On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, here are 5 movies and web series that give you an insight into the fourth pillar of democracy

30 . Apr . 2020
Reading Time: 4 minutes

It’s always a fascinating watch when cinema offers viewers a realistic take on life and the events that shape us and our society. The press, in this regard, has played a telling role in making us more aware and responsible. Not only is riveting to watch how this profession operates but watching our favourite actors don the role of a journalist or media person has captivated the audience’s attention unlike no other. Over time, we’ve seen a host of movies that have touched upon the hidden truth in the press, giving us the real picture and leaving a lasting impact on our minds. As we celebrate World Press Freedom Day, here’s 5 great stories on celluloid that will make you see the world of journalism, media and its professionals in a completely new light.

Nayak

Here’s a movie that not only brings a smile to our faces each time we see it but also makes us wish that we had ministers and journalists like Shivaji Rao. A path-breaking film of the 2000s, Nayak was the inspirational story of a Shivaji, a reporter in a news channel who improves the way the state is governed after getting the chance to become the chief minister for a day. A hero for the masses by punishing corrupt ministers, including the former CM, Shivaji learns about how deep is politics soaked into corruption. With Anil Kapoor, as Shivaji Rao, and Amrish Puri, as the former CM, delivering power-packed performances that are remembered to this very day, Nayak is the sure-shot entertainer about the press you were looking for.

Page 3

Winner of 3 National Awards, Page 3, released in 2003 was an eye-opener for audiences with its realistic portrayal of the media and entertainment industry and its ties with the press. Directed by Madhur Bhandarkar, the film revolves around the life of journalist Madhavi Sharma who comes to Mumbai to make it big in her profession. After befriending a host of actors, models and influential people who are the face of Page 3 parties, Madhavi gets the reality check that shakes her to the very core. With her journalistic code of ethics and morals having taken a beating, Page 3 made viewers realize that in the lavish and luxurious lives of politicians, businessmen, film stars and socialites, there is simply no place for trust and honour.

No One Killed Jessica

With the entire world reeling in the effect of the Jessica Lal murder case, the 2011 film based on the real-life incidents of the trial was just the wake-up call we needed to see right from wrong. With the pen being mightier than the sword, one is simply left amazed at what can happen when the media and its watchdogs take matters into their own hands and decide to change things. All it takes is a couple of sting operations to have the influential corridors in the police and political arena shaking in their feet. Here is a movie, and a real-life story that showed us all the true people of the media and what happens when people march in protest with their voices in unison. With Rani Mukherjee and Vidya Balan packing a punch in their roles as a journalist and Jessica’s sister Sabrina, this is a movie that you’ll be thinking about long after its end.

Reporters

While it may be an Indian fictional drama loosely based on the US series The Newsroom, Reporters was a breath of fresh air to audiences for its realistic portrayal of a media house. Revolving around the lives of two TV journalists Ananya Kashyap (Kritika Kamra) and Kabir Sharma (Rajeev Khandelwal), the show on Sony LIV makes for a fascinating and fun watch. The pace of the show seems to be maintained and with a tightly knit script and screenplay gets better with every episode. Presented with layers of intelligent storytelling, Reporters is a show that highlights the difficult relationship that journalists have with the truth. Nothing here seems out of place as the office politics seems real along with the human side of these characters being portrayed so very well that you instantly take a liking to them. Ticking all the right boxes, you must certainly report to watch a show like this.

Paatal Lok

Despite being two weeks away from its release, Amazon Prime Video’s upcoming original series Paatal Lok has been making all the right noises. And why not. After all, this scathing commentary on modern-day society including the Indian newspeak, as seen in the teaser, has sent shivers down our spine. Produced by Anushka Sharma’s Clean Slate Films, the series is all set to throw new light on the four pillars of democracy. With there always being two sides to a story, this gripping crime thriller will show you the many shades of morality in the country that seem more dark than bright. Releasing on 15th May, this show stars some critically acclaimed actors like Jaideep Ahlawat, Neeraj Kabi, Gul Panag, Abhishek Banerjee, Jagjeet Sandhu and Swastika Mukherjee.