Mission Raniganj Review: "Mission Raniganj: The Great Bharat Rescue" endeavors to pay homage to a valiant rescue mission that saved the lives of trapped miners. Despite its noble intentions, the film falls short in effectively evoking the desired emotional response.
Release Date: October 6, 2023
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Critic's Rating: 2.5/5
Avg. Users' Rating: 1.6/5
This film draws its inspiration from the true-life rescue mission of 1989, offering a heartfelt tribute to the late Jaswant Singh Gill. He displayed remarkable heroism by saving 65 miners who were trapped in a flooded coal mine in Raniganj, West Bengal.
On November 13, 1989, tragedy struck the Mahabir colliery in Raniganj when 65 miners became trapped due to a catastrophic underground water rupture. In a race against time, conventional rescue methods proved futile, leading engineer Jaswant Singh Gill (portrayed by Akshay Kumar) to propose an ingenious solution - drilling a well and utilizing a specially crafted rescue capsule. Despite facing numerous challenges, such as the absence of a crane and pervasive corruption within Coal India, the film vividly portrays how Gill and his dedicated team successfully saved all 65 miners using this innovative capsule.
While the film admirably brings real-life events to the forefront and pays tribute to unsung Indian heroes, "Mission Raniganj" falls short in terms of storytelling and character depth. The film adheres to a formulaic pattern commonly found in other Akshay Kumar-led social statement films: it includes a Punjabi wedding song, brief interactions with the heroine, a dramatic introduction of the hero, and a triumphant conclusion where he is hailed as the savior. Despite their good intentions, such films often lack the effort to break new ground or delve into character development. In this particular case, there is a minimal attempt to delve into the persona of Jaswant Singh Gill beyond basic internet information.
The initial half of the film is marred by poor execution, a lack of character development, and subpar production values and visual effects. The depiction of the impending mine water explosion feels far from realistic, and even seasoned actors like Ravi Kishan come across as overly theatrical. The narrative fails to effectively convey the gravity of the situation. Although "Mission Raniganj" gains momentum in the second half, it becomes bogged down by immature conflicts and trivial internal politics. Parineeti Chopra's role is fleeting and fails to make a substantial impact.
A compelling evacuation thriller should captivate the audience, instill tension, and test human resilience. Movies like "Thai Cave Rescue" succeeded in emotionally engaging the audience through well-developed characters. Regrettably, "Mission Raniganj" falls short in its attempt to dig deeper. Director Tinu Suresh Desai's film is characterized by its loud and melodramatic tone, leaving the audience somewhat indifferent to this significant historical event. While the film commendably portrays a daring rescue mission aimed at saving the lives of ordinary people, it is evident that intent alone cannot effectively convey the desired sentiment.