The much-anticipated Bollywood venture ‘Mission Mangal’ has finally hit the theaters. The film which is based on the real-life story of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s scientists who worked on the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) showcases how India, despite having its own challenges successfully managed to launch its starlight in Mars’ orbit. The Jagan Shakti directorial has been creating a lot of buzz thanks to its ensemble cast of Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu, Nithya Menen, Kirti Kulhari, Sharman Joshi, H. G. Dattatreya, and Sonakshi Sinha. Now, when the film has finally released, let’s get an overview of what it is all about.
Director: Jagan Shakti
Screenplay: R. Balki
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha, Taapsee Pannu, Nithya Menen, Sharman Joshi, Kirti Kulhari
Genre: Space drama
Release date: August 15, 2019
CBFC Rating: U
Duration: 2h 13m
Reviewer Rating: 4/5
Setting the scene
The film features Vidya Balan as Tara Shinde, an ambitious ISRO scientist and a dotting homemaker who gears up for the ‘Fat Boy’ spacecraft launch. She is the project director for the mission working under extremely talented scientist Rakesh Dhawan, played by Akshay Kumar. However, the mission fails due to some misjudgment on Tara’s part and Rakesh Dhawan being chared of the same, is moved to the Mars mission, which happens to be a dormant project at the time.
Vidya Balan and Akshay Kumar knit a new hope of reaching Mars, after taking over the mission. By amalgamating home-science and rocket-science they structure a plan to make the impossible possible. They start working on the project and are soon joined by a team of Eka Gandhi (Sonakshi Sinha), Kritika Aggarwal (Taapsee Pannu), Varsha Pillai (Nithya Menen), Parmeshwar Naidu (Sharman Joshi), Neha Siddiqui (Kirti Kulhari) and Ananth Iyer (H. G. Dattatreya).
Although the mission seems too hard to accomplish in the first place, Akshay and team set out to challenge the impossible and eventually overcome all the hurdles in the way, becoming the first country to successfully complete a Mars mission in the first go.
India’s first interplanetary mission has been portrayed quite skillfully in the film. The makes have very masterfully knitted diverse characters and their stories in the film without moving away from its soul essence. It is more entertaining than being just a science-based film, with the right proportion of humour, emotions, and facts.
While Akshay Kumar is the face of the film, Vidya Balan is the leading lady. She holds the limelight with her strong on-screen presence and the maturity of her character is worth the praise. Her dominance over the screen makes it a celebration of womanhood. Her character highlights how efficiently women juggle work and personal life on a daily basis.
Sonakshi Sinha, Taapsee Pannu, Nithya Menen, Sharman Joshi, Kirti Kulhari and H. G. Dattatreya also deliver a very impressive performance narrating their individual stories while connecting to the core context. Sanjay Kapoor, who plays Vidya Balan’s husband in the movie, despite having a side-role, deserves a special mention for his eye-grabbing appearance.
The highlights of the film include Taapsee Pannu’s thought-provoking scene with Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and Sanjay Kapoor’s surprise dance number.
Unlike most Bollywood ventures, ‘Mission Mangal’ had a limited number of songs. While ‘Shaabaashiyaan’ is an emotion-evoking song, the ‘Dil Mein Mars Hai’ song appeared to be a bit out of place. The VFX effects and cinematography is commendable.
Overall, the film is a remarkable family entertainment celebrating a glorious history of the nation. It is definitely worth the watch.
What works: Smart knitting of humour and light-hearted moments in a tightly packed script. Vidya Balan’s acting, Taapsee Pannu’s performance.
What doesn’t work: Out of place Bollywood numbers. The film seemed to be a bit stretched, could have been more short and crisp.
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