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Saturday, 6 December 2014

Bhopal : A Prayer For Rain

For the people in Bhopal, the abbreviation MIC stands for emotions ranging from horror to despair to rage.  With an organization called Union Carbide it would go onto a reaction that would be justifiable in any court of law.  But when it comes to a certain Warren Anderson (Martin Sheen), I can quite confidently say that they would not want him to Rest in Peace. Anderson passed away on 29th September 2014.

A lot has been spoken about the Bhopal Gas Tragedy in all forms of media but surprisingly and shockingly very little has been done about bringing the alleged perpetrators to justice.  This movie tries to bring to the fore those responsible for the biggest modern day disaster that India has probably seen.

It has taken 30 years for anyone to muster courage to show us what we rightfully should have known all along.  One would have thought that with the time elapsed, director Ravi Kumar and his team would have done a better job out of it but it was not to be.  Bhopal – A Prayer For Rain is a tackily made movie and will probably not achieve the impact it probably intended to.

Ravi Kumar narrates the story with the use of 3-4 principal characters.  Chief amongst them is Dilip (Rajpal Yadav) – a struggling slum dweller who drives a cycle rickshaw for a living.  Union Carbide provides him with an opportunity to make a little more.  It takes his dismal lifestyle up a notch and starts providing some food on the table.

But his state is best captured when Chaudhary (Vinit Kumar) says, “Ummeed mat badhao” (Don’t get your hopes up).  Chaudhary is the factory manager whose objective is to get production up along with the tie clad Gupta (Vasanth Santosham).  All this much against the wishes of the plant security in-charge Roy (Joy Sengupta).

Of course there is the portrayal of Anderson along with his aides who run the India Plant.  Ravi Kumar covers Anderson’s objective of coming to India and also his care a damn attitude when push comes to shove.  Anderson is of course portrayed as the “bad man” but it couldn’t have been more ineffectively done.

Ravi Kumar doesn’t go wrong with intent.  He goes wrong with casting.  With more sensible choices, Bhopal could have come across as a much more impactful movie.  The only member of the cast he gets right are Rajpal Yadav and Tannishtha Chatterjee.  Every other person is a huge misfit.

Martin Sheen seems disinterested and therefore ineffective as Anderson.  The biggest misfit is Kal Penn as Motwani – the journalist who puts in the effort to get truth.  Surely there were enough and more first generation Indian actors you could have found who could speak Hindi without an accent.

Most importantly, if Dilip could have been asked to speak in Hindi then why force Choudhary and the others to speak in English? Surely you could have done with a predominantly Hindi script with English restricted to the international cast.  Seemed totally out of place. Ergo the disappointing product.  Watch only to know what happened if that interests you and you are averse to reading.  5 on 10.

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