The film “Main Atal Hoon” unfolds the vibrant personality of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, portraying him as a charismatic figure who played a pivotal role in the growth of right-wing politics in India. However, despite the initial promise, the film falls short of delving into the nuanced evolution of Vajpayee’s conservative ideologies and leaves gaps in exploring his relationships and internal conflicts within the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Pankaj Tripathi’s Performance:
Pankaj Tripathi delivers a commendable performance in capturing Vajpayee’s charm and oratory skills. Despite not undergoing physical transformation to portray an aging Vajpayee, Tripathi successfully conveys the leader’s shifting moods and unwavering composure in challenging situations.
Limitations of the Script and Direction:
While Tripathi shines in his role, the film is hindered by a lackluster script that fails to explore the depths of Vajpayee’s conservative mindset. Director Ravi Jadhav’s approach remains at a surface level, avoiding the intricacies of Vajpayee’s thoughts on figures like Gandhi and his relationships within the RSS. The film tends to play it safe, presenting a wide-angle view tinted with unwavering admiration.
“Main Atal Hoon” misses the opportunity to unravel Vajpayee’s relationships, especially with close friend Sikandar Bakht, and explore the conflicts arising from his liberal beliefs within the conservative RSS. The film neglects to delve into the doublespeak Vajpayee employed on contentious matters, leaving the audience wanting more depth and insight into the leader’s inner struggles.
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Effective Elements and Lapses:
The film touches upon critical moments, such as the Lucknow speech and Vajpayee’s personal life, but fails to peel apart the moderate mask Vajpayee is often characterized as wearing. The connection between Raj Kumari Kaul and Vajpayee is depicted effectively by Ekta Kaul, yet the film rarely ventures beyond the sanitized surface, leaving the audience craving a more profound exploration of the lyrical heart and political head of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.