The 1984 industrial disaster of the Bhopal gas tragedy still sends shivers down our spine. When the events unravel in front of us again in Ravi Kumar’s docu-drama, Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain, we are left with a feeling of shock and despair.
Dilip is a rickshaw puller in the small town of Bhopal. With a family to support, Dilip’s life takes a positive turn when he is asked to replace a worker at the Union Carbide. With much zeal, Dilip joins the industry that gave thousands of men like him employment and dreams of a better future.
Bhopal is a much-needed film. It is evocative and heart-wrenching. Kumar fictionalized and added a personal touch with the story of Dilip, who is brilliantly portrayed by Rajpal Yadav. Martin Sheen gives a compelling performance as the chairman of Union Carbide. Kal Penn gives a breezy performance as the reporter, Motwani. But it is Rajpal Yadav who steals the show.
Ravi Kumar has his story in place, but the urgency is missing. The fact that beats Bhopal is that it offers nothing new to the story of the disaster. The first half of the film is mostly focused on the life and struggle of Dilip. The climax seems a little misleading, and we are left with questions that are unanswered.
But leaving behind the flaws, Ravi Kumar gives us a powerful film of myriad emotions. It could have been a better film, but nonetheless Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain will stun you with its eloquent imagery and heart-touching moments.
Why should watch the film?
Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain is an extraordinary testament of human tragedy. It probes deep into the lives of the victims of the 1984 industrial disaster. Ravi Kumar deftly sheds light on the corruption and negligence of the higher authorities, which led to one of the world’s worst industrial disasters. Watch the film for its dramatic essence and the Rajpal Yadav’s acting prowess.