Directed by Ravi Kumar and starring Martin Sheen, Kal Penn, Mischa Barton, Rajpal Yadav and Tannishtha Chatterjee among others, ‘Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain’ is a docu-drama which deals with one of the worst industrial disasters in world history – The Bhopal Gas Tragedy.
It’s been 30 years since that night on 2nd December in 1984 in Bhopal. The events of that fateful night have been well documented across many documentaries and articles. But Ravi effectively humanizes the tragedy.
Martin Sheen (Warren Anderson) does well as the head of Union Carbide (UCC) which produces the pesticide Sevin using Methyl Isocyanate (MIC). Due to the poor monsoons and less profits, UCC begins to cut costs and the ones who begin suffering are the workers as a series of leaks occur from 1981 to 1984. And then, disaster strikes on the night of 2nd December as about 30 metric tons of MIC escapes into the atmosphere.
The rest of the flick deals with how the residents of Bhopal come to grips with the tragedy. Rajpal Yadav and Tannishtha Chatterjee are quite effective as your everyday couple whose life changes completely due to the tragedy. Both are pretty effective in their roles.
Kal Penn and Mischa Barton are the journalists who dare to tackle UCC and its head – Warren Anderson. While Kal Penn plays his part with elan, Mischa doesn’t really have much to do other than just one sequence. I can imagine that the only reason she did the part was because of the morality associated with such a project.
The first half is slightly slow but the second half with all the dead bodies lying motionless and silence all around is gut wrenching. The scenes of death and despair shake you to the core.
While there maybe certain inaccuracies like the way Rajpal survives for sometime more than others or doctors surviving the whole night, it’s just a minor blip in an otherwise heart rending tribute to the victims of the disaster.
Watch it to know more on how Indian lives were too cheap for an American corporation!
Rating – 4/5
Linking to NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month – December) – My post no 3 for this month.