Director Subhash Kapoor’s political drama is decent on its content, but the laidback screenplay takes it away
Political dramas have been many. Films of series- you’ve time and again seen how characters in such pieces want to acquire power and then exploit that power, by hook or by crook. Conspiracies, enmity, ego tussles, the quest for chair are all what you are familiar with. Madam Chief Minister has it all. To some good extent, it is a fair display of all these elements with some gut wrenching moments. But overall, the solid punch is missing.
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The film follows the journey of Tara (Richa Chadha), a vivacious girl from the backward class to becoming a strict and influential Chief Minister in the state of U.P.
Story, screenplay, dialogues have all been penned by Kapoor himself. The story does consist of layers. It is primarily a story of a simple girl, who initially doesn’t have any inclination towards politics, and how her life changes when somebody betrays her and she keeps it as a thorn in her life.
Right from the first scene, you guess the trajectory, because ofcourse after having watched similar works in the past, you are an intelligent audience by now. The elements used to tell the story rise up in momentum very occasionally, because otherwise these elements have been done to death. One small reason to realise your power, how instinctive you are, you rise up in position to irk the other seniors in the party, your own people pulling you down when you do good, betrayals to get your hands on power are all that keep coming in the film. One thing that is a letdown is that you suspect even the good ones, because it is a political story and having its reputation, anything can happen.
Kapoor as a writer must be commended for keeping the story multi dimensional. It doesn’t have a single conflict point. Twists keep arriving. Only thing, they are not too intensive in nature. What happens as a result is that the effect isn’t achieved. There are moments when you realise how difficult it is to be on a powerful position such as the CM inspite of doing good things. Tara is good, shrewd, loud, and even dramatic. She does it all. This remains a nice part. You enjoy this. There are moments when she insults an MLA owing to some past rivalry, or when she kidnaps all the MLAs or even when she decides to forgive her husband towards the end. These are delightful moments.
Having said that, the film is passable because of the limited impact. You predict quite a few points in the film. How a sidekick will be killed even after being paid money for a wicked act and many such are points that you anticipate quite early in the film. The film during its 125mins of runtime also frequently makes you leave attention as the pace drops and things also tend to get a little dull.
Richa Chadha mostly does fine. Mostly. During her speeches, she seems a little too dramatic. Otherwise she has caught the essence well. Her body language and demeanour are both innocent and powerful. She exudes confidence. You do like the film, majorly because of her.
Saurabh Shukla plays father figure to Tara. He has displayed a fine personality all through. Seniority and experience very well are evident from only his eyes and how he carries himself. Restrained act, but impactful act.
Manav Kaul has a meaty role and he makes the most of it. His introductory scene makes him appear as of having minimal importance for the narrative. But since he is the brilliant Kaul, he does show his true colours as an actor slowly and steadily. Great act.
Akshay Oberoi has a villainous personality and he sets a tone for himself early on in the film. He appears more deadly when he goes bald. Shubhrajyoti Barat is also very good and utilises his entire screen time for his good advantage.
Mangesh Dhakde has given crisp background score for the film, giving the film the needed soul. Atleast for this aspect used purposefully, the film doesn’t seem off place.
Cinematography by Jayesh Nair is simple and straight. At times, the visual appeal falls flat. Production design by Vikram Singh could also be better to give it more style and definitive colours to the overall appeal.
Editing by Chandrashekhar Prajapati isn’t bad, isn’t too good. As per the floe of the writing, the editing is still good. The flow is hampered by flaws and dips in the writing and not essentially editing.
The film could be so much more in nearly all the aspects of making, starting with a much more concrete story line and the primary base.