Mission Mangal Review: Seriously, a 'dramatic representation' of India's Mangalyaan

Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan starrer Mission Mangal tells an untold story, however, it holds attention intermittently.

Shalu Singh Shalu Singh
Updated on: August 29, 2019 20:14 IST
  • Movie Name:Mission Mangal
  • Critics Rating: 2.5 / 5
  • Release Date: August 15, 2019
  • Director: Jagan Shakti
  • Genre: Drama

Mission Mangal, starring Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu, Nithya Menen, Kirti Kulhari, Sharman Joshi, H. G. Dattatreya and Sonakshi Sinha in important roles, is loosely based on scientists at Indian Space Research Organisation, who made India's Mars Mission successful that too in maiden attempt. Undoubtedly, it is a proud achievement as no country in the world has achieved this benchmark so far in the very first attempt and that too in a budget of Rs 450 crore. 

Space movie in Bollywood is a rare phenomenon, hence when the first full-fledged space movie based on India's ambitious Mangalyaan or Mars Orbiter Mission came, we knew it has its own challenges. To translate such a gigantic mission into a commercially entertaining story along with minimising the usage of technical and scientific jargons was undoubtedly the prime focus of makers. Jagan Shakti, director of Akshay Kumar starrer Mission Mangal has succeeded in both the departments. However, during constant attempt to make masses understand the complexities around such a giant project, makers have used incidents which are overdramatic and unbelievable much like Indian daily soaps. That makes the film fall flat on its face.

Mission Mangal is basically a mish-mash of real and fictional events just like any other Bollywood film 'inspired by true events'. While the film consists of true incidents such as poor weather condition that led to delay in launch of Mangalyaan and long working hours for scientists, at the same time, there are also scenes such as an imaginary phone call to late President and scientist A P J Abdul Kalam and switching on and off device’s connection with the satellite’s communication, which rob Mission Mangal of the seriousness. However, simplification of scientific jargons such as Hohmann transfer orbit has been explained with much ease. Remember that puri example in the trailer?

It is understood that a movie inspired by real-life events is predictable but that's when the power of screenplay comes into force. The screenplay is humdrum. Jagan Shakti's directorial which is based on such a strong subject seems like a feather-light watch. The film fails to keep you hooked throughout its duration.

Having said that, makers should be lauded for choosing such a subject and telling an untold story. However, at the same time, the pressure to make a film commercially entertaining can be felt in Mission Mangal. Those silly one-liners and clichéd comedy scenes in Akshay Kumar starrer which fail to trigger genuine laugh are perfect examples of it. You know makers are running out of fresh ideas when you see scientists working in Mangalyaan renovating their workplace. 

Mission Mangal Review: Acting

Akshay Kumar plays mission director Rakesh Dhawan who along with Tara Shinde (Vidya Balan) dream to make India's Mars Mission a success. The duo leads a ragtag team of Eka Gandhi (Sonakshi Sinha), Kritika Aggarwal (Taapsee Pannu), Varsha Pillai (Nithya Menen), Kirti Kulhari as Neha Siddiqui (Kriti Kulhari), Parmeshwar Naidu (Sharman Joshi) and Ananth Iyer (H. G. Dattatreya). Meanwhile, Dalip Tahil, who plays NASA returned scientist is seen in the role of typical Bollywood baddie.  

Each scientist has his/her own struggles and problems outside the lab. This gives the much-needed arch to their characters and helps to build an emotional connect with the viewers but they are nothing more than extended cameos. Besides Akshay, Vidya Balan as Tara Shinde gets maximum screen time. We see her fulfilling her personal responsibilities with a sulking husband and teenage kids by her side. 

Last but not least, Mission Mangal also has a clip of Narendra Modi delivering a speech on the cost-efficiency of Mars project, which wasn't launched during his regime. Well played!

Mission Mangal Trailer


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