Directed by: Jagan Shakti
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha, Taapsee Pannu, Nithya Menen, Sharman Joshi, Kirti Kulhari
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Adventure
Release date: 15 August, 2019
Running Time: 130 Minutes
Based on true events of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launching the Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan), making it the least expensive mission to Mars.
Mission Mangal is an upcoming Indian Hindi-language film directed by Jagan Shakti. It stars an ensemble cast of Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu, Nithya Menen, Sharman Joshi and Sonakshi Sinha, and tells the story of scientists at Indian Space Research Organisation who contributed to the Mars Orbiter Mission, which marked India‘s first interplanetary expedition.
Principal photography for the film began in November 2018, and it is scheduled for release on 15 August 2019. In November 2018, a copyright infringement lawsuit was filed against the makers of the film by the filmmaker Radha Bharadwaj.
On 5 November 2018 to coincide with 5 November 2013 the day the Mars mission was launched, Mission Mangal a space film starring Akshay Kumar, Taapsee Pannu, Sonakshi Sinha, Vidya Balan, Kirti Kulhari, Sharman Joshi and Nithya Menen directed by Jagan Shakti was announced. Principal photography for the film began later in mid November. In early February Pannu finished her schedule of shooting.
Team ‘Mission Mangal’ Speaks To Arnab Goswami; Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu On Republic
On 4 July 2019, Kumar unveiled the first look poster of the film. The film is scheduled to release theatrically on 15 August 2019. The official teaser of the film was released on 9 July 2019 by Fox Star Studios. The trailer of the film was released on 18 July 2019 by Fox Star Studios.
The music of the film is composed by Amit Trivedi while lyrics are written by Amitabh Bhattacharya.
Mission Mangal Teaser:
Mission Mangal Trailer:
Vidya Balan and Akshay Kumar carry off an oversimplified film
It’s a godawful small affair. Rakesh Dhawan is a mission director at the Indian Space Research Organisation, and after his last mission was a non-starter, he’s been given a punishment posting and assigned to a mission nobody really wants: an expedition to Mars. This ambition appears entirely out of reach given ISRO’s budgets, and the film Mission Mangal — in an overture to exaggerate this impressive Indian achievement — depicts the Mars exploration department as a rundown room with no people, just a solitary cat. Okay then.
India’s first interplanetary mission, the Mangalyaan launch of 2013 was a triumph and made us the fourth space agency in the world to reach Mars. The facts are stupendous, but director Jagan Shakti decides to go fast and fictional, creating an underdog story that — while often likeable — plays out like a fable.
There are cute scenes, but it is worrisome that a film about several incredibly talented women constantly plays up their stereotypical womanhood more than their scientific acumen. These are scientists, not utterly inexperienced homemakers, and their epiphanies should not exclusively be based on examples like the frying of pooris and the hailing of auto-rickshaws.
Vidya Balan is warmly wonderful as Tara Shinde, an enthusiastic scientist who must juggle her research with wifely and motherly duties. She gives the narrative a boisterous can-do spirit that is eventually well matched by Akshay Kumar’s Dhawan. Kumar is in typically solid form as he encourages these ladies to shine — he clearly wants this to be his Chakk De India — but he is gifted too many of the best lines. Meanwhile the other actresses are given ‘types’ rather than characters. There’s the licentious one, the clumsy one, the pregnant one and so forth… It’s all a bit ‘Four More Shots Please: Science Edition.’
As the girl with the mousey hair, Taapsee Pannu does well as always, and Sonakshi Sinha is rather spirited, and fine actors like Nithya Menen and HG Datttatreya are sadly wasted. The problem with creating ‘types’ as underdogs — especially in a film that will mostly be mistaken for a real-life story — is that while asking audiences not to judge these female characters, ironically enough the filmmakers have created them (and their quirks) by judging them.
All films to do with science invariably have to dumb things down — films about rocket-science doubly so — but here things are regretfully oversimplified. So while there are times Mission Mangal plays out pleasantly enough as a cheesy entertainer with a message, complete with a caricaturish villain in Dalip Tahil with an unholy accent, there are other times everything feels like too much of a stretch — even the runtime.
When the Mangalyaan had successfully reached Mars, the world was stunned. American publications made racist cartoons about how this third-world nation was knocking on the doors of their exclusive cigars-and-planets club. We were incensed, and rightly so. 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.