Verdict: A film the new Indian must watch.
Even before its theatrical release, Buddha in a Traffic Jam has caused quite a stir. It has been doing the rounds at various films festivals and was screened at various universities across the country. And while some gave the film and its director Vivek Agnihotri a standing ovation, others disagreed. Well, now it’s time for you to decide.
An autobiographical political drama based on the clash of ideologies, the film revolves around a very pressing issue – that of the Naxalites.
Vikram Pandit (Arunoday Singh) is a student at the Indian Institute of Business and someone who is not afraid of raising his voice. After successfully running a social media campaign against moral policing, Pandit is presented with a peculiar task by his professor Jamshed Batki (Anupam Kher), who agrees with the viewpoint that corruption is good for the economy. Pandit disagrees and believes what the nations need is a revolution, an army of incorruptible intelligent youth. However, after an eye-opening incident, Pandit begins to view things from a new perspective. And just when things seem to be going back to normal, the films takes a new turn with The Potters Club, a charitable organisation started by the professor’s wife, Sheetal Batki (Pallavi Joshi) and her friend Charu Siddhu (Mahi Gill).
The film is presented in systematic chapters, with one chapter being the base for the next, which helps you keep track of the story line. For instance, The Potters Club, which aims at empowering tribals, is brought to a standstill when the government refuses to provide them with grants. They believe the money is being used by Naxals to supply arms and ammunitions. Out of choices, Batki presents his students with a new project where they are asked to come up with a strategy to help The Potters Club survive. And just when you think you have wrapped your head around what is about to happen, you realise, nothing is as it seems.
While the entire cast has done a splendid job with portraying their specific characters, Anupam Kher shines the most throughout the film. His impactful performance in the final 10 minutes of the film is what will linger in your mind once the film has ended. Inspired by true events, the film manages to stay true to its facts and yet send out a very clear message. As the perfect structure of ideologies begins to crumble and hidden agendas are revealed, we are faced with unexpected, harsh truths. The movie is filled with hard-hitting intense dialogues and speeches that will hit a nerve and the film is bound to have you walking out of the theatre with significant questions in mind.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Buddha in a Traffic Jam is a serious film that may appeal to a niche audience. If an entertaining light-hearted flick is what you are hoping for, then you may want to give this film a miss. But if you have a keen interest in politics and films that present the blunt truth in an uncompromising manner, you will absolutely love this movie.