What better day to release “Mission Mangal” than India’s Independence Day. As you exit out of the theater feeling proud that you are Indian or of Indian descent, the actual achievement by the team of scientists at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) seems all the more remarkable.
“Mission Mangal” is not your typical Bollywood romance movie. Here, director Jagan Shakti has strived to focus on the desi community in another direction. It’s all about ISRO, the space Mars mission, and about the people who strived hard to make it possible.
It is very rare that Bollywood makes a movie based on science and the way that this movie was made appeals to the desi community in several ways. It aims to educate and entertain without making it boring. Also the fact that its short makes the movie worthwhile. The compulsory dance and song routine could have been left out, but then, its Bollywood and we can only expect as much.
Throughout the movie scenes are shown that display how daily life routines spark ideas that help ISRO in their “Mission Mangal.”
The movie focuses on the incredible team, that even through their own personal life struggles, (one team member was pregnant, the other divorced etc) decide to put their lives on hold in order to achieve one mission, which was to make India proud.
The introduction of the entire team was very nicely done and, in fact, that gave the storyline a nice flow.
Yes, “Mission Mangal” is all about India’s foray into space and conquering the impossible feat of reaching Mars, but this movie says a lot more. It explains the mission to Mars and educates the audience in an appealing way through the popular sport of cricket and the integral love of cooking.
Both these things are popular in the Indian community and the high familiarity made scientific concepts more relatable for people from all generations. The entire cast was perfectly chosen and everyone did a great job.
With Akshay Kumar’s amazing comic timing and determination, you can’t help but admire him as the lead scientist. The scenes where he persuades the ISRO head management to give them the budget are especially worth watching.
Vidya Balan’s acting and her representation as a wife, mother as well as a remarkable scientist, finding that work-life balance and creating milestones are what every woman will relate to.
On gender equality, this movie takes a step forward by potraying strong female characters, who, more importantly, have the support of their spouses and family to achieve what they aspire.
Dalip Tahil, as the NASA returned scientist, who is pessimistic about the whole mission is actually the affable villain here and we were glad too see him after a long time.
There were a few chuckles here and there with jokes, sarcasm by the opposition, and ddefinitely the best of drama that Bollywood can generate. With the actual mission to Mars costing less than the Hollywood movie “Gravity,” this movie does have some epic moments that will stay with you.
The message of “Mission Mangal” is clearly that having a dream and dedicating yourself to it can definitely make it possible. Reminding the viewers that one may also have had dreams in their childhood that sparked their passion or interest and how sometimes we need to remember the same passion to overcome the problems or struggles on our path to fulfilling the dream, may just ignite that flame of determination.
It is definitely worth watching. Just dont expect it to be in the league of the thrilling sci-fi movies that Hollywood has made us so used to seeing.