Critics’ Review: The Jokes Write Themselves in ‘Mission Mangal’

Mission Mangal is directed by Jagan Shakti.

2 min read
A still from <i>Mission Mangal</i>.

Directed by Jagan Shakti, Mission Mangal hit theatres on 15 August. It stars Vidya Balan, Akshay Kumar, Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, Sonakshi Sinha and Nithya Menen. The film deals with the successful launching of Mars Orbiter Mission by ISRO in 2013. Here’s what the critics have to say:

“With the nation’s conscience keeper Akshay Kumar at the helm and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech featured in a special appearance, the idea behind Mission Mangal quite clearly is to ignite our supposedly latent nationalism.”
Namrata Joshi, The Hindu
“It may well be argued that Mission Mangal is a portrayal of the reality of Mangalyaan’s women scientists, but since the film is only inspired by them and not claiming to be an accurate documentary about them, since it is evident that their story has been highly fictionalised for the purpose of entertainment, since even their real names are not used here, and since Mission Mangal demands a suspension of disbelief in so many areas from the audience, it is worth asking why it avoids showing another sort of woman who too exists in the real world.”
Anna MM Vetticad, Firstpost
“Now in Mission Mangal — starring Akshay Kumar (one of our least hidden figures) and a shiny tinfoil version of ISRO that often looks like a lavish backdrop to a Rajinikanth song — we also applaud a Prime Minister who had very little to do with supporting the original mission. The message is clear: We can create our own cartoons, thank you very much. Make in India.”
Raja Sen, Hindustan Times
“The jokes write themselves in Jagan Shakti’s space opera, on which co-producer R Balki has been credited as a “creative director”. Mangalyaan project director Tara (Vidya Balan) uses the frying of puris to make a crucial argument about reducing a rocket’s weight. A pattern on a cushion cover inspires another change in the rocket’s design. A team member’s pregnancy inspires the acronym for the Mission to Mars.”
Nandini Ramnath, Scroll

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