Out Of Theatre
05 Dec, 2014 1 hr 36 mins
Martin Sheen, Kal Penn, Mischa Barton, Rajpal Yadav, Tannishta Chatterjee
Martin Sheen, Kal Penn, Mischa Barton, Rajpal Yadav, Tannishta Chatterjee
Ravi Kumar
Synopsis
This grim tale that recounts the story of the biggest human tragedy caused because of the lethal methyl isocyanate (MIC) leak from the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal is compelling.
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30 years on, a haunting reminder of the biggest human tragedy

Story: The film revisits the Bhopal gas tragedy of December 1984 that left around 3700 people dead and countless others, incapacitated for life.

Review: Ravi Kumar and his co-writer David Brooks(seen in the film as Shane), who worked on the script for nearly five years, manage to touch a raw nerve with this film. This grim tale that recounts the story of the biggest human tragedy caused because of the lethal methyl isocyanate (MIC) leak from the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal is compelling.

At the centre of the story is a rickshaw-puller, Dilip (Rajpal) who becomes a Carbider to save his family from starving. Naive to the callousness of the Yankees, who equate India to a third world country and for whom Indian lives are cheap, Dilip is happy to wear their uniform, shake their hand and do a job he is not qualified for. His immediate concerns are getting his younger sister married and pampering his wife Leela (Tannishta). And the actual perils of living surrounding by 40-tonne barrels of the poisonous MIC doesn't strike him or any of his impoverished factory co-workers till death comes calling.

However, Dilip's close friend Motwani (Kal Penn), a journalist with Gandhian values, starts a scathing attack on the American corporation through his newspaper, Voice Of Bhopal. He warns the locals about sleeping with the enemy. Joining the nattily-dressed Motwani(white trousers, colourful shirts) in his conscientious endeavour is American lifestyle journalist Ava (Mischa Barton), who confronts the goras with her searing questions.

Told for a part in the Julia Roberts' Erin Brockovich (2000) and Matt Damon's Promised Land (2012) style, the film lacks gloss but it still works as an eye-opener. It also depicts how even back then India had morally corrupt politicians who barely spared a thought for the plight of the common man! Somethings don't change. In spite of depicting a film based on true incidents, the film is not a documentary and manages to connect emotionally.

Sheen as Wes Anderson, the CEO of Union Carbide, is sharp and effective. While Kal and the lovely Mischa, as the journalists on the rampage, have you rooting for them, Rajpal and Tannishta are nicely believable.
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