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Mission Raniganj Movie Review: A Heroic Tale of Rescue Gone Wrong


Bollywood  •  9 Oct, 2023  •  4,837 Views  •  ⭐ 5.0

Written by Anand Swami


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"Mission Raniganj: The Great Bharat Rescue" is a biographical drama that revolves around the real-life rescue mission of engineer Jaswant Singh Gill. In 1989, Gill saved the lives of 65 miners who were trapped in a submerged coal mine in Raniganj, West Bengal.

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The movie features Akshay Kumar as Gill and Parineeti Chopra as his wife, Nirdosh. It was released on October 6th, 2023 and has received mixed reviews. While some praise the inspiring story and Akshay's performance, others criticize the film for its lack of depth, realism, and nuance.

The Plot

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Opening with the vibrant tunes of a Punjabi wedding, we're introduced to the enamoured couple, Gill and Nirdosh. Employed by Coal India Limited, Gill is a patriotic and fearless engineer. His new assignment in Raniganj involves overseeing blasting operations at the Mahabir Colliery.

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Tragedy strikes on 13 November 1989 when excessive blasting caused a flood in the mine, trapping 65 miners. Undeterred, Gill volunteers for the perilous rescue, proposing innovative solutions. Yet, he faces numerous obstacles, from corrupt CIL officials and aggressive local politicians to the overzealous media, all while grappling with personal challenges.

The Cast

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Akshay Kumar, as Jaswant Singh Gill, delivers a genuine portrayal that reflects the character's valour and ingenuity. However, the script’s portrayal leans towards making him a larger-than-life figure, sidelining the deeper aspects of Gill’s character. Parineeti Chopra, in her role as Nirdosh, is supportive yet lacks narrative depth.

Rajesh Sharma, Kumud Mishra, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Ravi Kishan, Ananth Mahadevan, Arif Zakaria, Saanand Verma, and Varun Badola complement the cast, portraying various roles from Gill’s associates to adversaries. Their performances are competent, but the script doesn't allow them to leave an indelible mark.

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The Direction

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Tinu Suresh Desai, with prior directorial credits like Rustom and 1920 London, aims to deliver a gripping tale that's deserving of the big screen. However, he often sidesteps the narrative's potential, resorting to melodrama, cliches, and overt patriotism, failing to capture the true essence of the events of 1989. Missing are the intricate details of the rescue operation, the tangible plight of the miners, and the deep-seated emotions connected to such high-stakes events.

The Music

Image Credits: BollywoodMDB

The musical score, developed by Satinder Sartaaj, Prem-Hardeep, Arko, Vishal Mishra, and Gaurav Chatterji, has its moments of allure. Yet, the tracks often feel misplaced within the context of the film. These interludes interrupt rather than enhance the film's flow. Sandeep Shirodkar's background score, intended to intensify the movie's dramatic moments, sometimes feels excessive and repetitive.

The Verdict

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While Mission Raniganj: The Great Bharat Rescue had an evocative and compelling story at its heart, the execution doesn't do justice to the heroism of Jaswant Singh Gill and the resilience of the trapped miners. The film, unfortunately, loses its potential depth in a sea of melodrama and missed opportunities, making it a lukewarm affair for those seeking an authentic representation. We award it a modest 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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Conclusion

Mission Raniganj: The Great Bharat Rescue aspires to chronicle a powerful real-life event, a testament to human resilience and heroism. While its foundation is robust, the cinematic interpretation appears fragmented, often veering away from the heart of the tale. It serves as a reminder that even the most stirring stories require a deft touch to translate effectively on screen.

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