Mission Majnu is now streaming on Netflix, and is the streaming service’s first main launch of 2023 from India. At its coronary heart, it is a spy thriller specializing in intelligence gathering by Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) brokers working deep inside Pakistan, however the title is the obvious giveaway that there’s a love-story angle to the movie as effectively. Indeed, Mission Majnu is the story of an intelligence agent who manages to strike the best stability between his responsibility to his nation, and his real love and take care of his spouse and unborn youngster, even though it was at all times part of his cowl. Here is our spoiler-free evaluate of the brand new Netflix film.
Shantanu Bagchi makes an honest directorial debut in Mission Majnu, however he admittedly has a relatively simple components to work with. The selection of setting is a relatively sensible one, for my part. Viewers will instantly relate to the concept of tensions between India and Pakistan, however Mission Majnu picks an fascinating peace-time period between the 2 international locations. This comes throughout as the best setting for a film targeted on espionage, and does so pretty tastefully.
The film begins with a historical past lesson masking the interval and setting of the movie, the mid-to-late Nineteen Seventies, and the beginning of each India and Pakistan’s nuclear applications. All of that is executed calmly and with out stepping into an excessive amount of element across the politics or real-life tensions between the 2 international locations, on the time engaged in a subcontinental ‘chilly struggle’ of its personal type. This does imply that the politics of the period come throughout as a bit odd and overly-dramatised, and the dialogue is a bit over-the-top, but it surely serves to type of remind you to not take this film too severely both.
It additionally shortly introduces the lead character, Amandeep alias Tariq (Sidharth Malhotra) as a tailor working for a store in Rawalpindi that’s identified to sew uniforms for the Pakistani military. He marries a visually impaired Nasreen (Rashmika Mandanna) who’s the niece of his employer, and makes use of his place and canopy to realize entry to navy intelligence geared toward exposing the event of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program. The precise strategy of gathering intelligence comes throughout as a bit clownish and ridiculously handy for Tariq, however as soon as once more, you are not anticipated to take the movie too severely.
Throughout the primary half of the movie, Tariq’s personal motivations and backstory are revealed, significantly specializing in the truth that his father was thought of a nationwide traitor, and he selected to not run from this popularity however to take the onerous route in the direction of proving his patriotism and love for his nation. He is revealed to be a star cadet at RAW and is trusted by the company chief RN Kao (Parmeet Sethi), even when his direct handler Sharma (Zakir Hussain) would not suppose a lot of him whereas himself sitting comfortably and safely behind a desk in a Delhi store.
Most of the performances are as anticipated, though Rashmika Mandanna does appear to wrestle a bit with talking in Urdu and takes too lengthy to ship even easy dialogues. Sidharth Malhotra, alternatively, channels his Punjabi upbringing to higher impact, switching a bit extra simply between Punjabi-Urdu and the occasional use of English and Indian Hindi.
Most of the opposite performances from the remainder of the solid aren’t dangerous, however aren’t significantly memorable both, save for fellow area brokers in Pakistan reminiscent of Aslam (Sharib Hashmi) and Raman (Kumud Mishra), who function companions to Amandeep. The duo assist ship slight comedic reduction. Sadly, the movie commonly makes use of cringey dialogue to take the sting off the in any other case critical setting and tensions of the period. Tariq’s occasional ‘lightbulb’ moments additionally assist to inform the story of his above-average intelligence within the artwork of espionage, other than including slight hilarity to the plot.
The second half of the movie is much less about espionage, and extra about all-out motion as Tariq first focuses on finishing the mission, after which on escaping Pakistan. It additionally explores how Mission Majnu was by no means only a mission for him, and the bond he shaped together with his ‘spouse’ in Pakistan weren’t affected by his patriotic responsibility.
On the entire, Mission Majnu is about discovering the best stability between patriotic responsibility and private relationships. It’s a feel-good story that regardless of the cringey dialogue, dramatised politicking, and largely abnormal performances from the solid, has its coronary heart in the best place and faithfully tells a narrative of true occasions which have admittedly been largely brushed over up to now.
Mission Majnu is streaming now on Netflix. In India, the movie is obtainable in Hindi, English, Tamil, and Telugu.