This film is set in the era of Emergency declared by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for a period of 19 months (1975-77) which is considered as a Black era of our political history when the media was muzzled, all the opposition leaders put in jail, and the rights of the citizens were curbed, and the poor had to make way for the rich and their jhugees in Delhi has to make way for five star hotels and there was no questions asked to the leader Sanjay Gandhi who was a one man dictator with the rule of his mother and he started the vasectomy of citizens with nasbandi and a way to cut down on the rising population. The essential food items were hoarded and the angry junta had to do without any food in the ration shops. In this background Indu ( Kriti Kulhari), an orphan raised in an orphanage is married to Sarkar (Tota Roy Chowdhary) who is a babu- a high ranking government official who supports the Emergency and thinks what the rulers and the CM who is his personal friend are doing is right and he aspires to benefit in every way from The Emergency. She is a good poetess and her husband encourages her poetry which she even writes for the CM but once during a police lathi charge, she sees the innocent being killed and their homes being razed and she chances upon two helpless children which raises the motherly instinct in her and she brings them home but her husband is against it and orders her to abandon the but children but Indu is adamant and leaves home disgusted with her husband and the Emergency and joins the activist movement led by a Jai Prakash Narayan like character Nanaji (Anupam Kher) who has a band of activists who want to peacefully fight those in power and once Indu is asked to throw pamphlets and slogans against the totalitarian regime in an world symposium which angers those in power for loss of face and a vendetta against those involved in anti-government activities is called and Indu is subjected to third degree by a cruel police officer (Zakir Hussain). But finally the Chief realizes that the time is right for election as they are sure of victory in the elections and the Emergency is called off and all the political prisoners are released and Indu is united with her wards and her husband commits suicide. The real star of this film is Kriti Kulhari who has portrayed the character of Indu Sarkar with great artistry. Her stammer and her calm eyes and her body language are just superb. Tota Roy Chaudhary is a good actor and will be seen often on the big screen. Neil Nitin Mukesh as Sanjay Gandhi looks too young to play the part but does well. Supriya Vinod as Indira Gandhi does well. Sheeba Chadha as the social worker and activist is superb, Mohan Kapur, Parvin Dabas, Ankur Vikal and Abhinav Sharma and the rest of the cast is very good. They say that the life is in details and director Madhur Bhandarkar proves this adage very well with his recreation of the Emergency era. Be it the ban on Kishor Kumar songs, or the ration shops going empty, or the buses and trams of that era, or the use of radio in the background or the set made of a Delhi jhuggi basti, everything is perfect. He has made a film with a real sense of accuracy right from taking actors who look like Sanjay Gandhi’s aides in Jagdish Tytler ,Rukshana Sultan, etc. His use of the popular Aziz Nazaa quawalli Dhalta Suraj is very good. Anu Malik and Bappi Lahiri have done a wonderful job. The dialogues by Sanjay Chell are very effective. Anil Pandey’s screenplay is taut and precise. .Overall a page of turbulent history in the Indian political arena well told.

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