The Railway Men Review: A Tragic Indian Chapter Derailed by Artificial Storytelling

Rahul Desai

A Tragedy Sweeps Through a City

The infrastructure collapses. Innocent civilians die. Nobody is held accountable. A bunch of unlikely government employees come together. Despite the lack of support and resources from above, they save countless lives.

As The Full Title Suggests

It is based on a little-known dimension of the country’s worst industrial disaster. It revolves around a few brave railway workers, who risk their lives to limit the damage caused by deadly gas leaks from the Union Carbide pesticide plant on that fateful December night.

An Awkward Aesthetic

It is the first web series from YRF Entertainment. Most production houses venturing into the streaming space treat it as an alternative medium, where the style guides and big-screen aesthetics often make way for diverse voices. 

Very Little Looks Natural Or Organic

Which is to say: All of what we see is a kitschy, studio-crafted appropriation of tragedy. The fiction overrides the truth, turning it into more of a mainstream actioner having an identity crisis.

There Are Unnecessary Gimmicks 

Like two professionals bickering on the phone throughout the show only to be ‘revealed’ as an estranged married couple. Even an actual miracle, like a man declared dead only to wake up at a morgue, looks made up.

The Railway Men Suggests 

That its OTT vision is behind the curve. I wish I had something constructive to say about this series, particularly because the source material might have made for a heartfelt survival thriller. But some stories are perhaps best left untold.