Mission Majnu review: Netflix spy-thriller is a mixed bag

In Mission Majnu, an undercover R&AW agent attempts to procure intelligence on Pakistan’s planned nuclear tests to foil their efforts. The spy-thriller film is now streaming on Netflix.

Story

Amandeep Ajitpal Singh (Sidharth Malhotra) is an Indian undercover agent situated in 1974 Rawalpindi, Pakistan. He is assigned the mission of gaining intel on Pakistan’s movements.

While living there, he falls in love with Nasreen (Rashmika Mandana), and the two end up getting married. Nasreen is pregnant and the two are living together happily.

When Pakistan manages to suspend India’s nuclear test after the Pokhran experiment in 1974, the country starts working discreetly on its own tests.

R&AW has intel on this but needs proof to be able to take any action. K.N. Rao, the chief of R&AW, tasks Amandeep with this essential mission.

The situation is more complicated because Amandeep’s father is considered a traitor by many in R&AW for selling intel to Pakistan. Amandeep is adamant about atoning for this.

When Israel identifies Quetta as the location for the nuclear tests, Amandeep must find concrete evidence that the tests will be conducted near Rawalpindi. Does he succeed?

Performances

Malhotra plays the protagonist, but his performance isn’t on the same level as last year’s Shershaah, partly due to the character of Amandeep.

While undercover as Tariq Ali, Amandeep’s exaggerated behaviour is extremely unconvincing. The character lacks nuance.

Mandana, as Nasreen, doesn’t have much screentime, but her character and performance will undoubtedly be endearing for the audiences. The lead actors’ chemistry is evident as well.

The rest of the actors play their parts adequately, but none of the characters come off as truly authentic.

Positives

The biggest strength of Mission Majnu is that it’s not just another run-of-the-mill action film where the protagonist beats up 100 men. Apart from one action sequence on a train, the rest of the film shows a war of intelligence which differentiates it from the mainstream.

The untold stories of Indian spies are always appreciable. And although this has been only inspired by events, there is always a semblance of truth that the citizen needs to know.

Mission Majnu’s pacing is decent. At no point does the film drag and constantly captures your attention. You have to know what happens next.

The added depth to Amandeep’s character with his father’s back story adds to the narrative, although it could have been explored further.

Negatives

There will inevitably be comparisons with the 2019 film Raazi, where Alia Bhatt’s character gathered intel on Pakistan. And while similar in nature, Mission Majnu lacks the same nuance.

Raazi’s characters felt more real, but Mission Majnu chooses to go over the top at several points. It doesn’t hit as hard either.

While the title and the opening sequence promise a romantic storyline alongside the main narrative, Amandeep and Nasreen’s relationship is only really explored well towards the end.

Verdict

Mission Majnu is definitely a watchable film, but the premise promised a lot more than it actually manages to deliver. That said, it will inevitably find its way to most watch lists around Republic Day.

Mission Majnu
Mission Majnu review: Netflix spy-thriller is a mixed bag 1

Director: Shantanu Bagchi

Date Created: 2023-01-20 13:00

Editor's Rating:
3

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