Mere Pyare Prime Minister takes us through the lives of slum dwellers

Mere Pyare Prime Minister starts with a lot of promise. The director Rakesh Omprakash Mehra takes us through the lives of slum dwellers and gives us an uncompromising glimpse of the struggles that they have to go through before their day is done.

Shot in the slum areas of suburban Ghatkopar in Mumbai, the film focuses mainly on the life of a single mother Sargam (Anjali Patil) and her precocious little son Kannu (Om Katariya).
Whatever time Kannu gets after his work with a newspaper vendor and peddling drugs with his two friends, he spends playing video games on phone.

Mehra, like two earlier films Toilet Ek Prem Katha and Halka, takes up the social cause of open defecation in our country and how people are deprived of basic facilities like a toilet even in the metro cities.

While Kannu unabashedly relieves himself in the company of his friends, his mother Sargam chooses to go early morning with other neighbouring women before anyone else catches them in the act.

One early morning Sargam gets assaulted by a local goon, and the incident leaves her shattered. Kannu decides to find a quick fix solution for his mother’s situation. But when that fails, he decides to take a huge step; appeal to the Prime Minister of the country to help him and his mother out of the situation that they are stuck in.

The intention is noble, the execution is decent and the performances are very good. Anjali Patil is fantastic as a mother who goes through a gamut of emotions ranging from helplessness to pride.

Om Kataria is carefree and for most parts keeps us convinced that he’s actually a product of the surrounding that the film shows. The fringe characters, like Makrand Deshpande, Rasika Agashe give good support.

While the story telling manages to keep you engrossed in Kanu and his mother’s life in the first half, the second half seems to have been hurriedly wrapped up, thus making it unconvincing. Also a scene where Kanu slips seem forced and unnecessary.

The issue of open defecation might have been spoken before, but it still remains relevant and so does the issue of women’s safety while they are forced to get out of their homes at unearthly hours to relieve themselves. Mehra has managed to weave an emotional story around the social issue.

(Story by Shubha Shetty Saha)