'Mission Mangal' Movie Review: Akshay Kumar starrer is an entertaining space movie with lots of oversimplification.
Last Modified On: 15 August 2019 | Reviewed By: Saurabh S Nair
'Mission Mangal' is a perfect film to watch in this Independence Day but when a commercial star gets involved in space film based on a true story then it will have a tendency of spoon-feeding which this film also does.
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After sanitation and hygiene (Toilet Ek Prem Katha), women’s sanitary health and social enterprise (Padman) superstar Akshay Kumar is back with another nation-building film which talks about ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) accomplishing the mission to sending a satellite to mars through their Mars orbit Mission (MOM).
Mission Mangal begins with the failure of GLSV Fat Boy, and Rakesh Dhawan (Akshay Kumar) heroically taking the blame of project head Tara Shinde (Vidya Balan) who messes up the launch. And so, he is shunted over to the Mars Mission, which no one expects anything from.
But our hero is Akshay Kumar who never gives uptake the failure optimistically who doesn't believe in wasting ladoo and enjoys humming cryptic songs about failure. He is a quirky scientist, with the heart and mind of Akshay Kumar as he doesn't mind jumping across tables to prove a point or telling some painful bad jokes which you can see in the trailer too puns like satyaNASA as if the writer R. Balki borrowed dialogue tips from Farhad-Sajid (Writers of Golmaal series and Housefull series).
This story about these two characters Tara and Rakesh turns around the failure to success with another mission which looks impossible but that is IMPOSSIBLE--- This is a recurring line throughout Mission Mangal, and practically every character says it emphatically with an air of despair. The other bunch of characters who are considered as junior or immature scientist joins the team to make the mission accomplish.
Using the example of fried puris and innumerable cricket metaphors, they explain rocket science to you, at the risk of even oversimplification. There is no doubt that Vidya shines in her role and at times even Akshay seems to consciously move to the background and charitably lets her take over. Taapsee's performance is little disappointing as her character takes the back seat and Nithya Menen remains quite like her character with hardly any discernible personality traits.
Sonakshi plays the role of a woman who has more faith in NASA than ISRO, and it takes a couple of empowering speeches from Vidya and Akshay to change that. No really, she discovers the solution to a pressing problem in one night after being shouted at by Akshay that might be a Sattar minute moment like Chak De India. Sharman Joshi has a couple of hilarious punch-lines, that actually make the intense moments lighter.
Mission Mangal knows that it needs to cater to the masses as well, so it strives to go easy on the scientific explanations and puts it incomprehensible words. If it is a scientific film at one point, it is also a mass entertainer the next. Director Jagan Shakti knows what his audience needs from an Akshay Kumar film. Shakti works hard to ensure that the film does not lose control at points and tries to keep the balance between showing the personal lives and the professional lives of the scientists, at the risk of coming across slightly fragmented at points.
The second half has all your attention, and the final climax is a nail-biting finish, though you obviously know what is going to happen. The visual effects of the Mars orbit have been done brilliantly, with the appropriate music to match the tension as well. It is fascinating to see the journey of the satellite's journey from Earth to Mars. This is one of the film's strongest points. There are not too many songs in the film, which is actually a relief. Songs like Shabaashiyan give the film a pleasant feel.
Despite its flaws of excessive sermons and some crucial characters like Taapsee and Kirti not fleshed out completely, Mission Mangal makes for an entertaining Independence Day watch. That seems to be how the director intended it as well, a space-entertainer, rather than a hardcore scientific film. The flight might face some turbulence but it lands well. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
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