In 2022, Jude Anthany Joseph made “2018” (film) which was based on the catastrophic floods in Kerala in 2018. The two-hour Malayalam survival thriller was not only about a natural disaster, it also dealt with multiple stories running parallel, delving deep into key characters’ lives. Unlike that is “Mission Raniganj: The Great Bharat Rescue.”

In 1989, a disaster struck at Raniganj Colliery, established during British rule. Two hundred miners were on their night shift when a part of a mine started flooding, trapping 70 miners deep down in the dark, while the rest were extricated immediately.

This real-life incident is the plot, where a brave and diligent mining engineer, Jasmant Singh Gill, an IIT Dhanbad graduate, rescued the trapped miners. Akshay Kumar plays this hero.

The plot opens with a brief about mine accidents which take place post-British rule and takes us into the life of Jasmant and his pregnant wife “Nirdosh” (played by Parineeti Chopra), a stress-free pregnant woman with a 24/7 positive attitude. The rest of the narrative is carried by Akshay saving the trapped miners with a fabricated steel capsule, enough to house one man. But, this experiment is time-bound due to rapidly forming poisonous CO2 gas underground. And there are many challenges Jasmant and his boss “Ujjwal” (Kumud Mishra) have to face, majorly the politics running around them by their rival colleague “D Sen” (Dibyendu Bhattacharya), who wants to see them fail in the rescue operations and does everything possible to satisfy his ego.

This film can be called a semi-biographical disaster-thriller, as the leading character and the incident are adapted from real life. What adds “semi” to this biographical disaster-thriller is the fact that we get to know nothing much about the hero. We just contemplate his heroism. Because, the director, Tinu Suresh Desai, along with writer Vipul K Sharma, wants us to focus on the rescue plan and the man carrying the responsibility on his shoulders. Amidst mentioning everywhere about the film being about “Jamant Singh Gill,” he becomes the secondary factor (primarily being the incident happening and saving the miners).

Even the thunderous soundtrack cannot hold the poorly running narrative along with terrible CGI and effects which give us the experience of watching a film from the early 2000s, when technology was not as advanced as we have now.

Being entirely focused on the key characters of the plot, Akshay Kumar, Kumud Mishra, and Dibyendu Bhattacharya, the film fails to arrange a longer screen time with a better role for supporting actors like Ravi Kishan, who plays the raging miner “Bhola,” along with Varun Badola (playing ‘Shaligram’) and a few more names to call out.

The two and a half-hour film had the potential of bringing more themes to the poorly plotted narrative, like internal politics in the government and the poorly operating system of our country, the role of unions in such cases, and more.

You can watch Mission Raniganj: The Great Bharat Rescue at the cinemas near you.


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