I have watched fiction and I have watched documentaries. But never have I watched a 96 minutes long documentary that is thrilling and entertaining through its entire runtime. An Insignificant Man unfolds like a fiction and enchants you through its brilliant story-telling and crisp editing. The movie is a must watch for anyone with interest in cinema or politics. The movie does not try to dissect the politics or form any opinion, rather it provides a keyhole into the unseen world of political drama and events that preceded the historic entry of a newcomer – Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) into the political scene.
The interaction of Culturebowl.com with the director duo at a screening in Bangalore revealed how the idea of shooting was conceptualized by them and was eventually executed. The directors wrote to the AAP about the idea of the documentary and were given complete access. When the directors started this three-years-long project, they didnt have a whiff of the history the Aam Admi Party was about to create in the stormy political climate of Delhi. Made on crowd-sourced funds, the movie even had to face difficulties to see the light of the day, given the strict censor control in India.
Vinay and Khushboo – the director duo
The film starts with the anti-corruption movement and the Jan Lokpal bill that was seen as a measure to curb corruption in Indian politics.
With no other options left to get the bill passed, Arvind Kejriwal, Yogendra Yadav and a few other individuals finally decided to start a political alternative. The film revolves around the fight of the new party to come to power in the face of stiff competition from the decades-old established parties such as Congress and BJP. The movie shows how the Aam Admi Party won the heart of Delhites with its radical agenda and emphasis on transparency.
The movie has given us access to behind the door scenes of formation of a new party, the various forces at play, the lobbying for seats, formation of election manifestos and role of media. While starting AAP, there were many ideologies that the leaders believed in. The movie shows the ideas being conceived, ideologies being put to stake and differences in opinions of the party founders. The editing gives a narrative to the movie. Arvind Kejriwal and Yogendra Yadav become the main protagonists in the story. The movie does not delve into the depths of the conflicts within the party but does show how the ideological conflicts of the main protagonists come to the fore slowly.
The movie has documented a historic saga in Indian Politics in a brilliant way. Whether AAP is successful in the long run or not, time shall tell, but the movie has been successful in showcasing the true power of Indian democracy – where even an insignificant man can gain significance. Not for a single moment, would you feel that this is not a movie without a script. The editing team has done a brilliant job bringing down the 400 hours long footage into a crisp 96 minutes serving of political drama.
This movie is full of entertaining punctuations aptly put through the whole saga of events. Kudos to the filmmaker duo Vinay Shukla and Khushboo Ranka for the brilliant film, one that you must not give a miss.
Author: Alolika Bhunia, Cult Crew member, is an architect who occasionally writes on travel, films and culture. She is a trained dancer and a theatre enthusiast.