MISSION RANIGANJ: THE GREAT BHARAT RESCUE
Producer- Vashu Bhagnani
Director- Tinu Suresh Desai
Cast- Akshay Kumar, Parineeti Chopra, Kumud Mishra, Ravi Kishen, Pawan Malhotra, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Arif Zakaria, Veerendra Saxena and Varun Badola, Ananth Mahadevan and Sudhir Pandey
Platform of Release- Theatres
By Jyothi Venkatesh
Based on a real-life rescue mission of 1989, the film pays homage to the late Jaswant Singh Gill, who saved the lives of 65 miners trapped in a flooded coal mine in Raniganj, West Bengal. Written by Vipul K Rawal, it is based on the Raniganj Coalfields collapse. The film was initially titled Capsule Gill, which was later changed to The Great Indian Rescue. In September 2023, with the poster release, the name was changed to Mission Raniganj: The Great Bharat Rescue.
In a race against time, when the usual methods failed, engineer Jaswant Singh Gill ( Akshay Kumar) suggests to drill a well and deploy a specially crafted rescue capsule and in the absence of a crane and corruption within CIL (Coal India), the film shows how Gill, and his bunch of valiant experts rescue all 65 miners, one by one through the innovative capsule.
Akshay Kumar’s films make a social statement or unfold from the pages of India’s story and follow a similar pattern. They start with a Punjabi wedding song, two brief scenes with the heroine who then becomes pregnant or disappears. The film sets out to showcase the resilience and dedication of the miners.
People are aware of the armed forces contribution to the nation and how their lives are always in danger. But not many are actually aware of the risky lives led by the miners? After almost 40 years, perhaps a film like this which is on the lines of Kala Patthar has come to us.
As far as the performers go, I can safely concede that Akshay Kumar is the saving grace of the film as Jaswant Singh Gill. Kumud Mishra as head Ujjwal, considering the kind of brilliant craftsman he is, could have done a better job. On the other hand, the characters of Bindal (Pavan Malhotra) and Tapan (Veerendra Saxena) have a lot of extra layers.
Though Tapan initially disagrees to help Gill in his mission, it is he who helps in pinpointing the exact location where the miners could be waiting to save themselves from the flood. It is Bindal, the man Friday of the film who supplies drills for the operation. Parineeti Chopra is good though ornamental. While Ananth Mahadevan is competent, Sudhir Pandey has been wasted in an inane role.