The trailer of Mission Mangal opens with a dedication to the incredible team of scientists and engineers at ISRO that led the first satellite mission to Mars. This is yet another Akshay Kumar film, after Padman, that has been adapted from an inspiring real-life story. Here, Kumar is Rakesh Dhawan, the head of mission control. We are told that a mistake he’s made has set India’s space mission back by 5 years. There’s also Dalip Tahil’s character who says, “We should borrow from NASA’s knowledge and build on it.”
Dhawan will have none of that. Instead, we see him put together a team of women, played by actors Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu, Nithya Menen, Sonakshi Sinha and Kirti Kulhari, to do the impossible. We’re also told the mission has less than a 1 percent chance of succeeding but, of course, we know how that ends. There are scenes of Kumar using a home science experiment to break down the mission to his team, dramatically sliding over tables and refusing to blindly follow the NASA.
But the most exciting aspect of the film is the ensemble of the talented actresses who we rarely get to see in the same film. Mission Mangal has been directed by Jagan Shakti who’s been an assistant director on films like Padman, English Vinglish and Shamitabh. Filmmaker R Balki is one of the writers of the film.
Produced by Fox Star, Mission Mangal releases on August 15.