Director: Jagan Shakti
Starring: Akshay Kumar, VidyaBalan, Sonakshi Sinha, TaapseePannu, Nithya Menon, KirtiKulhari, Sharman Joshi, H.G. Dattatreya
MISSION MANGAL is the true story of India’s mission to Mars. The story of this film begins in 2010, at ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization), when a space mission under Rakesh Dhawan (Akshay Kumar) fails after Tara Shinde (VidyaBalan) makes an error in judgement. Due to this, as a punishment he is then transferred to handle India’s Mars program, which is not expected to take off anytime soon. One day while frying puris in her home, Tara gets an epiphany about how they can get their satellite to reach mars within two years. She tells this plan to Rakesh and he then approaches his senior (VikramGokhale) for approval who finds the idea unfeasible, even more so, NASA returned Rupert Desai (DalipTahil)thinks that this is a ridiculous idea. To further his punishment, he gets assigned a bunch of misfits for juniors to assist him with the mission in Kritika Aggarwal (TaapseePannu), Eka Gandhi (Sonakshi Sinha), Varsha Gowda (NithyaMenen), Neha Siddiqui (KirtiKulhari) and Parmeshwar Naidu (Sharman Joshi) and a very senior employee AnanthIyer (H G Dattatreya) by Rupert, when he is asked by Rakesh to provide ISRO’s best people for this project, citing that this is a dead end. How they manage the project and how they overcome their obstacles forms the rest of the film.
The film is entertaining. It also successfully manages to make you invested in the story and even the characters; especially Rakesh and Tara. MISSION MANGAL is also patriotic in a way and that works in the film’s favour. The idea of the film and the thought behind the making the film are understandable and even appreciated. However, if only the makers concentrated more on the main plot of the film and branched out less into the individual character’s problems and conflicts, the film would have been much better. If the film spent less time on other things and only focused on the main story, even the runtime could have been cut short and the film be much better overall. Also in trying to simplify things for the audiences, they have oversimplified them a little and that doesn’t work in the film’s favour. It tries to put too much into the film and that doesn’t work well for it.
Technically, the film is decent. Cinematography by S Ravi Varman is simple, by the books and it looks good on the big screen. Editing by Chandan Arora is good and has paced the film nicely. The costume and the production design is good and realistic. The music is not of the chartbuster variety and doesn’t really work so well in the film. The VFX could have been better.
Performance wise, the film is great. Akshay Kumar is the heart of this film. Him as Rakesh has put on a wonderful performance and he plays this role with sincerity. But, if Akshay is the heart of the film, it wouldn’t be wrong to call Vidya the soul of the film. She is just exceptional in the film. She stands out in the film besides Akshay. Sonakshi Sinha is lovely and has her moments in the film. TaapseePannu does well but is great in the climax. KirtiKulhari is fine. Nithya Menon has a smaller role but has a decent debut. Sharman Joshi adds to the comedy in the film and is good. H.G. Dattatreya is great in the film and manages to invest you into his character with ease.
Director Jagan Shakti has a decent debut with this film, but while the script demanded a few things, he could have gotten rid of thedeadwoodwhich pulled the film down.
At the box-office
The film has taken a bumper start and is going to be a major winner, Blockbuster.