A toxic gas escaped from an American pesticide plant in the central Indian City of Bhopal which killed thousands of people. The heroes who are workers at the Bhopal Railway Station who saved thousands of lives.
It’s Review Time: 8
Cast & Crew:
Directed by Shiv Rawali.
Written by Aayush Gupta and Shiv Rawali.
Rati Pandey, General Manager of West Central Railway Station of Indian Railways at Itarsi Junction is played by R. Madhavan.
Ifteekar Siddiqui, Station Master of Bhopal Junction is played by Kay Kay Menon.
Kamruddin, the Day Shift Manager of Union Carbide is played by Dibyendu Bhattacharya.
Balwant Yadav, Bandit Express is played by Divyendu.
Jagmohan Kumawat, journalist is played by Sunny Hinduja.
Imad Riaz is played by Babil Khan.
Rajeshwari Jangley, Railway Ministry Bureaucrat is played by Juhi Chawla Mehta.
Madsen, the American Head of Union Carbide Plant is played by Philip Rosch.
Train Guard is played by Raghubir Yadav.
Alex Braun, Toxicologist Scientist is played by Connor Keene.
Prasad, Railway colleague of Iftekar is played by Shrikant Verma.
The story begins with the background narration by Kumawat, a journalist who is covering the Bhopal Gas Leak incident and the disaster caused by Union Carbide. Kumawat complains about the hypocrisy of the system where we think that human lives are the most valued commodity in the country, but when it comes to the benefit of oligarchs and government, the common people become the scapegoat and least valued commodity when anything wrong occurs. We see the owners and managers of Union Carbide being provided Private Planes by the government and other facilities so that they could go back to their homes in USA without facing any problems.
We soon moved to 16 hours before the gas leak incident, where we were introduced to the disastrous management and safety measures of Union Carbide in the city of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. We are then introduced to the work environment at Union Carbide through the day shift manager, Kamruddin. The tension carried around by Kamruddin to keep the plant stable and working is carried throughout the episode, where every moment he fears some or other mishappening that might lead to the mass destruction that can be caused by the gas leakage.
Meanwhile, we are introduced to Iftekar Siddiqui, the station master of Bhopal Junction who is on his regular job and will be working during the night shift for the incoming Gorakhpur-Bombay Express in the night. Along with Iftekar, we are also introduced to Imad and Kumawat who are planning to unveil the biohazard that is caused by Union Carbide through the local newspaper that is owned by Kumawat himself.
Within the first episode, we see the people living their lives peacefully knowing the disaster that lives next to them, we witness the massacre that begins and kills 15,000 people that day. But we also see the effort of a few heroic railway staff members who successfully save a few hundred people despite the fact that they disregard all the government orders they get.
What an introduction of Yash Raj Films in the world of OTT platforms and web series. The absolute perfection that the YRF is famous for is all showcased within this series itself. Every single thing is nailed to perfection or near perfection. Unlike Yash Raj Films’ recent movies like Pathaan and Tiger 3, this is what I expect YRF to deliver with their projects.
Whether it was the depiction of the real-life story, music, cinematography, background music, and especially casting, everything became the definition of perfection.
Finally, after giving us lots of teen dramas, unrelatable overdramatic series and movies, along with bizarre projects that were not relatable to common people in India, Netflix has started bringing serious and meaningful content that is cherished and binge-watched by the people. Whether it was Guns & Gulaabs, Jaane Jaan, Trial By Fire, Kohrra, CAT, and much more they have released recently.
5 things I liked about The Railway Men:
As the show was almost nailed to perfection, there are many things that I liked about the show. So let’s start discussing about it.
- I have talked about this in many of my reviews. The music or the score that the series has keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat. From the very first episode, we keep on getting an intuition that something or other is about to go seriously wrong, even after the time cards that are constantly provided to us that explain beautifully what occurred at what time.
- The pacing of the series was fantastic. The story contained around 5 to 6 narratives where we see what happened in the past of the incident, the day of the incident where we see the perspective of Iftekar, Rati Pandey, Kumawat, and Rajeshwai Jangley were beautifully handled and brought on to the screen. The story picks the pace where it is needed and does not waste any time by stalling the events that are supposed to occur while they even maintain the thrilling experience of the disaster and rescue that is about to happen. On the other hand, the director keeps us in the moments of suffering and aftermath so that we can realise and feel what the people at that time might have gone through and also let us witness the deformity the genetics of those people carried to their next generations.
- The fabulous casting done by the production companies and casting directors can not explain how beautiful the job they have done in casting each actor for every role. No amount of appreciation can explain how wonderful these actors were while portraying their roles. Whether it was Kay Kay Menon, Kay Kay Menon, Sunny Hinduja (also known for Sandeep Bhaiya and Aspirants), Divyendu, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, R. Madhavan, even the smallest characters portrayed by different actors were nailed to perfection.
- The effort of the production designers, creative team on sets, and director can not be appreciated enough. The way they recreated the photos that were taken by Kumawat, known as Rajkumar Keswani in real life was absolutely stunning to watch. The emotions, the pain we feel through the subtle merging of recreated events and pictures made the viewers really emotional. No one can imagine the pain the people might have gone through that day. Even the way we see the post-mortem of Imad’s friend, where we see all the chemicals formed in his lungs from Methyl Isocyanate.
- It was a brave effort from Netflix and Yash Raj Films to bring the truth out that was hidden on that day. These companies can and might face some backlash from political parties and ministries that were present on the date of 2nd December 1984 where they were not interested in helping the people stuck in Bhopal. And a big salute to the bravery of Railway Staff, Doctors, and all the other personnel who took responsibility on their behalf to rescue those people despite the orders from the Government officials to let them be the way they were.
Although there wasn’t something as such I disliked about the series. But the only thing I would complain about is that the directors and writers should have included additional information about what happened to Union Carbide, the owners, the CEO, and the manager – Madsen. Although we do get to see right in the beginning that the owner leaves India, it is left on the viewers’ behalf to do their research about the legal actions and proceedings, along with the compensation Union Carbide gave to the victims.