I know better than to wholly trust what I see in a film. But Ravi Kumar's honest and haunting story of what really happened on December 1984 at the heart of India makes my view on the topic clear. The figures may never be accurately exacted, but the magnitude of the tragedy is explicit. Who's to be blamed? The film says what we want to hear.
Union Carbide is seen adopting poor working conditions from the beginning even when they were alerted of the disastrous effects of MIC (Methyl Isocyanate), the chemical the plant produced, in 1982. Giving the story a dramatic addition of a family, the film takes you on a gradual fact-finding trip as "pure negligence" is termed as the single, great cause of the whole tragedy. Negligence by everyone involved: the government, the UCC, and partially even the employees. Also, structural changes were made to the plant, and as the Carbide called it Indianization, which triggered the leak. The fact that journalism acted without effect puts us in a state of confusion: whether to believe it or not. Had journalism been paid heed like we do now in 2014, Bhopal Gas Tragedy COULD have easily been averted. Many things together caused the tragedy and the only way to right this wrong was to strictly regulate industrial operations, which is still a debatable topic. The compensation was like a honorarium.
The performances by Rajpal Yadav, Martin Sheen & Kal Penn is what drives the film into a suspense thriller. The only sadness we have as an audience is that we can't go back in time and try to delete the incident. A pre-credit montage of the aftermath is the silver lining of the film. It says that Union Carbide never apologized, which is even graver a fact.
BOTTOM LINE: One of the many pleasures while watching this historical drama is that Warren Anderson is dead as a dodo. Recommended!
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES