“Nothing heals without leaving a wounded trace behind.”
Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain is a flashback to the 30 year old Bhopal Gas Tragedy, 1984 that killed and disabled innocent souls as it scattered into the once pure air. This incident was regarded as one of the world’s greatest industrial disaster. The Union Carbide India Limited had neglected safety measures despite several leaks before this disastrous incident. They got enough warnings to repair the damages but to save some dollars they slaughtered thousands of innocent people.
The movie begins with a typical Indian village setting, where poverty rules and men are in desperate need for work. The events are fictionalized for dramatic effect but it holds the root of the story they want to portray. The movie is filmed from the perspective of a rickshaw driver, Dilip played flawlessly by Rajpal Yadav. He is married to Leela (Tannishtha Chatterjee), and they have a child. Dilip strives to bring home as much as he can but it’s not sufficient enough. Shame is struck on his face when he is taunted by his wife for not being able to meet basic needs. This pushes him to change his line of work and try getting a job at Union Carbide which is a respectable job and pays a handsome amount of money compared to his old job. His wishes come true and he manages to reach a good post gradually at the Union Carbide. He worshipped the factory until he learned the truth about the dangers that surrounded it. Safety was ignored on many levels resulting to the climax which was heart wrecking. His character was very realistic in all aspects and emotions were enacted incredibly.
Other characters that give this story a different angle are Motwani (Kal Penn), a journalist in Bhopal who is certain that something is stinky in the Union Carbide and is very positive it’s not fish! Warren Anderson impersonated by Martin Sheen is an ambitious capitalist whose priority lies in profits and productions rather than the health and safety of his workers. He is the CEO of Union Carbide Corporation and believes that he is doing a great deed by providing jobs to the local population. Eva Caulfield (Mischa Barton), a young American journalist who initially comes to interview an Indy-French person but ends up interviewing Anderson as well. A safety supervisor (Joy Sengupta) is well aware of the safety measures being neglected but he turns helpless around his manager (Vineet Kumar) who is neglecting these issues for cost-cutting sake. A doctor (Manoj Joshi), regrets ignoring the warnings by his not so dear friend Motwani.
The movie was filmed in Hyderabad, India. Director and writer Ravi Kumar has portrayed every scene in the most realistic atmosphere, detailing each incident with dramatic pauses and genuine expressions. The story was built with emotions which came rolling down in tears by the end of the climax. The movie has been filmed in a way that it feels like a non-fiction than fictional. Comedy is well timed and drama is achieved in the right proportion. The entire industrial scenes are so realistic. It’s surprising to see such perfection in Bollywood cinema. The climax is visually challenging to watch without embracing your hearts. It makes you reason and reflect over the hazardous effect of being careless when it comes to safety.
I was shocked that I, being an Indian, didn’t know such a quantum tragedy in this detail. I was speechless, disturbed and felt a strange sense of responsibility towards the society. Before the credits rolled, I learned that yet people are suffering due to the gas leaked 30 years ago. Yet families have not been given the justice they deserved. The Union Carbide had never apologized till date for their heinous crime. This movie is a blast from the past that wants to make the lives of the people in Bhopal healthy and secure after suffering for 30 long years! To raise funds and support this movies cause click here. To listen to a heart warming melody which also stars the true heroes and survivors of the tragedy, click here.
“The book cannot be put down, the pages never cease because new chapters are yet being written.”
Production: Sahara One Media, Rising Star Entertainment
Cast: Martin Sheen, Kal Penn, Mischa Barton, Rajpal Yadav, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Fagun Thakrar, Joy Sengupta, Om Prakash, Vineet Kumar and others
Director: Ravi Kumar
Screenwriters: Ravi Kumar and David Brooks
Producers: Seemanto Roy, Ravi Walia
Editors: Chriss Gill, Maria Valenta
Running Time: 103 minutes
I would recommend every Indian and Non-Indian to watch this movie because we need to learn what negligence to safety could possibly do. I rate this 4/5. Watch the trailer of this movie here. Do leave your reviews in the comment section below if you have or will watch this movie.