The Vaccine War Movie Review: Nana Patekar makes a comeback with a bang

The Vaccine War Movie Review: Nana Patekar makes a comeback with a bang

Sep 28, 2023 - 18:30
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The Vaccine War Movie Review: Nana Patekar makes a comeback with a bang

Language: Hindi

Director: Vivek Agnihotri

Cast: Nana Patekar, Pallavi Joshi, Raima Sen, Anupam Kher, Nivedita Bhattacharya Sapthami Gowda, 

Vivek Agnihotri’s lens not merely captured the chaos and despair; his film was a spotlight on the resilience of humanity, the spirit of innovation and the power of unity. In a world where countries struggled to find solutions, The Vaccine War showcased India’s remarkable journey from crisis to recovery. The best thing about The Vaccine War is that being India’s first bio-science film, a lot of time was spent on research and in trying to show the trials over mice and monkeys in NIV (National Institute of Virology) labs. There was no effort made by Agnihotri to glamorize the film. And that is a big plus point for a bio-science movie.

But somewhere I feel the filmmaker has been very opinionated like his previous projects. Making Rohini Sigh Dhulia ((Raima Sen) a science journalist look like a villain in the film and pointing figures at the media for miss-reporting was done in bad taste. The Vaccine War has pointed a very harsh finger at the media, which could have been done in a subtle way. It was like generalising media for armchair journalism and fake reportage.

Nana Patekar’s The Vaccine War

Not all journalists work or produce stories like the way it is shown. They too go to the field and risk their lives to get accurate information. Most journalists during the COVID times were covering the human side of the pandemic. And mind you, there were many who lost their lives too during COVID and the war against the virus. This could have been balanced in the right way which Vivek Agnihotri clearly didn’t.

Here, I am not denying the efforts of the scientists, they definitely did a great job, but in the process of highlighting their efforts, demeaning the media is not right. Some parts of the projection of the media  in the film that I agree upon is that many of the influencers and Youtubers with no background of journalism or science had spread the narrative that our Indigenous vaccine is substandard. This is the problem with today’s media, when celebrities and influencers pretend to know it all and the saddest part is with their fan following and bought followers they create a narrative of their own and most importantly, a narrative that suits them. Again, I feel that the maker of the film should have made a clear demarcation that they are not the real journalists, they are just a bunch of content creators who want to be heard and seen for their personal motives.

The Vaccine War is no doubt a very scientific and bold movie by Vivek Agnihotri which is made with near to accurate facts and figures. It is informative which tells the tales of the real heroes, the scientists who made the Covaxin. There were a lot of things we were not aware of, especially the efforts made by our scientists to make the first Indigenous COVID-19 Vaccine. The film begins with the lockdown to the creation of the first Indigenous vaccine. The entire film has been shown in 12 chapters, starting from the lockdown to the making of the vaccine.

Nana Patekar in ‘The Vaccine War’

Now coming to Nana Patekar, his comeback performance as a no-nonsense scientist was brilliant. Known for his craft, Patekar has completely nailed the role of ICMR Chief Balram Bhargava. He has shown how toxic the work environment can get. Playing the role of a completely toxic boss who doesn’t acknowledge the efforts of his juniors, he was able to bring out the true emotions of the character. He is a man with an old school thought process that if you appreciate the work of the juniors, they might stop working and believes in pushing his subordinates so that they achieve their goals fast. Not a bad human being, but a little too harsh and stingy when it comes to appreciating the efforts of the juniors.

Balram Bhargava is a workaholic who doesn’t allow his people to get back home on time and doesn’t hesitate to call up at all odd hours, he is truly a man who is going to help you out when others are pointing fingers at you and that is clearly evident in the press conference conducted by the scientists. He believes and says in the film that if you are not able to set fire to the tail of the rocket and send it into the sky, you will have no idea of what we have done!

Rating: 3 out of 5

‘The Vaccine War’ releases in theatres on September 28.

Views expressed in the above piece are personal and solely that of the author. They do not necessarily reflect Firstpost’s views.

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