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Main Atal Hoon Movie Review: MAIN ATAL HOON rests on Pankaj Tripathi’s outstanding performance.

MAIN ATAL HOON is the story of India’s respected leader. Atal Bihari Vajpayee (Pankaj Tripathi) lives in Agra with his family. In 1938, as a school kid, he is not able to recite a poem in front of his class after he forgets the lines. This is when his father (Piyush Mishra) suggests that he should try to understand the moot point of his speech instead of rote learning. This lesson plays a huge step in Atal’s rise as a great orator. He soon joins the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and becomes a close associate of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee (Pramod Pathak) and Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay (Daya Shankar Pandey). He joins a political party, Akhil Bhartiya Jana Sangh, and even becomes a Member of Parliament in 1957. Soon, things deteriorate in the country. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee and Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay die under mysterious circumstances. Atal Bihari Vajpayee decides to take things into his hands for the sake of his country.

MAIN ATAL HOON is inspired by Sarang Darshane’s Book ‘Atalji: Kavihridayachye Rashtranetyachi Charitkahani’. Rishi Virmani and Ravi Jadhav’s story (co-written by Amol Bhor and Mayuresh Bhor) is captivating and could have made for a great biopic. Rishi Virmani and Ravi Jadhav’s screenplay, however, fails to do justice. The writers do not delve into the episodes and briefly touch upon them before going ahead with the story. As a result, one doesn’t feel connected with the film. Rishi Virmani and Ravi Jadhav’s dialogues are sharp but not as impactful as intended.

Ravi Jadhav’s direction is not up to the mark. To give credit where it’s due, he has got the technical aspects right. The film has a big-screen appeal and looks grand in every way. A few scenes stand out like Atal’s love affair with Rajkumari (Ekta Kaul), Atal’s first speech in Lok Sabha and his subsequent meeting with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (Haresh Khatri), Atal forming a bond with a schoolgirl, the Pokhran test etc.

On the flipside, the makers try to show too many life episodes of the former Prime Minister. While doing so, they keep jumping from one incident to another. As a result, most of the sequences don’t impress as they are not properly explained or are depicted too quickly to get registered. In some places, the narrative is also disjointed. The makers also never explain what happened to Atal’s family, why he was all alone or how Indira Gandhi got back to power in 1980.

Main Atal Hoon – Trailer | Pankaj Tripathi | Ravi Jadhav | Vinod Bhanushali

Speaking of performances, Pankaj Tripathi hits the ball out of the park. This is one of his best performances and the way he has got into the skin of his character is seen to be believed. It’s thanks to him that the film is watchable. Piyush Mishra is likeable in a cameo. Ekta Kaul leaves a mark. Pramod Pathak and Daya Shankar Pandey are decent. Raja Rameshkumar Sevak (Lal Krishna Advani) does quite well, though he’s a bit over the top in a few scenes. Payal Nair (Indira Gandhi) is okay. Prasanna Ketkar (M S Gowalkar), Ajay Purkar (Hedgewar) and Haresh Khatri leave a mark. Gauri Sukhtanker (Sushma Swaraj) tries too hard.

Songs are forgettable. ‘Ankahaa’ is a bit memorable for its picturization. The title song, ‘Desh Pehle’, ‘Ram Dhun’ and ‘Hindu Tan-Man’ won’t have a shelf life. Monty Sharma’s background score enhances the cinematic appeal.

Lawrence DCunha’s cinematography is quite good. Sandeep Ravade’s production design is authentic. Sachin Lovalekar’s costumes are well-researched. Bunty Nagi’s editing is incoherent.

On the whole, MAIN ATAL HOON rests on Pankaj Tripathi’s outstanding performance. But it suffers big time due to its flawed and disjointed narrative. At the box office, due to very limited hype, it’ll face a tough time.

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