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Mission Mangal Movie Details

Directed by Jagan Shakti
Produced by
  • Cape of Good Films
  • Hope Productions
  • Fox Star Studios
  • Aruna Bhatia
  • Anil Naidu
Written by
  • R. Balki
  • Jagan Shakti
  • Nidhi Singh Dharma
  • Saketh Kondiparthi
Story by Jagan Shakti
Starring
  • Akshay Kumar
  • Vidya Balan
  • Sonakshi Sinha
  • Taapsee Pannu
  • Nithya Menen
  • Kirti Kulhari
  • Sharman Joshi
  • H. G. Dattatreya
  • Vikram Gokhale
Music by
  • Amit Trivedi
  • Tanishk Bagchi
Cinematography Ravi Varman
Edited by Chandan Arora
Production company
  • Cape of Good Films
  • Hope Productions
  • Fox Star Studios
Distributed by Fox Star Studios
Release date
  • 15 August 2019
Running time
127 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget ₹32 crore
Box office est. ₹289.75 crore

 

Upon leaving the cinema last night I felt as though I could have taken on the world. I was so pumped! Not only is Mission Mangal unequivocally my favorite film of this year so far, I think it’s the best film I’ve seen at the cinema in years.

Based on a true story, Mission Mangal is an account of India’s first attempt to send a satellite to Mars. Headed up by Rakesh Dhawan (Akshay Kumar) and Tara Shinde (Vidya Balan), the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) was considered by many to be impossible. Without the necessary money, equipment or experience, it was up to Dhawan and Shinde to find a way to inspire the ragtag group of juniors assigned to them into believing that nothing is impossible and that dreams can come true.

Rakesh Dhawan and Tara Shinde had a passion for space science. They were both dedicated employees of the India Space Research Organisation (IRSO), who were determined not to let things stand in their way, despite previous failings. I can’t think of anyone more perfectly cast for a role as Akshay Kumar. Bursting with charismatic charm and impeccable comic timing, Kumar gives a typically outstanding performance, providing the ideal figurehead for the project.

The real brains of the operation, however, was Shinde, portrayed incredibly by Vidya Balan. Having only seen her once before (briefly in the ‘Nerkonda Paarvai’ flashback scene) she was this film’s biggest surprise for me. Not only did we see her take on the responsibility of running a ground-breaking space mission; we see her also having to be a mother, dealing with the everyday domestic issues that come with that role. I’m sure she’s probably already huge star in India, but for me, this was her breakout performance and I look forward to seeing more of her work.

This movie really is a love letter to space science and the work that goes on behind the scenes of such historic events. In order to achieve greatness, there must be sacrifices, a unique ability to problem solve and also strong opposition to push you out of your comfort zone. Everyone has things going on in their lives. We see this in the MOM team as they each have to sacrifice a part of their lives in order to work on the mission. We also see how innovative those scientists have to be in their attempts to make the impossible possible. In addition, Dalip Tahil provides a worthy opponent in the form of former NASA employee Rupert Dasai, who feels that the Mars mission is simply a waste of money and resources. He provided the perfect drive for the MOM team to work harder in order to attempt to prove him wrong.

In a similar way to ‘Hidden Figures’, Dhawan, Shinde and their team had to battle adversity in order to subvert expectations. I can’t remember the exact wording but there was a phrase Dhawan said that I loved. It went something like “A dream is not something that happens when you sleep, it’s something that keeps you from sleeping”. That’s the type of inspirational jingo that this movie exudes. For some people that might come across as a little too Hollywood; but for me it’s precisely that inspirational, underdog, fighting against adversity, the element of the movie that is why I adore Mission Mangal.

In addition, the music and visuals, particularly towards the latter stages of the film, had me toe-tapping with both joy and apprehension. I had no prior knowledge of this event going into this film, so I had no idea how it was going to end. This meant that, like the characters who had invested so much time and effort into this mission, I was on the edge of my seat with nerves, willing for the mission to be a success.

Two years ago, the very first Indian film that I’d ever watched [Secret Superstar] became my favorite film of that year. I think, by the time the 2020 Oscar’s roll around, it’ll take a miracle for Mission Mangal to not be named my favorite film of this year.

 

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