Star Cast: Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu, Sonakshi Sinha, Kirti Kulhari, Nithya Menon, Sharman Joshi, Sanjay Kapoor, H. G. Dattatreya
Director: Jagan Shakti
What’s Good: Few brilliant sequences reminding of what this could’ve been, informing about a mission that should be known to every Indian
What’s Bad: Script takes the subject for granted, in order to offer entertainment makers lose the true essence!
Loo Break: Just return when the satellite finally takes off for Mars, i.e. last 10 minutes!
Watch or Not?: Only if you can bear an entire film just for few good portions
Based on the ‘Mars Orbiter Mission’ or Mangalyaan (because, as per this film, ISRO’s Director wanted a ‘wazandaar/heavy’ name to it), the story starts with a failed mission because of which Rakesh Dhawan (Akshay Kumar) gets transferred to Mars’ department. There are no people in this department because they think achieving Mars is impossible, hence it’s an isolated dusty room with just a Cat in it. Tara joins Rakesh for Mission Mars as she blames herself for the failure of last mission.
Head of all the flagship missions gets changed to Rupert Desai (Dalip Tahil), an ex-NASA scientist, questioning everything done by Rakesh. Somehow, Tara convinces ISRO’S director to back Rakesh for Mar’s mission, and they build a team of underdogs (because so new). Everyone knows the mission was accomplished, but the rest of the story depicts how these underdogs achieve the impossible.
Mission Mangal Movie Review: Script Analysis
So, the skeleton of the script is age-old – take one impossible task, add some underdogs, add few irrelevant obstacles, make sure they achieve the mission. Before bashing me stating that this is what happened, movies like PadMan, Special 26 in Bollywood and First Man, The Founder in Hollywood also are based on true events. This script required 4 people, R. Balki, Jagan Shakti, Nidhi Singh Dharma and Saketh Kondiparthi to collaborate? I guess each one was hired to think about a personal issue they can give to each character’s life.
A friend, after the film, told me, “We shouldn’t criticize it much because it informs us about such an important achievement,” and I told her, “That’s the same reason, why I’ll not praise it more than it deserves.” It’s undoubtedly an unimaginable achievement by India but if you’re making a film on it, please don’t cringe it with ‘puri examples’, ‘switch off/on device’s connection with the satellite’s communication’. It slips flat on its face turning the patriotism to jingoism, and there are many instances such as that.
Mission Mangal Movie Review: Star Performance
The spec-clad, with a hint of White frizzies, Akshay Kumar’s Rakesh Dhawan is impressive. He manages to underplay the character and succeeds living up to R. Balki’s sly sense of humour. Vidya Balan, as always, is natural. Her charming presence and the command of playing with her expressions, make her a delight to watch.
The super-confident Sonakshi Sinha gets the least cringe, as her character is well-written. She performs it with essential ease, which helps to connect with her. Taapsee Pannu has very little to add to the script. I can’t see someone like her getting exhausted, she deserves to rule the screen. Nithya Menen and Sharman Joshi are wasted on a supreme level. We all know what they both are capable doing of, but yet again, they’re the victims of lazy writing.
H. G. Dattatreya is a fun actor to watch, makers could’ve used him to maintain the humour but that doesn’t happen. Kirti Kulhari, too, barely has any contribution in making the script interesting. She’s just there, like many others (including us).
Mission Mangal Movie Review: Direction, Music
Jagan Shakti manages to steer the ship clear but he loses the way of where it’s going. From the production design to cinematography, everything gives an appealing touch. But the movie is weak at the story level, and hence it finds very difficult to grab the attention.
Amit Trivedi has composed two songs for the film. I didn’t mind both of them, ‘Dil Mein Mars Hai’ and ‘Shaabashiyaan’. Even the background score blends in very well with the situations in the film.
Mission Mangal Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, the movie depicts a mission showcasing an achievement with a very predictable storyline. It fails to hold on to what was important for the script, instead includes irrelevant sub-plots dragging the narrative.
Two and a half stars!
Mission Mangal Trailer
Mission Mangal releases on 15th August, 2019.
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