Mission Majnu Review: An Action-Packed Spy Thriller With A Healthy Dose Of Patriotism
Mission Majnu is now streaming on Netflix and is the streaming service’s first major release of 2023 from India. At its heart, it’s a spy thriller focused on intelligence gathering by Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) operatives operating deep in Pakistan, but the title is the biggest giveaway. obvious that there is also a love story angle in the film. Indeed, Mission Majnu is the story of an intelligence agent who manages to find the right balance between his duty to his country and his true love and care for his wife and unborn child, despite the fact that it has always been part of his cover. . Here’s our spoiler-free review of the new Netflix movie.
Shantanu Bagchi makes a decent directorial debut in Mission Majnu, but he sure does have a pretty easy-to-use formula. The choice of setting is pretty smart, in my opinion. Viewers will immediately get the idea of tensions between India and Pakistan, but Mission Majnu picks out an interesting period of peace between the two countries. It comes across as the perfect setting for a spy-focused movie, and does it quite tastefully.
The film begins with a history lesson covering the period and setting of the film, the mid to late 1970s, and the start of India and Pakistan’s nuclear programs. This is all done lightly and without going into too much detail around politics or actual tensions between the two countries, at the time engaged in a sub-continental “cold war” of its kind. This means that the politics of the era feels a little weird and over-dramatized, and the dialogue is a little over the top, but it serves as a kind of reminder to you not to take this movie too seriously either.
It also quickly introduces the main character, Amandeep aka Tariq (Sidharth Malhotra) as a tailor working for a shop in Rawalpindi which is known for sewing uniforms for the Pakistani army. He marries a visually impaired Nasreen (Rashmika Mandanna) who is his employer’s niece, and uses his position and cover to gain access to military intelligence aimed at exposing the development of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program. The actual intelligence-gathering process comes across as a bit clownish and ridiculously convenient to Tariq, but again, you’re not supposed to take the movie too seriously.
Throughout the first half of the film, Tariq’s own motivations and backstory are revealed, particularly focusing on how his father was considered a national traitor, and he chose not to run away from that reputation. but to take the difficult path to prove his patriotism and love for his nation. He proves to be a star cadet on RAW and is trusted by agency chief RN Kao (Parmeet Sethi), even though his direct manager Sharma (Zakir Hussain) doesn’t think much of him as he sits comfortably and in safely behind a desk. in a store in Delhi.
Most of the performances are as expected, although Rashmika Mandanna seems to have a little trouble speaking Urdu and takes too long to deliver even simple dialogue. Sidharth Malhotra, on the other hand, channels his Punjabi upbringing to best effect, switching a little more easily between Punjabi-Urdu and the occasional use of English and Indian Hindi.
Most of the rest of the cast’s other performances aren’t bad, but aren’t particularly memorable either, with the exception of other Pakistan field agents such as Aslam (Sharib Hashmi) and Raman (Kumud Mishra), who serve as companions to Amandeep. The duo helps provide some light comic relief. Unfortunately, the film regularly uses gritty dialogue to tone down the setting and the otherwise serious tensions of the era. Tariq’s occasional “light bulb” moments also help tell the story of his above-average intelligence in the art of espionage, as well as adding a slight hilarity to the plot.
The second half of the film is less about espionage and more about all-out action as Tariq focuses first on completing the mission and then on escaping from Pakistan. It also explores how Mission Majnu was never just a mission for him, and the bond he formed with his “wife” in Pakistan was unaffected by his patriotic duty.
Overall, Mission Majnu is about finding the right balance between patriotic duty and personal relationships. It’s a feel-good story that, despite the gritty dialogue, dramatized politics and largely ordinary cast performances, has its heart in the right place and faithfully tells a story of real events that have admittedly been widely ignored so far.
Mission Majnu is streaming now on Netflix. In India, the film is available in Hindi, English, Tamil and Telugu.
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