Mission Mangal is disappointing

by Yash

Mission Mangal is a bad joke of a movie. A great movie could have been made about India’s stupendous achievement. But in a typical Bollywoodian fashion, it gets bogged down with unnecessary jingoism, heroism and melodrama. It’s such a shame! While the movie does have some moments that give you goose bumps, overall it’s a collection of scenes of half developed characters with ISRO in the background.
A monumental scientific endeavour like India’s first moon mission would have had its own thrilling moments which could definitely have been used to create the necessary drama for any “underdogs achieve great success” movie. But this movie instead tries to do too many things.

If anyone wants to see how to convert a real event into a great thrilling story – just watch Chernobyl or Sully or Everest. Mission Mangal is a wasted opportunity. How do you create thrill or suspense about a real event, the end result of which you already know? Watch Apollo 13.

I don’t understand why Indian movies shy away from using real characters. They invent every single character and give them emotional back stories. In the quest to add fictional elements to a real world event, our directors can’t resist the temptation of going full fictional to the extent that the real world event just becomes a backdrop. It becomes more like an alternative history movie rather than a movie based on true events. They would rather say at the beginning “this happened in an alternate universe”.

Yes, directors must take creative freedom and add fictional elements, otherwise it would be a documentary. But to what extent you do that is a call that a director has to take.

We went to Mars. On the first attempt. It’s an amazing feat. This movie fails to do justice to that.