Main Atal Hoon Review
In the realm of Indian cinema, the recently released film ‘Main Atal Hoon’ embarked on a unique journey, attempting to unravel the enigma of the country’s 10th prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. While the film fell short in some aspects, Pankaj Tripathi’s stellar performance elevated the cinematic experience.
The film delves into the lesser-known romantic side of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, brilliantly portrayed by Pankaj Tripathi. Witnessing Vajpayee’s youthful love story added a charming layer to his character, showcasing Tripathi’s versatility as an actor. The innocence of Vajpayee’s first love resonated, leaving a lasting impact and prompting thoughts beyond the political facade.
While ‘Main Atal Hoon’ admirably chronicles Vajpayee’s political journey, it lacks depth in exploring his initial patriotic fervor. The film hints at mistreatment by the Britishers, but the profound love for the nation remains largely unexplored. Vajpayee’s speeches and poems, though recited by the talented Tripathi, fail to capture the essence as vividly as the originals available online.
Contrary to pre-conceived notions, the film avoids becoming a partisan mouthpiece and instead provides a balanced perspective. The initial hours serve as a crash course on potential opposition strategies rather than a political endorsement. ‘Main Atal Hoon’ navigates through familiar issues like poverty, corruption, safety, and migration, highlighting the perpetual challenges faced by the nation.
While the film refrains from whitewashing Vajpayee’s legacy, it humanizes him by portraying his vulnerability after electoral defeats and the emotional toll of the ‘Babri Masjid’ demolition. Dialogues emphasize Vajpayee’s commitment to Hindu values alongside his advocacy for caste abolition and unity, offering a nuanced portrayal.
The film touches upon key milestones such as Vajpayee’s diplomatic initiatives with Pakistan and pivotal decisions like trusting APJ Abdul Kalam for India’s nuclear advancements. However, it leaves unexplored chapters like Vajpayee’s response to the Gujarat riots or the Parliament attack, leaving viewers with an incomplete portrait.
Pankaj Tripathi’s Triumph
Pankaj Tripathi’s portrayal of Atal Bihari Vajpayee stands out as a triumph. While some may find his animated expressions during speeches a tad exaggerated, it aligns with Vajpayee’s expressive demeanor. The supporting cast, featuring characters like Deen Dayal, LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Pramod Mahajan, and Indira Gandhi, makes fleeting appearances, with Ekta Kaul shining in the first half.
Pankaj Tripathi, a virtuoso in the realm of acting, weaves magic on screen with his unparalleled prowess. His ability to seamlessly embody diverse characters, infuse authenticity, and deliver performances that resonate transcends the ordinary, establishing him as a luminary in the cinematic universe. With each role, Tripathi not only showcases versatility but also crafts an indelible mark, leaving audiences in awe of his extraordinary acting acumen.
Director Ravi Jadhav, known for National Award-winning films, faces hurdles in navigating the film’s screenplay. The slow-paced first half tests the audience’s patience, but the second half offers redemption. Jadhav’s commendable use of lighting techniques, especially in shadow-cast scenes, adds a visually appealing dimension to the storytelling.
Surviving the sluggish initial phase, ‘Main Atal Hoon’ gains momentum in the second half. With the impending Ram Mandir inauguration and Republic Day, the film aims to draw audiences to theaters. As expectations heighten, Pankaj Tripathi’s brilliance remains a reliable bet for an engaging cinematic experience.
In essence, ‘Main Atal Hoon’ falls short of being the perfect tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee, but it succeeds in providing glimpses into the multifaceted life of the iconic leader. Pankaj Tripathi’s versatility shines, making it a commendable watch for those intrigued by political narratives and captivating performances.