India Lockdown Movie Review: Nobody will ever forget the terrifying day of March 24, 2020, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared on national television to declare a complete lockdown across the country for the following 21 days, starting at midnight, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. A string of lockdowns that lasted for almost 18 months then occurred.
Madhur Bhandarkar’s India Lockdown — which was released three years after the initial 21-day total statewide lockdown announcement — transports you back to those gloomy circumstances. The director did make a sincere effort to accurately portray the horrors that everyone experienced with the outbreak of the pandemic through four parallel stories that covered a variety of human emotions and predicaments.
The Script Analysis
Madhur Bhandar made an effort to focus on several components and relates their stories in great depth. A wealthy man who takes all safety precautions seriously, played by Prakash Belawadi, as Mr. Rao, abruptly fires his maid and begins handling all the household duties himself. Along with these issues, which were most evident during the lockdown, Rao was also irritated by the long lines outside of grocery stores, and the requirement for health checks, The director expertly highlighted issues that young couples encounter, such as restlessness and inability to go on dates. Due to the lockout, commercial pilot Aahana Kumra, who is trapped in her flat, started cooking at home and experimenting with new recipes every day.
On the other side, Shweta Basu Prasad plays the prostitute Mehru, while Prateik Babbar-Sai Tamhankar plays Madhav and Phoolmati. Each of these characters faces different challenges as a result of the lockout. Director Madhur Bhandarkar tried to emphasize how the pandemic and the ensuing lockdown affected various socioeconomic classes by focusing on the individual stories that each person has to tell. Only a few moments, particularly those involving migrants and s*x workers and how severely their lives were impacted while dealing with the minimum essentials for survival, were able to elicit an emotional response from me.
Performance of the Cast
The cast and the actors’ nuanced performances make India Lockdown superior to other films in terms of both plot and screenplay. Prateik Babbar’s portrayal of a migrant worker stood for attention in particular. When the lockdown was implemented, Madhav (Pratiek) and his wife Phoolmati (Sai Tamhankar) faced the most horrifying difficulties.
The sight of migrant workers trekking kilometers each day in the sweltering sun without access to food or water for days on end was heartbreaking. Prateik did a fantastic job in his role. I was moved to tears by his portrayal of his character’s suffering because he emotes it so eloquently. A lump formed in my throat when I watched Madhav dig through a pile of trash in another scene in search of sustenance.
Sai Tamhankar is equally as powerful and believable in her role. Regarding Shweta Basu Tripathi (Mehrunissa), she performed her role admirably. In fact, everything—including body language, mannerisms, dialect, and more—is spot on. However, there were a few conversations and scenes that made me cringe and feel uneasy.
It’s also important to note that I believed Aahana Kumra, who had recently become tired of working from home, had overdone her persona in terms of appearance, speech, and behavior. M Nageshwar Rao and his pregnant daughter Swathi (Hrishita Bhatt), were stranded.
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar is renowned for his gritty, realistic stories. He did actually avoid adding melodramatic turns and twists, keeping things largely realistic. Very few scenes in the movie managed to move me, especially the ones involving migrant workers, despite the fact that I didn’t have much time to think between scenes.
In the most authentic way, the filmmaker did bring the story closer to reality. Additionally, the lack of any musical or dance numbers is just a bonus. He also overlooked things like a catchy soundtrack.
The most relatable aspect of the film is Madhur Bhandarkar’s ability to capture the essence of these human stories. Fortunately, he did not use his film to preach to us or instil moral values in us. Overall, it’s a good film that will take you back to the tense first few weeks of the lockdown.
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