Review: 'Article 370' walks a thin line of engaging & entertaining you but never treading on dangerous waters

You can call it a 'propaganda' film and you might be right in your own way but making a movie that also makes sure to tick the boxes of engaging and entertaining you is what becomes the primary motive.

Review: 'Article 370'

Making a movie on Kashmir and the burning issues that state has faced with respect to politics, unrest, religious warfare and a plethora of other topics - is always a tricky space to dabble with. 

The mammoth success of The Kashmir Files at the box office drew a lot of attention but controversy as well, a couple of years ago. But what cannot be denied is that it continues to be a point of discovery for so many people, who are either aware or unaware about it. This time, director Aditya Suhas Jambhale tackles yet another contentious topic of Article 370 and its abrogation that happened just a few years ago. 

An article that was in motion for an array of years and gave special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir until loopholes and tactics were discovered that led to an equal treatment and status for Kashmir. Starring Yami Gautam Dhar, Priya Mani, Vaibhav Tatwawadi and others in pivotal roles, the film releases today. Having had the chance to see the film beforehand, here's what I thought about it-

Propaganda or not?

Review: 'Article 370'

You can call it a 'propaganda' film and you might be right in your own way but making a movie that also makes sure to tick the boxes of engaging and entertaining you is what becomes the primary motive as opposed to any other glorification of decisions and political strategies. 

Unlike so many other films that are made with just one of these two tools, Article 370 walks the thin line of being informative, intriguing, engaging while never treading on dangerous waters when it comes to the current political climate. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. 

An Exceptional Second-Half


You can have your opinion to the entire saga but Article 370 also makes it a point to showcase thoroughly researched, well-explained aspects of the said topic in a manner that has you gasping as well. The first half is quite a drag but to an extent, that's understandable. The Pulawama attack acts as the interval block leading into the much more urgent, quick, fast-paced and well-knit second half. The action is palpable and you find yourself rooting for the passing of bill at the Parliament even if you agree with it or not. 

The decision to have actual action in the form of gunfire parallely is a smart tool to adapt as whenever the political jargons and terminologies overwhelm you, the focus is shifted to the craziness going elsewhere. Jambhale also assembles an effective music and background score team to assist the key moments in the film.

The Performances


It helps that the actors in frame are in good form as well. The likes of Vaibhav Tatwawadi, Skand Sanjeev Thakur, Arun Govil, Kiran Karmarkar, Rajendra Zutshi and Adit Redij among others do a great job with their roles. The film majorly rests on the shoulders of Yami Gautam Dhar and the actor is mostly impactful in scenes where she needs to shine. There are instances where you don't necessarily connect with her intended emotion but it is never a problem too big. 

Standouts & Overall Impact


However, for me, the standout here was Priyamani, who plays Rajeshwari Swamanathan, the joint secretary at the Prime Minister's Office. Inspite of not actually having 'scene-stealing' moments, her sheer presence, body language, posture, subtlety and ability to underplay so expertly is what has make the biggest splash.

Article 370 does suffer with having a long runtime clocking around 160 minutes and while you understand that to be a factor owing to the subject matter; the execution of it, especially in the first half is a drastic contrast to the second half. Owing to that, it requires you to be glued and invested throughout and missing one beat might have you perplexed about any development ahead.

The Verdict

Article 370 will probably face the same conversation like several other films made in Kashmir have faced in the past - being a propaganda film to enable BJP time and Prime Minister's Narendra Modi's glorification but unlike the others, this film doesn't forget to be a motion picture whose primary job is to engage, entertain and immerse you.

Rating - ***1/2 (3.5/5)

Your reaction

Kiran Karmarkar Thumbnail

Kiran Karmarkar

Arun Govil Thumbnail

Arun Govil

Yami Gautam Thumbnail

Yami Gautam

Vaibhav Tatwawadi Thumbnail

Vaibhav Tatwawadi

Priyamani Thumbnail


Article 370 poster

Article 370

Comments (1)

I am looking forward to watching this asap

1 months ago

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