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Article 370 (2024): A Fact-Based Political Thriller with Technical Brilliance



Directed by Aditya Suhas Jambhale

Writers: Aditya Dhar, Arjun Dhawan, Aditya Suhas Jambhale

Starring: Yami Gautam, Priyamani, Raj Arjun, Vaibhav Tatwawadi

Cinematographer: Siddharth Vasani


The thing I hate the most about several political movies is they don’t have their facts straight. Being an avid political reader that really easy to figure out. I’m glad to say that this isn’t the case with Article 370. It gets all its facts straight and it explains them in such a brilliant and effortless manner, even a primary school student can understand things.

 

With a prologue and six chapters, the film unfolds like a book. The film begins with a narration of the area’s political history narrated by Ajay Devgan, which tells the history from Maharaj Hari Singh at the time of Independence choosing India till the events of 2016 and the rise of Mujahidin terrorist Burhan Wani. The rest of the six chapters see events from 2016-2019, after the killing of Wani and the political un-rest it followed in the area and how things eventually turned out.


Burhan Wani was a terrorist but was (and is) celebrated as a school headmaster’s son who dies a martyr.






When 40 of our Brave soldiers were martyred at Pulwama, these people were celebrating it. The terrorist responsible was being called a ‘Dhoni-fan’ and other things by the media to gain sympathy. The hashtag ‘How’s the Jaish’ was being used constantly on social media. This was not limited immature brainwashed children but even journalists like Nidhi Sethi from NDTV. 9th February was used to celebrate the terrorist Afzal Guru with anti-national slogans like ‘Afzal hum sharminda hai, tere kaatil zinda hai’ and ‘Bharat tere tukde hogne- inshaha**ah’ and thus, was born the tukde-tukde gang.


People call films like Article 370 & Kashmir Files as propaganda, even through they are heavily fact based, but shower praises at actual propaganda such as Haider and Shaurya, which spread the popular ‘Azad Kashmir’ propaganda. Article 370 gets all its facts straight and is historically accurate with the events taking place fictionalized. A similar theme as Producer/Writer Aditya Dhar’s critical and commercially hit successful URI. And just like URI, Article 370 is a technically brilliant film as well. The camera work by Siddharth Vasani, the music and background score by Shaswat Sachdev, the brilliant screenplay, all work brilliantly for the film.


Talking about the performances, Priyamani as the PMO executive Rajeshwari Swaminathan portrays the character with all the conviction, Arun Govil Ji as PM Narendra Modi ji gets some high moments and the most hooting and cheering in my theatre, Kiran Karmarkar’s performance as Home Minister Amit Shah was also good but comes of a little as caricaturish. But the movie was undoubtedly a YAMI GAUTAM show! And she delivers as Zooni Haksar. She exudes calmness and grace, ensuring she never succumbs to hysteria even when expressing her passionate feelings about Kashmir. Keep an ear out for her powerful monologue, where she illuminates how Kashmir’s most formidable adversary lies in its billion-dollar conflict economy and privileged class. Credit is also due to the dialogue writers. Throughout other scenes, her eyes convey more than words ever could.


The movie effectively functions as a political thriller, catering to political enthusiasts while engaging those who typically steer clear of political narratives. Clocking in at 2 hours and 40 minutes, the film manages to hold audience attention throughout.


Though inspired by real-life figures such as Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Yasin Malik, Nidhi Razdan, and Barkha Dutt, some characters in the film provide moments of comic relief without substantial contributions to the plot.


While "Article 370" isn't a propaganda piece, its timely release in 2024 strategically aligns with the heightened nationalistic sentiments during an election year. This calculated decision by the producers adds another layer of relevance to the film's impact on the audience.

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