Mission Raniganj is about a true incident and captures the story of a courageous rescue mission led by Jaswant Singh Gill, who saved the lives of 65 miners trapped in a flooded coal mine. The incident took place in West Bengal's Raniganj in 1989. The film starts by showing us the bonding shared by Jaswant (played by Akshay Kumar) and his wife Nirdosh (played by Parineeti Chopra). Jaswant is an honest and hardworking government servant in the Coal Corporation of India.
The residents of Raniganj work in a coal mine. On an uneventful night, the mine gets flooded with water, and 65 miners get trapped. At this time when the government servants were busy fulfilling their agendas instead of thinking about saving the lives of innocents, Jaswant was busy making plans for their rescue.
In a place surrounded by vultures, looting the government’s money through corruption and having ‘meals’ when people were dying in the mines, Gill emerged as a messiah. If it hadn’t been for his promptness, things would have escalated very quickly.
One of the miners who got stuck in the mine had a pet dog. The dog too was a character in the film and there are scenes where he can be seen crying and whimpering. The connection shown between an animal and its owner is a unique idea that wins the audience. In the film, hadn’t it been for the dog, the rescue mission would’ve stopped leaving the miners to die.
Mission Raniganj had a slow start at the Box Office, but in my opinion, it deserves to be watched. Although the film is just a one-time watch, it holds emotions like devoting yourself to your country's land, a thing that is seen constantly in Akshay Kumar’s films. Stuff like him doing films back to back just for profit appeared just like rumors to me. After watching Mission Raniganj, I am in a position to say that the actor isn’t compromising with the scripts he is working on.
The film may be lacking in good promotions like some unworthy titles, but good word of mouth from the public is likely in the upcoming days. The pieces of information that have been stitched together to make this 2-hour film complement the hard work done by the actors. I can not point out a single actor whose work was not up to the mark.
Parineeti Chopra's role was limited, however, she was charming in every scene. The confidence her character holds in Jaswant is amiable. Akshay Kumar overdid his acting in the song ‘Jalsa 2.0’ which was played just after two scenes in the movie. It was too early for a song as we weren’t even introduced to the plot. His steps in the song closely resembled his role as Lucky in the movie Singh is King. His moves in the song seemed like that of a drunk man, maybe he was supposed to be shown drunk as it was a wedding celebration after all.
The same madness Kumar showed in the song wasn’t a pretty reference as he seemed to carry the weight of that character in Mission Raniganj. I was relieved when I saw that he didn’t carry his past character with him for too long and fit in Jaswant’s shoes perfectly.
This film taught us that soldiers are the ones who are protecting the country while standing at the borders, but we need people like Jaswant Gill to save people when a tragedy strikes. Many government officials don’t take their jobs seriously and when someone else tries to do it, they create unnecessary hurdles. This toxic work culture might have cost 71 people their lives, and I was frustrated to watch such scenes.
Mission Raniganj is unapologetic in showing some aspects of the society like the toxic work culture created by the seniors and how relatives beat the officials when there remains no ray of light. We all are aware of how such things exist and the portrayal of the same in the movie was like showing a mirror to the society.
A sense of patriotism for our motherland is deeply rooted in the plot and there were some moments where I shed a tear or two. People like Jaswant Gill deserve a film dedicated to them as their contribution can not be forgotten. He gave a second life to the 65 stranded miners and served as an inspiration to the youth of the country. Even with limited resources and support, the sky is the limit.
Although the film overdid its last scenes, it was appropriate as it’s a drama after all. The VFX effects in the beginning could have been a bit better to make it look more realistic.
Mission Raniganj is a nice watch that you can enjoy with a family, and Akki is here to captivate the audience with his strong performance. The tense environment created by showing the sides of trapped miners, their families, and government officials makes this a good release.
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