Article 370′ Web-Series: Cast and Roles Explained

Movie Name: Article 370 (Hindi)

Director: Aditya Suhas Jambhale

Cast: Yami Gautam, Priyamani, Raj Zutshi, Arun Govi, Divya Seth

Run-time: 160 minutes

Storyline: Zooni, a spy, leads an operation laying the groundwork of the abrogation of Article 370 in the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir

Image Credit: The express tribune

For the unversed, Article 370 was released on February 23. Helmed by Aditya Suhas Jambhale, it is jointly produced by B62 Studios and Jio Studios. Besides Yami, it also stars Priyamani, alongside Skand Thakur, Ashwini Kaul, Vaibhav Tatwawadi, Arun Govil, and Kiran Karmarkar.

Released in an election year, Aditya Suhas Jambhale’s film milks historical events according to the political narrative set by the ruling dispensation, The first out of the block is Article 370, a persuasive sarkari explainer on the government’s Kashmir policy that led to the abrogation of the contentious constitutional provision on August 5, 2019.

Image Credit: India Today

Aditya Dhar’s Uri (2019) efficiently dramatized what went behind the surgical strike against Pakistan after the Uri attack of 2016. That film was also released in an election year. Dhar is a co-producer and co-writer of Article 370 and his better half and competent actor Yami Gautam leads the team here as intelligence officer Zooni Haksar. A Kashmiri Pandit, who has a personal grudge against the corrupt political leadership of the State.

While Uri had the license to go jingoistic, here the subject demands a little more nuance and Jambhale resists tonal exaggeration. The film smartly weaves into the narrative how back-channel diplomacy has become passe and the trusted methods of negotiating with the separatists and double agents to buy temporary peace in the Valley have become outdated. More importantly, it talks of the business of terrorism and conflict economy to expose the moral ambiguity of the separatist movement and the local political leadership. There is no attempt to see Delhi’s role in this matrix but the pragmatic approach to look at the problem works and provides heft to the story.

Watch The Trailer Now

In an important scene after the Burhan Wani encounter, when her senior officer asks Zooni what could she have done differently, she says, she would not have returned the body of an alleged terrorist to the family and towards the end shows that she could do it. It leaves us with the thought of whether the land is more important than the people. All the talk of providing reservation to the scheduled castes and tribes sounds hollow for a film that sees Kashmir as an integral part of India invests very little in depicting Kashmiris as people with flesh and blood. They are presented as opportunistic parasites for whom 370 was an article of faith, literally.

Those who propagate the official narrative often lament about how the ecosystem hasn’t changed despite the power shift. Here the makers have attempted the methods of the so-called ‘system’ to put its point through. The idea of two women, in control of their emotions, leading the charge is interesting. And Yami and Priyamani — as the determined deputy secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office —consistently deliver the goods. Yami, in particular, internalizes a combustive character that is struggling to save her purpose from a process that is not delivering the intended results. But after a point when the film reduces to just a two-woman show, the proceedings become increasingly simplistic and similar to one-man armies that used to populate the Bollywood landscape. It seems the makers want to bypass the democratic ethos even in the dramatized parts.

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