If you’ve seen the trailer of ‘Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain’ and have construed it as a documentary, let me tell you – it’s not. It has a story, a narrative and yes, information about the biggest industrial disaster in human history – all well brought forth on celluloid.
Before I go ahead, let me introduce three of the key characters to you:
Dilip: Rajpal Yadav plays Dilip, a poor rickshaw-puller, who secures himself a job in Union Carbide only to fend for his family, which he couldn’t earlier.
Warren Anderson: Martin Sheen plays a shrewd businessman who at times will show his compassionate side as well, but at the end of it all, he is a true businessman for whom what matters is his company and its profits.
Motwani: Kal Penn plays a journalist who is hell bent on exposing Union Carbide for their apathetic ways of functioning, thereby putting the lives of tens of thousands of people at risk.
Now that you have an idea of the characters in the film, let me tell you about the scenes that actually struck me.
- Several men, in the real world, take up hazardous jobs and work over-time for the sake of their families, especially for monetary reasons. This is what even Dilip does. Because of the money and respect he earns thanks to his newfound profession, there’s an affinity he has for his company. Because of this, he is apprehensive of doubting their reliability.
- When Warren Anderson comes to India, he is shown dealing with Dilip in a compassionate way, and also renders a nice speech to his workers, talking about unity. This makes you think that he is a positive character. But soon enough you’ll realize that he is a businessman after all, and for him keeping his employees happy is only a PR technique to help his business.
- Motwani does his best each day to expose the indifferent attitude of Union Carbide towards its employees, their family and also the town they are situated in. But how much is it effective? Employees who work in the company are either too ignorant to understand the hazards, or choose to ignore them. Even in the climax, when Motwani is running around the whole town informing everyone about the gas leakage, Dilip dismisses it as yet another episode being magnified by Motwani.
I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes to watch social dramas. But yes, let me warn – this film, during the climax, has some gory scenes – people puking out blood, bleeding eyes, swollen eyes and the likes; but wouldn’t a film based on one of the most tragic human disasters be incomplete without them?