Its 2020 and shows like Modi Season 2 – CM to PM are still getting made. Based on the book Common Man’s PM - Narendra Modi written by Kishore Makwana, the show wished to take you deep into the life of the PM, but it sadly just scratches the surface and doesn’t go beyond tokenisms.
Modi Season 2 – CM to PM is a disservice to the man at the centre of it all, and also to the audience who have had access to PM Modi through the media and also his own Mann Ki Baat initiative. Season 2 of the web series, which is streaming on Eros Now, picks after season 1, and by the end of the first episode, Narendra Modi has been elevated from his humble RSS roots to being the CM of Gujarat. We are taken through his anti-corruption stand, and his reluctance to promote his friends and family. Nothing we don’t know, or we haven’t seen before, or nothing that hasn’t become part of Modi folklore. There is soo much material to work with, where PM Modi is concerned. He is as hated as he is loved, never has a political figure divided the nation as he has. And yet the makers go for a one-dimensional story that makes you cringe from the very first minute.
In the last decade, biopics have become a certified money-spinning genre. Guess there is something about the whole David-vs-Goliath story and the underdog making it big that appeals to most people. Narendra Modi’s own life is nothing short of that, and yet we haven’t had one authoritative narration based on his life. There have been books, and there is the Vivek Oberoi film. But nothing that really encapsulated the PM who has captured the attention of the country for the last six years and if poll pundits are anything to go by, he’s here for the next term as well. We don’t even have an authorised biography yet, that takes us through the highs and lows of his career, or something that really questioned him on the many controversial decisions that he has taken, or have him on record for the Godhra riots, or demonetisation among other things.
The idea of the show is, of course, to make Modi seem like the all-sacrificial hero, but as anyone who has seen even a half-decent biopic would know, biopics only work when you are able to see the chinks in the armour, and meet the man behind the mask. We had a host of interesting biopics come out, right from Churchill (2017) to Sully (2016) and closer home, Pad Man and even Gunjan Saxena and even web series that are biopics in essence like the hit Scam 1992, Narcos, The Crown, or even Perry Mason, where one central character rules the narrative. If only the makers had the foresight to watch them for research.
The web series, which has the production quality of a college project — but the kids of today are more avant grade in their camera work — is a half baked attempt to bring the story of Narendra Bhai to screen and it fails to even qualify as a hagiography. Long-winded, chest-thumping dialogues, slow panning shots, supremely starched white wigs and the pink-tinted blood, makes it a supremely tedious watch. Give the show a miss, and if you have to have a Modi fix, listen to the next Mann Ki Baat instead.