I KILLED BAPU REVIEW : THIS FILM IS A DISAPPOINTING PORTRAYAL OF NATHURAM GODSE’S MOTIVES

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Story: This biographical drama explores Nathuram Godse’s perspective after his arrest for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. The film delves into Godse’s psyche and examines his motives for killing the father of the nation.

Review: The assassination of Mahatma Gandhi remains one of the most controversial topics in post-independence India. ‘I Killed Bapu’ focuses solely on Nathuram Godse’s thoughts and motivations for killing Mahatma Gandhi, presented as a lengthy monologue following his arrest and court appearance. From a cinematic perspective, this approach becomes tedious over time. With subpar production quality and questionable editing techniques, the film easily comes across as a platform for those who justify the assassination. To be honest, if this film had been crafted as a documentary, the filmmakers might have achieved their mission more effectively.

The film opens with Nathuram Godse assassinating Mahatma Gandhi and engaging in a brief conversation with him to explain his perspective before firing the fatal shots. The narrative then shifts to the courtroom, where Godse is given the opportunity to present his own defense. What ensues is a lengthy monologue in which Nathuram attempts to justify why the assassination became necessary in light of the events that unfolded after the partition. In his defense, he references incidents from the Khilafat movement to the Indian government’s proposal to grant Rs. 55 Crores as aid to Pakistan post-partition. These events collectively fuelled dissatisfaction among a certain segment of the population, leading them to conclude that Gandhi had become the primary obstacle to the realization of the idea of ‘Akhand Bharat’ and, consequently, must be eliminated.

The film begins with a disclaimer, suggesting that the film is inspired by events that are in the public domain and is not intended to accurately reflect those incidents that may have occurred. This only indicates that the filmmakers themselves seem uncertain about their purpose and execution.

However, ‘I Killed Bapu’ comes across as a weak film from a cinematic perspective. The screenplay fails to captivate the audience, as it presents one person’s thoughts without any counterarguments or challenges to those viewpoints. This approach feels like propaganda wrapped in a monologue. It’s perplexing to witness the judge presiding over the case listening to Nathuram with rapt attention, almost as if he has been genuinely moved by these thoughts and inadvertently giving his approval to them. The technique the filmmakers use to provide breaks to the audience, by inserting small incidents between Nathuram’s monologues in the film, doesn’t effectively work. A more suitable approach could have been to include confrontational courtroom scenes instead of constantly reverting to past incidents.

Sandeep Deshpande, portraying Nathuram Godse, delivers a decent performance. His Marathi accent, combined with the use of shuddh Hindi words, blends well with the character’s persona. The primary motive behind the film is to depict Nathuram Godse as a martyr who sacrificed himself for the nation. While the monologue format allows the filmmakers to achieve this goal, the director fails in making it an engaging experience.