Bhopal : A Prayer for Rain

If there is one movie you watch this weekend, please let it be this one.

The movie shows the turn of events at Union Carbide Company a few months preceding the disaster and ends with the night of 2nd December when MIC leaked out and killed thousands. 

The movie stars Rajpal Yadav as a rickshaw puller who joins UCC as labour. His initial job is menial tasks and cleaning but when 1 guy dies in an accident due to leakage he is made the operator in his place even though he is illiterate. His wife played by Tannishtha Chatterjee is looking so gorgeous. Kal Penn is a Sindhi reporter who is the only one questioning the chemicals used in the plant. Neither the doctors nor the government and administration care. 

The people in Bhopal are happy to have UCC because it provides them livelihood and the government is happy to have them. But the plant is not making money and sales have dipped due to the drought leading to cost cutting in safety, maintenance and labour. All this led to a leakage of MIC on that fateful night. It was a ticking bomb but nobody paid heed. Martin Sheen plays the CEO Warren Anderson in the movie. 

It is a good movie and does not over dramatize events like a usual Bollywood flick and that is appreciated. I enjoyed it thoroughly and was suitably shocked at the end. 

BUT... here are the after thoughts... things that this movie does lack... but only because I slept over it and had some time to read about it :

- Why Kal Penn? He talks Hindi with an accent.... sure, he is great in the movie. His flashy clothes and gold rings are on dot Sindhi (being a Sindhi myself... bling is in our blood)... but any other Indian actor could have done the role. No... no... I am not one of those conservatives who thinks only Indians should play Indian roles. It is only because his Hindi has an accent which is out of place in the setting of Bhopal

- Is the movie well researched? No. Is it an in depth look at what happened and why it happened? No. 

- The reality is there are two version of events- the Indian Government's- according to which MIC leaked because of safety issues and neglect and UCC's version - according to which MIC leaked due to sabotage by an employee. The Indian government could not prove their version in court with required evidence due to which Anderson was never tried in court. The movie has shown the first version only because that is the one widely believed. 

Overall, the movie is good and makes you think. Bhopal Gas Tragedy probably just had one paragraph in our school textbooks which didn't really highlight the gruesomeness of the incident. The movie has moved me and I want to read more about what happened. It is also strange that a movie about this has been made 30 years later. Why don't our film makers look at our own history for topics/inspiration? It is also telling that at one end of the spectrum we have seriously stupid (to put it as mildly as possible) movies like Action Jackson releasing in so many screens and at the other end is this movie on Bhopal Gas Tragedy which releases in minuscule screens.

Please do watch this movie. 


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