Mission Mangal : Bollywood Takes On the “Pride of India” with Gender-Neutral Tones

Mission Mangal : Bollywood Takes On the “Pride of India” with Gender-Neutral Tones

Mission Mangal, a Hindi-film produced and written by R Balki, based on a true story revolving around the success of the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan Mission.

Released on August 15, 2019 in time for the celebration of India’s 72nd Independence Day, this R. Balki film also promotes the gender-neutral concept that is fast becoming a norm in modern-day India.

Starring Akshay Kumar as Rakesh Dhawan, head of the ISRO team that put their heart and soul into making the Mars mission a success. Teaming up with Kumar is Vidya Balan as Tara Shinde, a project head responsible for the failed launch of a previous (2010) important mission.

As a result, Tara and her boss Rakesh were relegated to an ISRO graveyard project, which nonetheless gave them the opportunity to conceptualize the Mars Orbiter Mission. Happy that the higher ups at ISRO were open to their idea, the pair formed a team that included 4 strong and independent women

Taapsee Pannu is Kritika Aggarwal, the klutzy but brilliant scientist who designed the unmanned Mars orbiter spaceship. Sonakshi Sinha as Eka Gandhi, the strong-willed sexually-liberated intellectual. Nithya Menen as Varsha Pillai, a shy South Indian woman harboring desires to become a mother . Last but not the least is Kirti Kulhari as Neha Siddiqui, a self-sufficient Muslim divorcee.

Mission Mangal, Not About Women Empowerment but of Equality between Men and Women

Produced by R. Balki with the financial and technical support of Hope Productions, Cape of Good Films, Hope Productions, Aruna Bhatia, Anil Naidu.and Fox Star Studios, the filmmaker asserts that their approach to developing the movie is not about “women empowerment”  since he strongly believes women are no less than men. Still, R Balki together with Akshay Kumar, and the film’s director Jagan Shakti, made sure the film will not turn out preachy but an entertaining true-to-life thriller.

In weaving a story about the ISRO’s first interplanetary expedition that made India the first to launch a successful Mars space probe mission on a maiden attempt, R. Balki said he found it difficult to simplify something that is quite complex in reality. As a writer, he considers it challenging to transcribe a lot of scientific processes into lines that could be easily understood; using analogies based on everyday life.

Another celebration of India’s Independence Day this year is the India-themed Sale event held by the Amazon online store. Like the Mars Orbiter Mission that extended beyond the original expected period, the Amazon Great Indian Sale will again take place on September 04 to 08, 2019.