Mission Mangal : When Women Went To Mars

August 17, 2019 0 Comments

Sriharikota, Science, And Life Lessons

Sriharikota was a chapter in my school Hindi textbook. It was one of those chapters which if I remember, I was least interested to read. I knew I could pass my exams without having interest in that chapter. And so did my teacher maybe, cause in that format no one tried to make it interesting for students like me either.

Years after when this Andhra Pradesh based space station launched India/World's first Mars craft successfully into the Mars orbit, I felt proud for one moment and then got back to my life as usual. You see I was never into physics, Astrophysics or science as much.

My interest in science grew recently, not as a professional but while carrying a lot of household activities. Different strokes for different folks.

Why Science Needs To Meet Art: Mission Mangal The Film

And Then some filmmakers decided to make a film called- Mission Mangal.

I was still not as excited and parked it aside. I felt it would be just another Bollywood's way of encashing on greater human beings and their achievement, which would end in song-dance and hero-worship routine. [Man, I was more excited to watch Kalank before it released].

Yesterday, I watched this film and would love to share my views for those who want to know and open for exchanging ideas and thoughts. 

While the film may have its own flaws like stereotyping few characters, unnecessary Jhadu song or whatsoever. I would like to accredit them as metaphors and stop at that.

We all knew that MOM/ Mangalyan was a pathbreaking success and at the end of the film, all will be well. What I, and possibly you too were interested to know - was the journey. How they did it? I went with half-filled, half-open mind and came back thirsty for more.

The journey was not devoid of speed breaker but then we know that speed breakers or bumpers are there for a reason. In this film, they came as beautiful metaphors cause hardcore inner workings of a space station may act as roadblocks for many probable audiences who also want some entertainment in the movie. [Case in point could be my maid who for no reason abandoned her 12th class exam/qualification. I realized my push and offer to help may not push her as much Super 30 could. So when I asked her to watch the film to decide, her first question was- Do they have songs, humor and other entertainment factors or no? otherwise, she would not be interested in watching it even if it is sponsored. you got it?]. So for much larger masses, I am willing to sacrifice my 10-20 minutes of vagaries inside a meaningful cinema, like I let go of the noisy family that sat behind us, continuously disturbing with loud noises, chit-chats, wailings, and jumping children [wait for my cinema etiquette blog; a long time in the making]

Mission Mangal: Cinematic Science and Art
What is intriguing and re-establishing is the power of cinema as a medium. How a well-made movie can influence the mind. I am not getting into story-telling or the science as I am not the subject matter expert or educationally qualified. I feel what formal education could not teach me, life started igniting the learning curve. Furthermore, how a well-made commercial film could still enforce learning to those who are open to it, any time, any age.

After the splendid Super 30 [A film that I loved most in recent times and felt that it echoed my sentiments too], Mission Mangal is a good watch. If 10 kids get inspired after watching this film, we may get more Mangalyans. A better way to use taxpayer's money than Bofors, ZZZ securities, Honda City for MLAs. I wished if someone made such films when I was still selecting my career. Better late than never. 

If the film could influence someone like me who is about to hit her 40s, I wonder how well is it going to impact the young minds? I really felt intrigued and now quite keen to read more about The Mars Craft, the scientist, and Sriharikota. Even though it is not a necessity for me to pass any school exam or prove my worth to anyone. It is my selfish hunger for knowledge. Learning has no age. 

Good job, makers. I did feel the thrust watching the PSLV gearing for launch. After Super 30, another film that I want everyone to see. Cause you can make money by making films like Grand Masti but making films to ignite hearts and celebrate achievements is a brave/noteworthy attempt. And I feel, it literally paid off well.

The Performances

The biggest hero of this film was definitely the ISRO and the then PM Mr. ManMohan Singh Who Announced this Mission. I am a little disappointed to not find any mention of him in the film. However, it had Modiji further breaking down the cost for cine-goers.  Shri ManMohanSinghJi,  ISRO - Indian Space Research Organisation and all those who worked on this mission, salute to you!

Cinematically speaking- I applaud all - starting from the writers, directors including Mr. Jagan Shakti who apparently discussed this idea with leading hero Akshay Kumar, to the actor himself, Stupendous Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha [finally a meaningful role for her], a pleasure to watch Sharman Joshi, Kirti Kulhari and all other actors including the ever superlative Dalip Tahil who in spite of his cinematically grey shade was impressive.

But two not so well-known actors that enjoyed most watching were Nithya Menon and Kannada actor Dattatreya. Speaking of which, my most memorable scene from the film was when he risks his life to help a woman, teach a lesson to an estranged husband [no plotting or OTT scheming like Hindi films. Just a chota sa jhatka jor se]

Another favorite scene when Prof Rakesh helps Nithya Menon's character to come out of her dilemma and provides her a lifetime opportunity to not just become a mom but a Mars Mom. I heard some of the critics found it offensive. On the contrary, I found it glorious and progressive. Asks the women who face workforce bias due to marriage and pregnancy and in spite of capabilities are side-lined. This dialogue gave me hope for some change. Kudos!

Akshay Kumar looked refreshingly fresh and with lesser stunts. [Hope that he cuts them a little more next time but then he was instrumental to bring this film and let's applaud that]

So overall, Mission Mangal is well-made, an important yet entertaining lesson in the form of cinema that we should all watch. And watch more than just once. 

PS: I spent more INR per KM in Ahmedabad to watch this film. Hope Uber pricing team too watch this film and do not kill us too much with surge pricing 

So when watching a film is not only about the cost of tickets but the cost of travel [exceeds for 

ppl with [limited mobility like me], cost in-cinema food/beverage [high priced low-quality snacks]

why are we complaining about one additional song in the film?

The autor is half Human, half machine. Go Figure or just revel in what I write

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