Friday, December 05, 2014

Movie Review: Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain: Hair-Raising Startling Disaster Relived

Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain is produced jointly by Sahara Movies & Rising Star Entertainment. It is a historical and social drama thriller. It is not a commercial cinema so definitely having some serious story to grasp, absorb and relive a portion of what in actual people went through at the time of one of the biggest disaster that involved the whole city of Bhopal and an international industry Union Carbide. Most of the movie carries reality – harsh and straight – hitting at your mind and touching your heart – causing pain and grief. Most of us belonging to that era living elsewhere in India or the US are aware about this disaster as much as the news from various sources told. This movie goes beyond that – telling the cause behind the disaster and forcing you to introspect – that if some moments had not happened – some decisions were not taken or withdrawn – and if people with ill intentions were not part of industry – as internal or external stakeholders – probably so many innocent lives at that time – and so much of aftereffects for next generations could have been avoided.

Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain is releasing on 5th December 2014 worldwide. It is directed by Ravi Kumar. Its duration is 103 minutes but it will stay within you for long – and will keep reminding you of the disaster, loss, pain and anguish. It will make you think about of factors – the loopholes in system, the roadblocks created in front of right people standing for right cause – to oppose and divert them – to force them to move away from the way or wrong instead of raising a voice against the wrong – to weaken them. It will also force you to think how some weak links in the system could play with the life of so many people – thousands of lives lost because of just a few people involved in becoming a catalyst – in sparking one of the biggest disaster – that haunted the mankind for generations to come – and will keep haunting. The movie is a must watch for people who were there to become aware of some facts and realities, and also for generations that came afterwards into existence to know about this serious disaster.

Screenplay of Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain is by David Brooks and Ravi Kumar; and music is composed by Benjamin Wallfisch. Lead roles are played by Mischa Barton as a journalist, Eva Gascon; Martin Sheen as Warren Anderson the kingpin of Union Carbide empire; Kal Penn as a local journalist in Bhopal named Motwani; Rajpal Yadav as Dilip, an innocent poor local family man living with his wife played by Tannishta Chatterjee, son and younger sister. Mischa Anne Barton is a British-Irish actress known for her strong roles in TV shows, Hollywood movies and stage performances. Her famous TV show is The OC was aired for 4 years during 2003 to 2007. She is known for movies like The Sixth Sense that was released in 1999, Apartment 1303 3D – released in 2012 and many more. Kal Penn is an American actor of Kumar Patel fame in the Harold and Kumar film series. Martin Sheen (Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner) is 74, legendary American actor and is known for the famous science fiction of 1984 – The final Countdown, Apocalypse Now, The Departed to name a few. Rajpal Yadav is a well-known Bollywood actor who can play any kind of role. Usually he plays comic roles in Bollywood movies. Tannishta Chatterjee is an Indian actress who played lead role in British movie Brick Lane and was nominated for The British Independent Film Award. She is also recipient of National Film Award.  But that is not the end of performance. Besides an excellent performance by the names mentioned above, there are more names to mention who played extremely well and did full justification to their roles – Manoj Joshi as Dr Chandra, Vinnet Kumar as Choudhary, Akhil Mishra as Napoleon, Satish Kaushik as Chief Minister, Joy Sengupta as Roy, Martin Brambach as Ted. In fact every actor has lived to his/her role with perfection. The same credit goes to direction and cinematography. Cast selection has been marvelous.

The story of Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain is about the management of Union Carbide operating from the United States corporate office, local management and workers of Union Carbide, local residents living in and around the factory in Bhopal, administration and political agencies, local and international press, doctor & other hospital staff and few others in the ecosystem involved. The disaster claimed more than 10,000 innocent residents of Bhopal in no time, the moment it happened. While watching hair-raising sequences in the movie, you feel as if you are reliving the whole thing again in reality, witnessing it – and at the end you are left with wet eyes with tears for what happened to the innocent lives, anguish for what happened and why it could not be controlled and a long though process on what-if this had not happened in the sequence or the initiating factors were controlled and wrongdoers were snubbed well in time. This international movie brings forward this historical tragedy for audience pan globe. Here is a trailer of the movie:

There is a perfect balance of fictional work and reality played by the best of the actors (Indian and international). Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain is an excellent movie to watch and witness the Bhopal – Union Carbide disaster that happened 30 years before in 1984. It is a treat to watch performances and story. Dilip a rickshaw driver’s earning is off and on and for a consistent earning so as to marry his younger sister to a suitable family, he does his best to join Union Carbide Bhopal factory where he starts working as an entry level maintenance worker. The family lives in the nearby slums (close to the factory) along with a score of other families.  Motwani runs a local new press and is aware of the risk for the locales because of the improperly managed factory that was running within the heart of the city of Bhopal. This hair-raising and startling disaster has been presented in a perfect manner.

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