Main Atal Hoon Movie Review: Pankaj Tripathi's magnetic act as the former PM is the sole anchor of this biopic

2.5

Main Atal Hoon

The film revolves around the glorious political achievements of the former Prime Minister Of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee along with his undying love and devotion for the nation.

Director :
  • Ravi Jadhav
Cast :
  • Pankaj Tripathi,
  • Ekta Kaul,
  • Piyush Mishra,
  • Raja Rameshkumar Sevak,
  • Daya Shankar Pandey
Genre :
  • political biographical drama
Language :
  • Hindi
Main Atal Hoon Movie Review: Pankaj Tripathi's magnetic act as the former PM is the sole anchor of this biopic
Updated : January 18, 2024 07:52 PM IST

‘Hum Bhi Apse Shaadi Karne Ke Liye Taiyar Hain, Badle Main Hume Dahej Main Pura Pakistan Chahiye’, former Prime Minister Of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee takes a subtle dig at a Pakistani reporter who tries to put him in a situation with a question on Kashmir. These subtle moments form the highlight of the Ravi Jadhav directorial Main Atal Hoon. However, the political biographical drama fails to strike a chord when it comes to resonating with the magnanimity and the persona of the late politician-poet-statesman-journalist on a more human level.

The plot revolves around the glorious political journey of Atal Bihari Vajpayee right from being the editor of the Rashtra Dharm to a dutiful and hardworking member of the Akhil Bhartiya Jansangh to finally the 10th Prime Minister Of India. The film gives a glance into his personal life and relationship with his father, but the main focus largely remains on his political achievements. Apart from this, it also tries to delve deep into his undying love and devotion towards the nation. The second half of the movie quickly focuses on capturing his efforts to develop a cordial relationship with Pakistan along with his governance during the Kargil War. The events range from the Babri Masjid demolition to India becoming a nuclear power and of course, Vajpayee headlining the formation of the Bhartiya Janata Party.

Main Atal Hoon mainly falls flat when it comes to forming a strong connection with the story of the revered politician and poet on an interpersonal level. We can read his many achievements in a history textbook too but the movie could have aimed at giving an insight into the late politician as an individual and what helped carve his strong principles and virtues. This only comes into play in the first half when he is shown to be inspired by his father Krishna Bihari Vajpayee (Piyush Mishra) and later by his mentors in RSS and Rashtra Dharma. Once the focus shifts to rapidly laying a glance at all his political endeavors, there is no mention of his family members again. Even when the film focuses on the important events under his tenure, we are not given ample time to sink into each event as the transition happens very quickly. A brief focus on Vajpayee’s first and unfulfilled love is made which does not act as a strong catalyst in the screenplay. The opposition party members are also portrayed in a caricaturish villainized manner which might come across as a bit too dramatic. The movie bags a high note in its research as the events and the late politician’s achievements are truly shown in an intricate and detailed manner.

Pankaj Tripathi’s performance has to be the best aspect of the film. Even though the actor does not fully resemble the politician except in the extreme second half, his mannerisms especially during some of the iconic speeches of Atal Bihari Vajpayee are a sight to behold. Tripathi lives and breathes the character doing full justice to the role. Piyush Mishra’s performance as Vajpayee’s father is extremely endearing while Raja Rameshkumar Sevak as LK Advani is also a stand-out. Ekta Kaul as Vajpayee’s first love Rajkumari gives a decent act but her character does not hold a strong relevance in the plot.

The cinematography by Lawrence Dcunha is brilliantly done. When it comes to the soundtrack, ‘Ram Dhun’ by Kailash Kher makes a strong impact more so because it focuses on the Ram Mandir plotline in the film which manages to encapsulate the current emotion of the Ram Mandir Inauguration in Ayodhya on January 22, 2024. Main Hoon Atal could have created a stronger impact with a more layered direction and writing. However, there is no denying that Pankaj Tripathi is truly an acting institution in himself.