Madam Chief Minister
Duration: 02 Hrs 10 Mins
Director: Subhash Kapoor
Writers: Subhash Kapoor
Producers: Vivek Agarwal, Dimple Kharbanda, Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Naren Kumar
Music: Mangesh Dhakde
Cinematography: Jayesh Nair
Editing: Chandrashekhar Prajapati
Release Date: 22 January 2021 (India)
Released In: Theatres
Star Cast: Tulika Banerjee, Shubhrajyoti Barat, Richa Chadha, Manav Kaul, Akshay Oberoi, Saurabh Shukla, Kapil Tilhari, Ankita Tripathi, Nikhil Vijay
Plot: Madam Chief Minister is about the rise of Tara (Richa Chadha), a Dalit woman, in the political rankles to be the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Review: Where most of the films like Thackrey, The Accidental Prime Minister, and PM Narendra Modi were biopics, Madam Chief Minister directed by Subhash Kapoor serves as a fictional political thriller that draws its inspirations from real-life political events.
After Raajneeti, we haven’t really had a fictional political flick. But also, with the UP Government going against series like Tandav and Mirzapur for showing the state in poor light, there is a curiosity to know as to how ‘Madam Chief Minister’ would be received now. Moreover, the film has already seen its own controversy for its poster where it was called out for stereotyping Dalits by having its protagonist hold a broom.
The direction is exceptional at places, and the story is promising in parts, but when compared to the director’s past films, this one is quite pale. In short, the film fails to make Tara's struggle bloom. It would have been convincing if one had got to watch how she sharpened herself to battle out the various tedious routines of power and politics.
The screenplay especially doesn’t do complete justice. The busy screenplay with countless events and challenges in the protagonist’s life keeps the narrative flowing with unpredictable plot twists. Sure, some conflicts resolve too conveniently, and some twists clearly seem implausible, but the fact that we know that in politics, nothing is impossible, therefore, ‘Madam Chief Minister’ may get the vote for being an entertaining political drama! But it probably could have worked wonders if it was adapted as a series, as that would have helped in developing the characters.
Speaking of performances, Richa Chadha, despite having a very distracting wig, does justice with her confident and convincing performance. The best part about her performance is that she understands Tara well. Though she goes overboard as Tara while giving speeches, she also draws a line so that it doesn’t seem like a ham performance.
Whereas, Akshay Oberoi's performance shines in the first half, but gets less scope in the second. Even Manav Kaul is let down by the script in the pre-climax and finale, he has delivered better performances than this one. But Saurabh Shukla is excellent, as always, and all his scenes are engaging. The interplay between his and Richa's character is one of the high notes of ‘Madam Chief Minister.’ Also, Akshay Oberoi leaves a huge mark. One would wish that he had more screen time. However, even with potential dialogues that sound realistic and sharp at places, they don't leave much of an impact. The catchphrase used by Tara during her speeches could have been better thought of and more hard-hitting.
Music by Mangesh Dhakde is wasted. This should have been a songless film ideally. However, the background score is dramatic and has a commercial vibe.
And when it comes to Jayesh Nair's cinematography, it is spectacular! Especially the scene where Richa apes Dr. Ambedkar’s statue’s pose is very well-captured. Chandrashekhar Prajapati's editing is problematic and could have been more refined.
Overall, ‘Madam Chief Minister’ boasts of an interesting idea and good performances by Richa Chadha and Saurabh Shukla. But the loopholes in the script and a dissatisfying and hurried finale spoiled the show!