From a humble tea seller at Vadnagar in Gujarat to a rebellious activist during the Emergency, to leading the world’s largest democracy, PM Narendra Damodardas Modi has seen it all. Famous filmmaker Umesh Shukla thought it better to pay a fitting tribute to the legendary personality of our incumbent PM, which is how ‘Modi – Journey of a Common Man’ saw the light of the day.
Based on Kishore Makwana’s book ‘Common Man’s PM’, the web series, divided into two seasons of 5 episodes each, tells the poignant tale of the making of PM Modi. Focusing mostly on the teenage years of PM Modi, as well as his stint during the dark days of the Emergency, the web series tells the journey of Narendra Modi from a humble tea seller to India’s Prime Minister.
It is never easy to portray the life of an individual on screen. It becomes all the more difficult when the subject of your web series is the person, who is now the Prime Minister of India. However, Umesh Shukla, well known for flicks like ‘OMG – Oh My God’, ‘102 Not Out’ etc, has ensured that the web series doesn’t only serve the purpose, but also ensure that the masses are thoroughly entertained.
One of the major risks that Umesh Shukla had taken was to not include any major star in his project. Mostly character actors, with a distinguished record, have been included in this project, and to our delight, none of them have disappointed us in their respective roles.
One of the brilliant things about this web series is the subtle, but profound attention to some of the most crucial teachings of our shastras. Often our native culture and our literature, including the shastras have been looked down upon. However, in the web series ‘Modi’, the very shastras have been pondered upon in a simple, yet remarkable way. From holy mantras, to pure Hindi without the unnecessary adulteration of Urdu, you name it and they have it.
Also, Ashish Sharma and Faisal Khan should take a bow for essaying the role of Narendra Modi with such eloquence. Often we’ve seen that in portraying the principal characters, the actors either go to the extent of lionizing their roles, or completely underwhelming the importance of the role in hand. However, there is nothing of that sort with the two actors playing the role of teenage Modi and adult Modi. Although Faisal has some rather cheesy moments, his performance is intense, as well as engaging.
Interestingly, the major focus of the first season is how PM Modi developed his instincts during the days of Emergency. While flicks like Indu Sarkar have failed to do justice to the subject, the web series has paid significant attention to how the Emergency affected the Indians as a whole, even though there was no mention of Indira Gandhi or her cronies, who called the shots during the period. Even when Modi was seen working in the relief camps at the site of a calamity, attention was paid to every single detail, which shows how much the makers cared for historical accuracy.
Makarand Deshpande in the role of Laxmanrao Inamdar aka Vakil sahib, has shocked one and all with his effortless dedication to the role (He even trimmed his trademark bushy hair and shaved off his moustache). Jimit Trivedi as Som Modi has shown promise, while actors like Darshan Jariwala & Prachi Shah as Modi’s parents have done justice to their respective roles.
What could’ve been better:
However, there were a few things that denied the web series on Modi the status of a masterpiece. The special effects were rudimentary, to say the least. Some of the scenes, including the moment when Narendra Modi distributes anti Emergency pamphlets, looks quite weird and badly placed.
However, despite the noticeable flaws, ‘Modi – The Journey of a Common Man’ is a sweet journey that leaves you wanting for more. It should be not missed at any cost. I’d go with an honest 3.5 out of 5 stars. We hope that the second segment is even more interesting.