Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar (2000) – Movie Review

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar is a biographical period drama film directed by Jabbar Patel. It tells the story of B. R. Ambedkar (Mammootty), known mainly for his contributions to the emancipation of the downtrodden and oppressed classes in India and shaping the Constitution of India. The film was originally made in the English language. And later dubbed in Hindi and other regional languages. The film has won four national awards including the category of the Best picture.

The film starts with Bhimrao Ambedkar studying at Columbia University on the scholarship of his highness Sayajirao Gaekwad III of Baroda state. Where he passes his M.A. exam majoring in economics and presents a thesis on Ancient Indian Commerce. Later, he gets enrolled at the London School of Economics where he starts working on a doctoral thesis. Born and brought up in the oppressed class, faced injustice and hatred at every step, Babasaheb aka Bhimrao, after returning to India, raises the powerful movement for the upliftment of the oppressed against an age-old system of casteism and untouchability in India.

The lead performance by Mammootty is so believable and brilliant that some of the scenes from the film look like real events from the documentary. Along with the lead character, the casting has been done perfectly for all the other characters as well. At no place, the performances look flawed. The film is 3 hours long and it genuinely tries to cover all the important aspects and events from the life of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. But in some places, the film can be seen making a long time jumps trying to cover significant events. Along with real-life events, the film also has a lot of emotional gravity. Which helps in connecting to the central character and being the part of their journey.

This is a well-researched and well-crafted biopic. In Bollywood, I have never seen any biopic which stays so sensitive and completely truthful to its character(s). All credit goes to Jabbar Patel who has made this film as one of its kind of experiences. The film has some really daring and touching moments that hits hard and directly to audiences’ heart. Every frame and situation has been beautifully shot. The film never pushes back itself from showing the sad and hateful reality of pre-independent India driven by the societal division based on casteism, slavery, and injustice. The background music complements the on-screen imagery every time. The songs are also situational and are soulful – especially, “Kabir kahe Ye Jag Andha”.

Verdict : It is a must-watch biopic to dive and understand the overall life of a world icon, a great visionary, and the greatest Indian Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.

Rating : 4.4/5

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