‘Mission Majnu’ Movie Review: Siddharth Malhotra Can’t Keep Secret In This Formulaic Mission

Siddharth Malhotra in stills of 'Mission Majnu'

Siddharth Malhotra in a still from ‘Mission Majnu’ Photo credit: Netflix

A typical spy thriller that vividly dramatizes the true events of our thorny relationship with Pakistan. Mission Majnoo Doesn’t add much to our knowledge and understanding of the universe in which secret agents operate.

Set against the backdrop of Pakistan’s desperation to develop its own atomic bomb after the smiling Buddha in Pokhara in 1974, director Siddharth Bagchi follows the exploits of secret agent Tariq/Amandeep (Siddharth Malhotra) as Pakistan’s nuclear power. but exposes the secret plan to achieve equality. .

Mission Majnu (Hindi)

Director: Shantanu Bagchi

The cast: Siddharth Malhotra, Rashmika Mandana, Kumud Mishra, Sharab Hashmi, Parmeet Sethi, Zakir Hussain, Rajit Kapoor

Run time: 129 minutes

The story line: In the 1970s, an undercover Indian spy embarks on a deadly mission to uncover a secret nuclear weapons program in the heart of Pakistan.

There are parts of the screenplay that read like a Wikipedia page, where the makers are eager to show real-life characters like spymaster RN Kao (Parameet Sethi) and political figures involved in the political and intelligence slugfest. come. And then there are the fables, like how Tariq, who works as a tailor, strikes up a romantic relationship with Nasreen (Rashmika Mandana), a blind girl. His handler (Zakir Hussain) on the phone comes across as a caricature. As a result, background details and foreground fictional histories do not really converge.

Siddharth is a bit too charming to slip into the role of a detective in a film that is trying to be realistic. Unlike his fellow detectives, played by Sharab Hashmi and Kumud Mishra, he holds himself above the demands of the situation. Tariq doesn’t get past the ease with which he moves through military zones and his love story is more attractive than violent. The romantic parts are dull and the camaraderie between the detectives doesn’t rise above the formulaic dialogues. Rashmika seems conscious of the period in which she is asked to assimilate. On the contrary, Ashwath Bhatt shows how a character like Zia-ul-Haq can be played with great poise without losing colour.

This tonal difference in performance becomes jarring after a point. One can understand that writing on paper is not bad. There are interesting twists in Tariq’s methods of obtaining information and how Nasreen can sense the truth by touch, but the execution makes it too cloying for a thriller.

Thankfully, the film is not overtly sexist and there is a stark contrast to the way Indira Gandhi and Morarji Desai handled strained relations with Pakistan in the 1970s. At the same time, the authors place characters on both sides of the border who can see beyond the divisive version of history that politicians often present.

However, what is troubling is how a spy can find true love while doing secret service in a foreign land, but his fake religious identity never comes up in our spy movies. Here Raman Singh (Mishra) lives the life of a cleric and prays in a mosque for years but chants. Bholenath Ki Jai‘ Every time he is with his colleagues. Why is there no overlap when he has understood both religions? Did he not learn to separate religion from geographical identity as Amandeep understood during his relationship with Nasrin? Half as interesting as the title, this mission generates more yawns than wows.

Mission Majnoo is currently streaming on Netflix.

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