Mission Majnu Review: Sidharth Malhotra and Rashmika Mandanna shine in an over simplistic tale of a real-life RAW spy


Film: Mission Majnu

Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Rashmika Mandanna, Sharib Hashmi, Kumud Mishra, Parmeet Sethi, Rajit Kapur

Director: Shantanu Bagchi

OTT Platform: Netflix

Rating: 3 Moons

Under the wings of Rameshwar Nath Kao, the first chief of India's external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, the country placed several spies in the neighbouring country. One such spy was positioned in Pakistan on a covert operation to expose their secret nuclear weapons program. The story of this spy has now been adapted into Mission Majnu.

Directed by Shantanu Bagchi, Mission Majnu stars Sidharth Malhotra, Rashmika Mandanna, Sharib Hashmi, Kumud Mishra, Parmeet Sethi, Rajit Kapur and ensemble. The story is set in the 1970s in Pakistan where a young lad named Tariq (Sidharth Malhotra) is struggling to make money through his tailoring job and wants bigger assignments. He then lands a job at a tailoring factory that works closely with the army.

One day, Tariq’s eyes meet Nasreen (Rashmika Mandanna), a blind girl who is the niece of the owner of the tailoring factory. They get married. However, Nasreen and her family aren’t aware of his real identity. Tariq was originally named Amandeep Singh. His reputation back in India is tainted because his father was accused of being a traitor and he ended up shooting himself.

Mission Majnu orbits around Amandeep alias Tariq’s covert operation to unearth Pakistan’s strategy against India. The film’s foundation is set on Operation Smiling Buddha, India's first successful nuclear bomb test which was conducted on May 18, 1974, in Pokhran. To add to the film’s authenticity, the makers have used actual footage of events post the happenings. For those seeking a patriotic film this Republic Day, Mission Majnu serves the purpose just right. Without demeaning the neighbouring country, director Shantanu Bagchi puts the pivot on India and the urge to protect her.

While Mission Majnu scores full marks for its intention, it cannot be ignored that numerous plot points are undercooked and could be explored a little more to create the right patriotic sentimental impact. The courageous story of a spy who lost his life on duty has been told in an overly simplistic manner. Tariq/Amandeep gets things too soon, too easily. The efforts taken and challenges faced by a real-life spy don’t get a chance to shine. If this were included, Mission Majnu would have been a masterpiece. There are bare minimum twists and turns, but they are decent enough to hold your attention.

Sidharth Malhotra gets ample space to shine whereas Rashmika Mandanna makes her way into the picture despite just being restricted to playing his blind wife. Sidharth, who is seemingly establishing himself as the next patriotic hero, is a perfect fit as Tariq/Amandeep. The stoic face and physical build-up tick all boxes required to play the character. Rashmika lends good support. It is pretty clear that her voice has been dubbed and that’s a major letdown. The voice seems artificial for the actress’ expressive face and body language.

Sharib Hashmi does a good job as usual but a little more of him would cause no harm. Kumud Mishra is reliable as always. Parmeet Sethi has a brief role but he is a delight to watch. Rajit Kapur is once again stereotyped.

Sonu Nigam’s Maati Ko Maa Kehte Hain is the most impactful melody. It has the potential to be the next patriotic song for Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations. The overall cinematography of Mission Majnu is done superbly. The locations feel real and authentic most of the time. Mission Majnu had the potential to be the next big masterpiece. Watch it for the earnest efforts by the star cast and debutant director Shantanu Bagchi.

PeepingMoon gives Mission Majnu 3 Moons