubai

Casemore Kirkeby opens a wide ranging exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Sonya Rapoport

Hindus gather in India for world's largest festival

Exhibition at the Gallery of Everything presents the work of Olga Frantskevich and Ezekiel Messou

Two-person exhibition exploring themes of life and death through works on paper opens at Massey Klein

'A Prophet' creator takes on France's war in Algeria

Gildar Gallery opens its third solo exhibition by the artist William Stockman

5th Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art to explore concepts of Immortality

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful