Critic reviews and ratings

  • If you are not a hyper-nationalist or an ardent fan of pressure groups, if you cannot tolerate apartheid in the name of politics, regardless of which party you support, this Madhur Bhandarkar scrapbook straight from the 1970s is for you.

    69

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  • With Indu Sarkar, Bhandarkar drops most gimmicks and turns the page. But he is still far from Page 3.

    59

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  • ...is no satire or subliminal piece on the history of Indian politics. It takes too many cinematic liberties, but thankfully its focus on the strong female lead lends it credibility and keeps the jingoism curbed.

    59

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  • ...is a valuable addition to a slim catalogue of films about the excesses of the period even though it lacks the political insights of the better works about the Emergency.

    49

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  • ...boasts of a captivating drama with post-interval portions packing a solid punch.

    49

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  • Intertwining stories of Indu Sarkar, the protagonist and Indira's sarkar leave the movie neither here nor there.

    49

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  • Call it push and pull of art and box office requirements or getting caged by your own belief and faith. The reviewer over here in his opinion has found the filmmaker influenced by his political belief which fails to give this political drama its required justice and much needed edge.

    49

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  • The storytelling is undeniably (and unsurprisingly) broad, but the masala treatment transforms what was simplistic and didactic in Bhandarkar’s earlier films into something touching, open-hearted, sentimental in a sweetly cornball style.

    49

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  • ...doesn’t break fresh ground, even as it does bring alive some of the most disturbing aspects of the time. And we relive it, even as we cringe at the heavy melodrama, and the over-simplification of many of the issues the film raises.

    39

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  • While the film was publicised as a film “on Emergency”, it actually oscillates between a political drama and a typical Bollywood film about a couple. Unfortunately, the transition between the two narratives is neither smooth nor convincing.

    39

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  • ...is an effective propaganda movie only to the extent that it knows its mission statement and knows whom to shame and whom to take in its stride.

    39

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  • ...demonstrates that it doesn't matter who is in charge if the thinking is oppressive. It serves also as potent warning to those in power now and in the future, threatening their legacies. Behave yourselves or else Madhur Bhandarkar will make a film about you.

    39

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  • Apart from his (Bhandarkar) myopic and shallow take on the blotch in Indian history when the world's largest democracy resembled a dictatorship, his propaganda treatment to the material is objectionable

    39

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  • ...a compelling story undone by clumsy storytelling.

    39

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  • While Indu Sarkar’s narrative is more engaging than Bhandarkar’s recent works, it is still inadequate.

    39

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  • ...is at best an average movie. It's the cinematic equivalent to one of those training manuals…think The Emergency for Dummies.

    39

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  • It is high on dramatic flourish, low on impact.

    29

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  • Just creating a documentary of the evil that was emergency would have been a thousand times more powerful than this disappointing drama.

    29

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  • And though it’s a shade better than his last, the laughable Calendar Girls, it’s still a Bhandarkar film. It hardly matters that he’s swapped salacious expose for historical statement...

    29

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  • If the film is Bhandarkar’s effort to cash in on the nationalist wave of the current times, it surely will bag some brownie points from the current government.

    29

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  • While high on obvious propaganda, low on aesthetics, where Bhandarkar does well is to show the deep disdain the Indian state has for activists, its excessive censorship, the complete lack of an opposition in politics, and a relentless public campaign through events to suggest all's well, when it’s really not.

    29

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  • We need a lot more films on the Emergency. But not at the cost of content and execution, please.

    19

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