Interwoven stories of people in India and US as they face dilemmas of life time in the months leading to the biggest Industrial disaster in human history that claimed 10,000 innocent lives within a few hours. Inspired by real events.
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The story follows a young rickshaw-puller in Bhopal who gets a menial job at a chemical plant, but in December of 1984 a chemical spill in India takes the lives of almost 15,000 people and injuring more than 100,000. The film follows how the industrial disaster in the city changes his life and those of others. Written by
In 1991, the local Bhopal authorities charged Anderson, who had retired in 1986, with manslaughter, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. He was declared a fugitive from justice by the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bhopal on 1 February 1992 for failing to appear at the court hearings in a culpable homicide case in which he was named the chief defendant. Orders were passed to the Government of India to press for an extradition from the United States. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of the decision of the lower federal courts in October 1993, meaning that victims of the Bhopal disaster could not seek damages in a U.S. court. See more »
"BHOPAL : A Prayer for Rain" is a heart-rending revisit to the most horrific industrial catastrophe in our country that claimed over 10000 lives in December 1984.It forms a precursor to the massive tragedy in the form of connected events that transpired around the infamous Union Carbide plant which spew the lethal MIC gas wiping off almost an entire civilization. Such was the impact that even today, people are born with deformities.
Unfolding like a docu-drama providing glimpses of the social milieu,the narrative breathes life with the insertion of certain fictitious and dramatic elements, in the form of a rickshaw puller , Deepak ( Rajpal Yadav)who forms the lifeline of the film.An illiterate who can hardly afford a square meal to his family with an unmarried sister, he finds the new ray of hope in the Carbide plant when he substitutes his friend, a worker out there , after he falls prey into an accidental factory mishap. The plant is a dormant volcano waiting to erupt, a hibernating monster because of the highly risky pesticide production under loose and overlooked safety conditions.Yet many of the workers fail to raise their voice as they have to feed their families at the end of the day.There is a wave of crusade through vigilant journalism by a hard-nosed news reporter, Motwani(Kal Penn) who even seeks the help of another American journo(Mischa Barton) to expose the diplomatic CEO of Carbide,Warren Anderson(Martin Sheen) but all in vain.
Ravi Kumar tries to portray the corporate chicanery adopted by Anderson who looked at India as a cheaper proposition, with utmost sincerity.The unflinching look at the bureaucracy and the callousness of our political leaders also flashes at the level of corruption that was rotting our society three decades back.There is a deafening silence towards the finale in the screams of the dying people and the haplessness in the eyes of the local doctor(Manoj Joshi).There are moments of poignancy that leave you numb, but had there been a more solid and polished execution , it would have lingered in our psyche.The film falters with a hurried approach in the ending reels by juxtaposing the tragedy with a wedding proceeding and also for some over- dramatic treatment like the one between Barton and Anderson inside his car.
All said and done, Bhopal is a praise-worthy attempt by director Ravi Kumar,also credited fir the film's story, for bringing this tragic incident onto celluloid after almost 5 years of research.The narrative forges a strong emotional connect with its rooted characters,specially Rajpal Yadav and Tannistha Chatterjee who render genuinely moving performances.Yadav blends his innocence, warmth and talent uniformly to bring out the predicament of the impoverished Deepak.Kal Penn, with his outlandish attire,is a character with an arc but doesn't do complete justice to his mixed accent.It is Marteen Sheen who fits into the role of Anderson perfectly,and bringing out the humanistic nuances effectively.
Films like Bhopal are a rarity in today's age of massy entertainers.They are highly insightful but do not hold a strong commercial proposition.It is as ironical as the fact that Carbide is not proved fully guilty of the causing this disaster.This one is highly recommended for those with inclination to real-life, meaningful cinema.
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