“ Studio: Boulevard Entertaiment / DVD Release Date: 30 July 2007 „
Mission Mumbai is a Bollywood (Hindi language) film which was released in 2004.
A man walking along on a rainy night loses his umbrella in the wind. He goes to retrieve it and in the process overhears a terrorist plot for New Years Eve to blow up major areas of Mumbai. Of course, he is spotted listening in and chased by the terrorists to the police station where he is fatally shot. Before he dies he passes on some info to the police officers who find him in an attempt to save the people of Mumbai. The inspector who is given the information makes it his mission to go after the terrorists but soon he is killed along with most of his family and it falls to his younger brother to avenge his death and along with a disgraced army officer try to stop the terrorists.
Inspector Inderjeet is Arjun's older brother whose mission is to stop the terrorist activities of Mission Mumbai, except he doesn't even know that the senior officials he's approaching about stopping the terrorist activities are actually involved themselves. Mukesh Khanna plays the Inspector. He's portrayed as a pretty big guy, larger than life and a loyal police officer who really believes in serving the people of his country honestly, although it seems like he's one of the few decent police officers. I found this confusing as later in the film a senior police official demands that the terrorists are brought to justice to ensure the good name of the Mumbai police is not sullied!
Sonu Sood takes the lead role of Arjun who's at university chasing the girl of his dreams Priya more than studying. Sood was in his early 30s when filming for this role so it was a bit hard to accept him as someone supposedly in his early 20s even if he has a baby face. This shouldn't be too much of a surprise though as Bollywood actors in their 40s sometimes play college students! Strangely enough, when Arjun comes home from college and meets his older brother Inderjeet at the train station Arjun is shown to be taller than him, which seemed to contradict earlier scenes in the film. Sood looks nice on screen and was fairly convincing in the action scenes.
Ashutosh Rana is introduced halfway through the film as Hassan Khan, aka Fauji, who was an Indian solider dismissed from the army as a traitor. His acting was pretty decent and wasn't overdone unlike most of the other actors in the film.
Arjun's love interest is played by an actress called Jyoti who didn't have a lot of screen time, mostly in song and dance scenes. She's pretty enough and seemed fine in her role but she doesn't seem to have acted in any other films before this one or since.
Shakti Kapoor, mostly famous for playing Bollywood villains appears in the latter half of the film. I didn't quite understand how his role fitted in with the story to be honest but I guess he was added in to give the film a fairly well known name.
With terrorists with names like Suleiman Biscuitwala, Thadani and Sallu Kaliya it was hardly surprising that these villains weren't exactly villainous. The main villain was a character nicknamed "Baba" played by Nawab Shah and he was probably the only one that looked like he was attempting to play the role seriously. The rest of the terrorists were just not in the least threatening - giggling like a child after you've shot someone dead just didn't make the killer seem very menacing, just rather mad!
The film had a handful of pretty decent songs, the music with the opening credits was quite upbeat and catchy and a lullaby picturised on Arjun and Priya near the start of the film was really pleasant to listen to with quite watchable dancing from what seemed to be mountain residents. It was also quite amusing to see a brothel dance scene where the dancer was not a skinny Minnie but quite a "healthy" curvy woman almost butch with short hair; quite atypical of these types of scenes in Bollywood films. With 5 or 6 songs in the film this dragged out the length of the film considerably.
I can't say the direction or editing or cinematography was anything of note. The choreography was decent enough in several of the songs and some of the locales used for the songs were nice too but nothing to make the film anything more than barely average production-wise.
The end of the film was fairly predictable and I understand Mission Mumbai was a real flop on its release. The story is supposedly based on the real life Mumbai terrorist blasts in late 1992 and early 1993.
I can't think of anything specific to say I liked about Mission Mumbai, but also I can't say I hated it. It's an average film but can't really be taken seriously as a film trying to show terrorism as the characters seem more focussed on killing each other to get revenge rather than the terrorists' actual plan of blowing up Mumbai. An average 3 out of 5 stars from me, in this case the songs actually helped me give a better rating!
Starring: Mukesh Khanna, Sonu Sood, Arun Bakshi, Pankaj Berry, Shakti Kapoor, Ashutosh Rana, Nawab Shah
Director: Rajiv S S Ruia
Producer: Naresh Mehta
Story/screenplay: Rajiv S S Ruia, Dhruv Singh
Cinematography: Hasan Khan
Music: Dilip Sen, Sameer Sen, Abhishek Ray
Duration: 125 minutes
DVD extras: play film, English subtitles, song selection, scene selection