Mission Mangal audience review: A flawless space film that benefits from stellar cast, assured directorial debut

Karan Dhillon

Aug 15, 2019 12:26:05 IST

What is Mission Mangal about?

One of the most anticipated movies of 2019 has hit the screens. Mission Mangal (Missions Mars) is Jagan Shanti’s directorial venture, starring Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan in the lead roles. It is based on the inspiring tale of the scientists of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), who tirelessly contributed to the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM). Orbiting Mars since 24 September, 2014, after being launched on 5 November, 2013, this was India’s first interplanetary mission that made it the first nation in the world that did it successfully in its maiden attempt.

What works?

To begin with, it is the powerful ensemble cast of Akshay, Vidya, Sonakshi Sinha, Taapsee Pannu, Nithya Menen, Kirti Kulhari, Sharman Joshi and HG Dattatreya. It is a treat to watch this insane pool of talent come together on the big screen.

 Mission Mangal audience review: A flawless space film that benefits from stellar cast, assured directorial debut

Vidya Balan and Akshay Kumar in a still from Mission Mangal

The heart and soul of this space entertainer are undoubtedly Akshay and Vidya. After a failed mission at ISRO, Akshay who plays Rakesh Dhawan, is shifted to the Mars Mission department. Vidya Balan's character Tara Shinde, who was responsible for the failed mission, feels guilty for having let Rakesh take the blame and bear the brunt in a media fiasco. She joins Akshay in the Mars Mission, and they soon realise that even though it is a distant dream, but with their will power and experiences combined together, they could face all challenges thrown at them, and make this mission successful. They build a team for this project, and that is when all the other actors are introduced.

Akshay is at his wittiest best throughout the movie. He has played exactly what he is on live shows and during television interviews. His cheeky sarcasm and poker-faced humour leaves the audience in splits. Vidya does perfect justice to her character that plays different shades throughout. She is shown as a loving mother, a perfect wife, and a top-notch project manager. She is the one who builds the team of the Mars Mission, and motivates them throughout.

It was really nice to see Sharman on the big screen after a while. His character is somewhat same to what he was in 3 Idiots. There, he wore a lot of rings to bring luck, and here, he is shown as a scared personality, who does everything after consulting a horoscope leader. He has some really funny scenes throughout. Sonakshi is shown as a headstrong girl, who believes ISRO will not do anything great with the mission, and she almost applies for a job at NASA but changes her mind. Why and how is all answered in the movie.

Taapsee, for a change, is not the typical determined girl, who is fighting the law or society.  But I am glad she is a part of this cast because she seems to have got another hit to her list now. Nithya Menen, Kirti Kulhari, and HG Dattatreya fit the bill really well, and do the utmost justice to their characters.

In the supporting cast, Vikram Gokhale and Dalip Tahil are a treat to watch. They play really important characters. Sanjay Kapoor was another refreshing addition to the cast. For everyone who loved the '90s, there is one scene that will genuinely put a smile on your face, and it has to with a very popular number Sanjay did.

What doesn’t work?

I did not find any flaw in the movie. In fact, there is nothing to be very picky about. The best part is there are no stupid dialogues, scenes, songs, moments or characters in the movie.

Verdict: Mission Accomplished!

This is the first time in the last few years that a movie has made me feel so patriotic. All credit goes to the director, and the team who presented this to us. It is almost unbelievable to think that it is a debutant director, who has made this film. Mission Mangal is a beautiful gift to ISRO as it completes its 50th year today on 15 August. It is a tribute to geniuses like Vikram Sarabhai, APJ Abdul Kalam, and so many more countrymen who have worked selflessly for their country. I love the fact that there are so many moments in the movie where Akshay reminds us of the contribution of Kalam as a scientist. I am also very happy  to see the director have a poster of Kalpana Chawla in one scene. These are small things that appeal to a cinema lover like me.

A salute and hats off to all the 17,000 scientists that helped India create history and put us on the world map with our chests filled with pride and respect after this mission.

And a very special round of applause to the team of Mission Mangal for all the goosebumps and smiles it gave me and to the audience with this beautiful movie.

Updated Date: Aug 15, 2019 12:26:05 IST