Humble Politician Nograj: A Satire That Manages to Strike a Chord
Director Saad Khan has incorporated a sense of humour throughout the film.
When Nograj humbly sings, “What a beauty night this is, I'll rob you, I'll scam you and give you a kiss,” the audience cannot help but chuckle. It is the effortless delivery of such outlandish claims that has made Mr Nograj, an alter ego created by RJ and comedian Danish Sait, one of the most fabled characters in Bengaluru.
The 144-minute long Humble Politician Nograj, co-written by Sait and director Saad Khan, is packed with such moments. But it is, perhaps, their inability to take this satire forward and deliver something more powerful that fails the film.
It starts off with Nograj dreaming (literally) about coming to power, but is jolted back to reality very soon. Given that he is not someone who’d give up easily, Nograj goes on to engineer various schemes to garner the support of voters and turn people against the ruling party.
Cheering on our humble politician are two others who stand out for their effortless performance. Vijay Chendoor, who plays the role of Nograj’s personal assistant Monjunath, adds a lot of zing to the film. As does Sumukhi Suresh in the role of an unambitious wife, Lavanya, who is madly in love with her husband.
Director Saad Khan has attempted to incorporate a sense of humour throughout the film, right from Nograj being merely an official in the municipal corporation to him campaigning for a seat in the state Assembly. In many instances, however, the jokes seem contrived.
Nograj’s attempts to instigate turmoil amongst garbage contractors, take false credit for the construction of roads, and fake an electricity crisis make the film a pretty bold satire. Meanwhile, Nograj’s witty dialogues and his election campaigns bring forth how politicians trick people into believing their words, and are sure to strike a chord with the audience.
All these antics paint a two-sided picture. They manage to bring a smile on the audience’s face and at the same time, depict the sorry state of the political set up in the country.
The latter half of the film is solely focussed on how Nograj takes on his political opponent. He is pitted against an honest NRI businessman, Arun Patil (Roger Narayan), who genuinely wishes to serve the people and attempts to address real problems. Their electoral battle is when the film becomes predictable and fails to incite any curiosity.
Beyond a point, the film does turn out to be a tiresome watch. However, Nograj’s exaggerated performance manages to entertain throughout.
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