Director: Ravi Walia
Producer: Simanto Roy, Ravi Walia
Cast: Rajpal Yadav, Martin Sheen, Mischa Barton, Kal penn, Vinit Kumar, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Satish Kaushik, Joy Sengupta, Manoj Joshi, Vasanth S
Country’s worst industrial accident, the Bhopal Gas Tragedy occurred on December 2 and 3 30 years ago. On its 30th Anniversary this year, Ravi Walia presented his documentary drama ‘Bhopal: A prayer for Rain’ projecting the consequences brought about by this disaster. A very well researched project, it took Walia good amount of time to deliver the final product in the form of this documentary.
The theme revolves around the gas leakage that happened at the Union Carbide Company that washed off 10,000 people in one night. Dilip (Rajpal Yadav) narrates his story in the film. Playing the role of a rickshaw puller, the story focuses on him and his wifeTannishtha Chatterjee.
The film is a very subtle depiction of the impact of the disaster on humans yet very powerful. The screen presence of the actors and delivery of the facts succeed in striking the emotional chord among the audience. Such facts given out without any tampering proves that a hard core research has been involved in the film making.
The movie gets more authentic when some scenes are shot at the actual locations where the disaster occurred. Shot in the dirty lanes and slums around the factory, the film brings out the life as a first hand experience. The era of the 80’s is perfectly recreated and shows how negligent the Union Carbide Company and the government were at that disastrous time.
The film opens with an introduction by the ‘Namesake’ actor Kal Penn. He plays an Indian journalist in the movie. Undoubtedly a very talended actor, but his heavy American accent becomes a bit too difficult for the Indian audience.
Martin Sheen plays the role of Warren Anderson, the then CEO of the Union Carbide Company. He steals the show with his devoted performance. Mischa Barton plays the part of the American Journalist Eva Caufield. Her limited screen appearance is enough for the audience the remember her powerful acting.
‘Bhopal: A prayer for Rain’ concludes leaving the audience experience the pain of innocent people who were victimised at the time of the disaster and still continue to suffer after thirty long years. It exposes the Union Carbide Company’s negligence and unapologetic attitude in spite of being responsible for this mass killing.
It creates a deep social awakening and the movie is made in the interest of the people who are waiting for the delayed justice they deserve after 30 years of victimization. ‘Bhopal: A prayer for Rain’ is a serious portrayal of the fatal accident that happened 30 years ago but whose consequences and shabby memories are still freshly etched in the hearts of people of Bhopal.