PLOT: A team of Indian scientists at ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) take on the extraordinary task of successfully sending a satellite into the orbit of planet Mars in a country’s maiden attempt.

MOVIE REVIEW: Mission Mangal is based on this first interplanetary expedition, Mars Orbiter Mission. India became the first country in the world to reach the planet Mars in its first attempt. The makers dramatises and recreates this glorious chapter in Indian history very well. Director and writer Jagan Shakti have simplified the complex scientific jargon for the common man. The narration makes use of logic, home science and alternate science to add quirky entertainment for viewers.

It is a well-made film with some fine performances. The film is not unnecessarily dragged, never ceases to entertain, and it brings in a sense of pride for our nation. The first half begins with the failure of GSLV Fat Boy which actually had to be aborted after its launch. Akshay Kumar who takes the entire blame for Vidya Balan’s mistake is pushed to the Mars Mission which other scientists consider it to be an impossible mission. The film shows how the team of initially disinterested and troubled scientists finally achieve the impossible.

The film has also has subplots of each of the main characters and these are very well written. The second half of the film is very engaging, it has all your attention and the climax is nail-biting. There is a fight scene inside the metro train which seemed to be a little unnecessary. There was still a chance for more crisp editing, a lot of the melodrama could have been edited. Akshay Kumar leads the cast with Vidya Balan as the parallel lead. But as always Vidya Balan shines out more in her role and dominates most of the scenes in the film.

Nithya Menen as a lightweight satellite designer Varsha Pillai got a decent Bollywood debut. Taapsee Pannu as a navigation and communication scientist Kritika Agarwal got an impactful supporting role. Sonakshi Sinha as a propulsion engineer Eka Gandhi and Kirti Kulhari as a satellite autonomy specialist Neha Siddiqui manages to score in their limited roles. Sharman Joshi and senior Kannada actor H.G. Dattatreya are fun to watch and maintains the humour in the film. All of them including Vikram Gokhale, Sanjay Kapoor, Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub and Dalip Tahil make a strong ensemble cast.

R Balki, Jagan Shakti, Nidhi Singh Dharma and Saketh Kondipathi’s screenplay blends science and entertainment seamlessly. S Ravi Varman’s cinematography is quite impressive. Famulus Media and Entertainment’s VFX is top-notch and it has been designed convincingly. The visual effects of the Mars orbit have been done brilliantly.

Amit Trivedi’s background score is engaging and blends in very well with the situations in the film. He has composed two songs for the film Dil Mein Mars Hai and ‘Shaabashiyaan’. It does not have too many songs to distract the plot.

Overall Hit ya Flop Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Direction 3.5/5
Acting 3.5/5
VFX+Cinematography 4/5
Story 3/5
Screenplay 3.5/5

Despite any ups and downs in life, Mission Mangal teaches you to believe that one can achieve their dreams.

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