Friday, February 26, 2010

Today, in you, I see a Leader...

This review may contain spoilers

Hi friends

Today I went and saw the movie "Leader". To be honest, I had no idea it was directed by Mr. Sekhar Kammula (till I saw the credits), the man who gave the world movies such as "Dollar Dreams", "Anand" and "Happy Days". This was his 4th movie that I could see, and I would like to mention this for the record - So far not a single SK movie that I have seen has disappointed me. And I am proud to admit that.

IdleBrain has give this movie a rating of 3 on 5, a gross underestimation in my view. I am honestly surprized that inspite of such a good review (just read the review at, this site gave the movie just 3 on 5! Honestly, I felt that this movie deserves a clear 4 on 5. The story was simply extraordinary.

Brief Summary: The current CM of the state dies, leaving the seat open to be claimed by a near-relative. Meanwhile the CM's son comes back from the US (Ph.D from Harvard at the age of 25) and deicdes to fulfil his father's last wish of his own son becoming the CM. He manipulates and plays his own politics, with the final aim of cleaning up the system and making all public money available for public use. He fights the system on his own, realizing his own faults and shortcomings in the process. His guilt finally overcomes him and the drastic action he takes at the end is the crux of the entire story - the transformation phase.

At the core of the whole movie lies the difference between the leader and a politician. The realization that he is no more a politician than any of the others around him is where the movie actually starts (which is nearly at the end). If the movie has to send a message, it did the moment the hero made the drastic decision towards the last 15 minutes of the movie. I am specifically trying to avoid making any reference to what he did, because that changed the whole story for me. Do see the movie for just the last 20 minutes - although the last 10 minutes of the movie was poorly directed (I really don't know why directors hit their own foot with a sledgehammer at the most crucial moments). It changed the whole game, and made the politician a leader.

Some of the scenes were beautifully crafted - the one where he talks to the father of the girl who was raped and murdered & the one where he decides to becomes the CM and plans on how to do it really blew me away! The scene where one of the MLAs talks about the "free-rice" scheme shows a true picture of the current situation in AP. The distrust that people have in politicians and the realization of the son that his own father had to become corrupt due to the system were shown beautifully. 

"Rann" showed us the truth, and "Leader" shows us what could be the reality. Although IdleBrain called this movie "Idealistic", I felt that what the hero did could be done. He fought the system by being a part of the system. He hated doing so (every day he remembered what he did and how to undo anything wrong that he did), but did it, because he had a larger good in his mind. This movie does not have a single fight scene, and not one song-and-dance sequence. This movie does not call for a "mass-revolution" to bring about change, like most other movies in its genre/storyline. It does not make tall-claims of how a leader should/shouldn't be. The hero himself is torn by what he has seen and done, and knows when he is at wrong. But he remembers the bigger objective and always keeps that in mind. 

The hero has a very commanding voice. It added power to the movie, and to his own character. However, the movie will be remembered more for the story than its acting, which was neatly paced. The rest of the cast play their part very well - especially the roles of Ali (played by Harsha Vardhan) and the Peddanana role played by Kota Srinivasa Rao. The only blot here could be the role of the heroines,which was frankly very limited, even by Tollywood standards. 

I can go on and on about this movie. It was an eye-opener, a message of hope, a symbol of youth power and of belief in oneself. Do see it, now or some other time. And let me know if it made you feel any different than what I felt. I usually try to discuss how a movie impacted or what I learnt from it. But I have realized that some emotions can never be translated or penned own into words. They remain with you forever.

P.S. The title of this post is the English-translation of the words of the Chief Secretary of the CM after he makes his drastic decision.



Tavish Chadha said...

nicce review... I havent seen the movie... but yeah will do so... i liked the line "Rann" showed us the truth, and "Leader" shows us what could be the reality.
feel like watching it now...

Blog LInk:

raghav said...

First half of the movie was exceptional. It was the second half that killed the movie and made it idealistic. A CM cannot be roaming on a bike or romancing with a heroine when there are other core issues at stake!A lot of screen space was taken off to show these mindless scenes.
A person who has directed the first half in such tremendous manner could not have really grown so dumb by second half.Am sure he was forced to insert and give sufficient screen time for establishing love track by the grandfather and father of Rana!
If you closely observe there were some political connotations as well in the movie in support of TDP(which is a party his grand father is part of).
Am waiting for the unedited DVD version to release to confirm my above hypothesis regarding 2nd half:D

IIM ka Sarkari Babu said...

@TC: Thanks man!!

@Raghav: Mama, for a bloke like me who mostly sees the broader picture, honestly the TDP comparisons escaped me! Well,second half the romancing was crucial, so I thought it was fine - after all, he may be a CM, but as he said, he is also human :) BTW, the heroine looked great, so I didn not mind the second half much, but felt the ending could have been better paced man. When the DVD version releases, please let me know, and get me a copy too if possible :)

P.S. I was immersed in the idea of the movie and perhaps the first-half efect lingered into the second-half too :)


Gud to see you giving a review on a Telugu movie...on top of tat , u liked it...super cool!!

samuel said...

Completely agree with raghav...tdp thing and the second half... waitin for the dvd ...
@vrs nice work! :)

IIM ka Sarkari Babu said...

@CV: Well, I appreciate good cinema...

@Samuel: Good to see you commenting again...