Jana Gana Mana is a masterclass in how to sell propaganda

  • Release date: 04/28/2022
  • Platform: netflix
  • Cast: Prithviraj Sukumaran, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Mamta Mohandas
  • Director: Dijo Jose Antoine

Saba Mariam (Mamta Mohandas), a popular teacher among her students at Central University is brutally raped, murdered and then burned. A lone man who encounters an accident close to the sight of this heinous crime sees four individuals burn the body. Central University students are furious at this brutal crime against one of their favorite professors and are launching a widespread protest. Soon the case spirals out of control and the government decides to bring in a highly decorated officer, ACP Sajjan Kumar (Suraj Venjaramoodu) to solve the case and catch the culprits.

Sajjan Kumar keeps his promise and catches the four murderers within a month. However, things don’t go as planned for Sajjan Kumar, and it becomes apparent to him that the killers might just go free or get reduced sentences for their crimes. After much soul-searching, he decides to take matters into his own hands and takes down the four killers in an encounter. The nation is euphoric about this and applauds Sajjan and his team for delivering swift justice.

As always, the human rights commission launches an investigation into the murders against Sajjan and his team and appoints Aravind Swaminathan (Prithviraj Sukumaran) as their lawyer. Once Aravind starts to pull layer upon layer of the case – which seemed deceptively simple on the surface but was much more complicated – it becomes apparent that all is not well and that Sajjan and his team may not have killed the right people. What happens next is this Jana Gana Mana is all about.

I’m in awe of how Dijo Jose Antony has wonderfully camouflaged the malicious propaganda and presented it in a way that would please even the most dismissive viewers. The visual depiction of the protests at the university looks eerily similar to the optics of the protests we’ve all seen in the media at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMI). Antony’s manipulation lies in the fact that the protests in the film occur over the rape and murder of an immaculate and inspiring teacher and the lack of action to bring the culprits to justice from management. university and law enforcement. . By doing this, Antoine is able to start a common cause that most thoughtful and righteous individuals will agree with.

Cleverly, he juxtaposes the lens of the JNU and JMI protests on the fictional just cause and thus attempts to justify the actions of JMI and JNU students who were protesting for not-so-noble causes during the CAA riots.

It took me a while to see through this subtle propaganda but once I did, I was in awe of Antoine’s genius at selling his propaganda dressed as moral lessons. It was like planting the seed of an idea in the minds of unassuming viewers and justifying everything wrong with the protests at the various universities by sanitizing their actions with a fictitious cause and putting enough doubt in the picture. viewers’ minds to wonder if the students were right or wrong. Antony also cleverly brings back memories of the infamous Hyderabad vet gang rape and murder case and uses it further to check and hammer the realism already present in the narrative. What’s wonderful to note is how effectively he weaves the case into his fictional story.

Once the basic premise is established, Antony uses the story to raise issues such as caste discrimination, dirty politics, political violence and youth brainwashing and also highlights how far politicians are willing to go. to get what they want. Unfortunately, he takes a one-sided approach to these aspects of the story and in all aspects of his story, the villain is obviously the upper class of the Hindu elite. One look at the villains and you know which party Antoine is referring to. After a while, it becomes repetitive and even caricatural. It seems even more over the top when issues like demonetization are raised through the dialogues of the villain who goes on to say that if necessary he will even take away the people’s right to vote. It only goes to show the amount of hatred that Antony holds in his heart for the current political party in power and the expression of that hatred is pronounced and very unsubtle.

A story like this would never have had the kind of impact it does, were it not for the performances. The overall cast of the film is fantastic. It’s led from the front by a towering Prithviraj Sukumaran who weaves his way through the entire second half and trial as if it were one long monologue and that’s exactly what it is. . While the court case is one of the wackiest portrayals of a court case ever filmed in India, it never feels like it for a second as Prithviraj Sukumaran completely envelops our senses and makes us take note of every word we hear. ‘he pronounces. He complements this with equally poignant and powerful expressions and the compound effect of this is a rendition that is as inspiring as it is haunting. From the way the movie ends, it’s obvious that there will definitely be a sequel to this movie and that will most definitely reveal the story of Prithviraj Sukumaran’s character.

Suraj Venjaramoodu as ACP Sajjan Kumar is sensational. I didn’t expect his character to turn out the way he does, and it was an absolute shock to me. Even with the character going in an entirely different direction, Suraj Venjaramoodu maintains an unprecedented hold on the audience. I say this because I wanted to hate his character in the end, but I just couldn’t because his take on the character was so authoritative. The director offers his character some redemption at the end, but it wasn’t enough to undo everything he had done. That said, there was still something very likeable about the man and that was also one of the biggest draws to the character.

Mamta Mohandas occasionally appears as an immaculate angel and adds much-needed benevolence and heart to the narrative. She looks and feels like the kind of teacher that the students would do anything for. It’s not easy to portray a character like this, but Mamta Mohandas not only nails every aspect of the character, but also makes it her own with her moving portrayal of some of the character’s most heartwarming moments. It should be noted that these moments are also the only heartwarming moments in the film and while some of them were questionable, they mostly worked thanks to Mohandas’ performance in these moments.

No matter how much I disagree with the politics, one-sided ideology and Hindu bashing of Dijo Jose Antony, I have to admit that he has created an endlessly entertaining, gripping and compelling drama that will not only envelop the senses of its viewers. but will also inspire them to bask in the glory of Antoine’s one-sided view and perspective on things. I have no complaints about that because it’s his movie and he’s free to make a movie however he sees fit. Nationalist filmmakers need to take notice of his art and understand how far the left has come in terms of spreading his message through film, art and literature. They need to understand how essential it is to make an aesthetically and cinematically brilliant film, even if you’re trying to convey a one-sided message.

Rating: 4/5 (4 out of 5 stars)

Read also : Former Miss Nagaland Vikuonuo Sachü launches “Miraculum”, an NGO



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