Article 370 Movie Review: National Award-winning director Aditya Suhas Jambhale dishes out a gripping narrative of the complex political and social dynamics of the troubled valley of Kashmir, by infusing the impressive material at hand with just the right amount of cinematic liberties that eventually make his film Article 370 a rather engaging watch. Powering the project are some solid acting talents such as Yami Gautam, Priya Mani, Raj Zutshi and Vaibhav Tatwavadi, who bring their best to the table to inject just the right degree of drama and national pride. Article 370 Was Biggest Hurdle in Jammu and Kashmir’s Development, Says PM Narendra Modi.

Shedding light on the events, the dynamics and the controversies revolving around the much-chronicled abrogation of Article 370, which granted special status to the troubled Indian state Jammu & Kashmir, the film focuses heavily on-- without overtly justifying or depicting dramatically--the need for the bold and the daring move.

The makers masterfully weave various factions, fractured equations and conflicts together to mount a film with a striking mix of realism and cinematic liberties. At over two and half hours, Article 370 tends to slow down a bit after the interval, but the sheer velocity with which the first half unfolds sets the tone for the film quite firmly. The languishing late part of the second half does require the proverbial thehraav for the audience to connect the dots.

Watch the Trailer of Article 370:

Intelligence field officer Zooni Haksar (Yami Gautam Dhar) is summoned to take charge of the critical NIA operation under the watchful eyes of PMO secretary Ms Swaminathan (Priyamani), to restore peace. Zooni quickly realises what looks like a straight-jacketed operation has multiple layers to it. She must take into consideration the social, political and religious constructs before she addresses the situation in her unique way. What and who stand in the way is as significant to decode What follows is a set of high-octane events, some bold decisions made and some killer moves struck.

Jambhale uses strong motifs and equally powerful political elements, such as how complacency or the lack of political will is disguised as liberalism in the "free world " by those in power employing it as a tool to maintain the status quo! How corrupt local leaders, with their myopic views, operate hand-in-glove with the businessman, with the sole intention of minting profits or leveraging political gains, at the expense of the already compromised national security is sketched with nuances. Add to the mix the brainwashed militants with lopsided worldviews, and we get a deadly concoction that offers the (mis)reading of the geography and history as we know it. Jambhale also shows how those clever political moves, that can come across as humanitarian causes, even if they mean suffering at a larger scale, are hugely misinterpreted. The film daringly exposes the undercurrents of divisions and the obvious fault lines in equal measures. 'Verdict on Abrogation of Article 370 Is Historic': PM Narendra Modi Hails Supreme Court's Judgment on Jammu and Kashmir.

Article 370 uses some clever subplots that act not just as the catalyst for the subsequent intense sequence, but to highlight contrasting viewpoints. What works best here is the fact that the director understands and exploits the grammar of sequencing and coherencies.

The complex and complicated landscape, which has been utilised as a character, is in sync with the key 'players' that are shown either ruling the landscape or have been summoned as the ultimate saviours. The background score, the urgency in capturing the key events with masterfully employed cinematography, and the sharp editing add to the compelling watch. Some cinematic liberties will irk you, as one feels the sluggishness looming large at a couple of places could have been altered if not completely omitted.

As for the performances, Yami Gautam is sincere as she plays this no-nonsense officer with a go-for-the-kill demeanour. Priyamani's portrayal of an IAS officer with acute restriction, as the one who deals with power and power makers, is noteworthy. Raj Zutshi, Vaibhav Tatwawadi and the rest of the ensemble cast add much value and dignity to the frame they appear in.

Final Thoughts on Article 370

With Article 370, Aditya Suhas Jambhale skillfully weaves a compelling tale unravelling the intricate political and social nuances within the tumultuous landscape of Kashmir. The performances are spot on, and the narrative, which doesn't care to go neutral, will appeal to the film's target base.


(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 23, 2024 10:54 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website