The Vaccine War Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Nana Patekar, Pallavi Joshi, Girija Oak, Nivedita Bhattacharya, Raima Sen

Director: Vivek Agnihotri

The Vaccine War Review
The Vaccine War Review (Photo Credit: YouTube)

What’s Good: It narrates a story that needed to be told with Nana Patekar’s powerhouse presence

What’s Bad: It misses things that many thought would be there, but unfortunately, it’s only a little much you can portray as a filmmaker

Loo Break: It’s a 160-minute long film and will demand a couple of breaks in between

Watch or Not?: Only if you can sit through so long to see how the vaccine was created

Available On: Theatrical Release

Runtime: 2 Hours 40 Minutes

User Rating:

It’s 2020; the whole country is struggling against the Coronavirus pandemic. We see a fake claiming to be a doctor getting caught by police, describing the scenario that was when it all started. Cut to pre-lockdown, Dr. Balram Bhargava (Nana Patekar), Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), is teaming up with his super-girl gang to study the virus and determine the cure.

On the other hand, we’ve Rohini Singh Dhulia (Raima Sen) from The Indian Wire, who’s never convinced that “India can do it” and instead advocates that the government should bring in vaccines from overseas. In this tussle of being the earliest ones to bring out the vaccine, we see a lot of ups & downs ICMR faces in emerging victorious.

The Vaccine War Review
The Vaccine War Review (Photo Credit: YouTube)

The Vaccine War Movie Review: Script Analysis

The story & screenplay is based on Dr. Balram Bhargava’s book ‘Going Viral’ & the narrative is pretty much on the expected lines of showcasing the struggles of Indian scientists in creating history by bringing in the country’s first-ever homegrown vaccine. Yes, some things are omitted for obvious reasons, but if the film’s name is ‘Vaccine War’, I wasn’t expecting the extreme political underlines in the story.

It’s all about the development and the struggles of saving lives by creating the vaccine instead of waiting in the queue to take it from outside the country. That portion is justifiably presented on the screen. The Media VS ICMR chapter could’ve been stronger, having more depth to it, but it comes across as too ‘filmy’.

The Vaccine War Movie Review: Star Performance

Nana Patekar, apart from playing the real hero, is the reel hero of this film as well. The range he brings in as Dr. Balram Bhargava is a force to be reckoned with. The cocky, no-nonsense traits his character possesses are owned like a boss by the veteran.

Pallavi Joshi is subtle & leaves a mark as Priya Abraham providing ample support to the cast and crew. Nivedita Gupta (Girija Oak) and Pragya Yadav (Nivedita Bhattacharya) are decent, too, getting their character arcs as they surrender themselves entirely to the director.

The Vaccine War Review
The Vaccine War Review (Photo Credit: YouTube)

The Vaccine War Movie Review: Direction, Music

Vivek Agnihotri, with The Kashmir Files, made clear that if you touch a controversial subject, you’ll get the required eyeballs. But The Vaccine War tries to narrate the real-life story in a way that will make you realise how lockdown wasn’t “to be at home” for some people, and because of them, we got to get out sooner than it could’ve been otherwise.

The film’s background score isn’t as dramatic as The Kashmir Files, and that’s a good thing because this didn’t need one. The underlying nature of the score makes it non-intrusive, leaving the desired impact. The reimagination of Vanraj Bhatia’s Nasadiya Sukta, taken from Shyam Benegal’s television series Bharat Ek Khoj, which mentioned hymns from Rig Veda, helps to create an immersively haunting ambience.

The Vaccine War Movie Review: The Last Word

All said and done, The Vaccine War is a solid retelling of incidents that happened behind closed doors and how that story created history to be remembered by Indians forever.

Three stars!

The Vaccine War Trailer:

The Vaccine War releases on 28 September 2023.

Share with us your experience of watching The Vaccine War.

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