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Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain (2014)

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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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Credited cast:
Warren Anderson
Chief Minister
Martin Brambach ...
Dr. Chandra
Lisa Dwan ...
Mahendra Shrivas ...
Dying Villager
Dr. Khan
Joy Sengupta ...
Kailash Kher
Kinjal Jain ...
Pregnant Mother in Hospital


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 anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The world's deadliest industrial disaster


Drama | History



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

7 November 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Prayer for Rain  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,948 (USA) (7 November 2014)


$5,948 (USA) (7 November 2014)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


Throughout the movie, the role of sodium hypochlorite has been emphasised as an antidote to the poisonous effects of MIC (methyl isocyanate) gas. However, there is no known antidote for MIC poisoning, and the treatment is largely based on supportive care. There does exist an antidote for cyanide poisoning, which can occur as part of impurities present in MIC itself. The antidote for cyanide poisoning is a combination of amyl nitrite and sodium thiosulphate. See more »

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User Reviews

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review: A scathing attack on crony capitalism and social commentary on India of the 1980s
3 December 2014 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain is a historical drama film directed by Indian filmmaker Ravi Kumar. Co-written by David Brooks and Kumar himself, the movie presents a highly dramatized version of the events that led to the Bhopal disaster, often referred to as the Bhopal gas tragedy, on the night of 2–3 December 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal, the capital of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The disaster was caused by the accidental leakage of methyl isocyanate gas and other toxic chemicals which spread around the shanty towns located near the plant, threatening lives of lakhs and killing thousands. The movie stars Martin Sheen, Mischa Barton, Kal Penn, Rajpal Yadav, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Manoj Joshi and Joy Sengupta in the major roles. The movie is produced by Sahara Movie Studios and Rising Star Entertainment and distributed by Revolver Entertainment. The movie is slotted to release on 5 December 2014 in theatres across India.

Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain succeeds in capturing brilliantly, through its motley of interesting characters, the chaos that became associated with one of the greatest tragedies in modern history. The movie serves as a powerful social commentary that poignantly depicts the plight of the poor in Third World countries like India during the latter part of the 20th century. These countries generally suffered from lack of industrialization, extremely low per capita incomes, low literacy rates, high population growth, poor health and sanitation facilities, weak transport infrastructure, and overdependence on agriculture and allied activities. "Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain". The movie also launches a scathing attack on crony capitalism—a notorious brand of capitalism prevalent in Asian countries wherein success in business depends on the nexus between opportunistic businessmen and corrupt government officials.

Despite going down in the annals of history as one of the major disasters of the 20th century, Bhopal gas tragedy strangely enough hadn't hitherto managed to become the subject of any major motion picture. And, that's precisely what inspired Ravi Kumar to make a movie on the seemingly forbidden subject. Kumar explains: "To my surprise there was little interest from Bollywood or even UK film industry to make a dramatic thriller about a subject with tremendous potential about corporate greed, environment disaster and the spicy mix of politics and multinational giant's profit driven agenda." Kumar got the idea for the movie from Mr. Sanjoy Hazarika's book "Bhopal - Lessons Of A Gas Tragedy," which he had read in 2005. After reading the book, Kumar was bowled over by the thought of a making a major motion picture on the subject. Kumar asserts: "The reason for making this film is not to play the blame game, but learn from history so another tragedy can be avoided. We wanted to make an international feature film with major stars for the world audience who do not know about the tragedy."

Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain has come as a great respite at a time when the element of realism is on the wane in Indian cinema at large. The movie serves as a great example of how the power of cinema can be leveraged upon to bring important historical events back to life for the older generations to relive them and for the coming generations to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors. History as a genre is still quite new to the India cinema and a lot needs to be done before it starts getting treated like some of the more conventional genres. The movie is far from being a perfect adaptation of the Bhopal gas tragedy. While the movie captures the essence of the tragedy really well, the narrative, at times, seems to suffer from certain structural flaws. In the act of dramatizing the events so as to make the end product appear more palatable to the masala audiences, the movie, more often than not, appears to be digressing a bit from its central theme.

Overall, Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain can best be described as a brutal but honest attempt on the part of its makers to capture on the celluloid the chaos associated with the Bhopal gas tragedy. It's not great cinema but it's definitely thought-provoking. Despite commercial obligations, and, to its credit, the movie doesn't deviate much from propagating the hard facts pertaining to the mishap. As a social commentary on India of the 1980s, the movie packs a powerful punch. On the technical front, there isn't much to complain about: be it cinematography, sound, or editing. The acting is solid all around, thanks to the presence of an international ensemble cast led by the veteran American actor Martin Sheen and renowned Indian actor Rajpal Yadav. Both Sheen and Yadav are excellent in their respective roles, as are Mischa Barton, Kal Penn, and Tannishtha Chatterjee. The movie features some highly graphic sequences towards the end which may repulse the faint-hearted viewers. The movie is meant for serious filmgoers only; the casual viewers are advised to stay away from it. A must watch for those who admire realism in cinema!

(This review was originally published in my film blog "A Potpourri of Vestiges")

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