Inspired by the events of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, The Railway Men follows the efforts of the railway workers who risk their lives to save as many people as they can in the face of an unimaginable disaster. The series is now streaming on Netflix.
In December 1984, a journalist, Kumawat, investigates the management of a Union Carbide factory in Bhopal. A man who previously worked there, Imad Riaz, tells him about Union Carbide’s negligence regarding the safety of the workers and the people of the town.
The factory makes pesticides using a chemical called methyl isocyanate (MIC), which produces a toxic gas when it comes in contact with water. By underinvesting in safety, Union Carbide puts the whole town in danger.
In December, when two factory workers, who have not been trained properly, make a mistake while washing pipes, MIC comes in contact with water, and a lethal gas gets released into the atmosphere.
The gas starts killing the people of Bhopal. With the city choking, Bhopal Junction’s stationmaster works to get the survivors out of the city and stop the trains from coming to the city. Fortunately, the stationmaster is not alone.
Imad and an infamous thief called Express Bandit, who is pretending to be a constable, risk their lives with the stationmaster. Apart from them, the General Manager of Central Railway, Rati Pandey, is also ready to do everything in his power to help the people of Bhopal.
Will these railway men succeed in saving the survivors, or will their efforts be all for naught?
The brilliant performances by the cast of The Railway Men make it easier for the audience to get invested in the story. Be it the actors in leading roles or guest stars, like Juhi Chawla, every actor’s performance is up to the mark.
R. Madhavan and Kay Kay Menon are both convincing leaders. Although R. Madhavan is a rulebreaker and Kay Kay Menon is a straight-laced stationmaster, they both take responsibility and are equally determined to save lives.
Babil Khan is an absolute delight to watch. He embraces his character and the dialect. The result is a very impressive performance. Divyenndu’s performance is just as praiseworthy. The role of a beguiling thief who turns out to be a good-hearted person suits him.
The Railway Men is a heart-wrenching show that takes a closer look at a tragedy that cannot and should not be forgotten. Seeing the scattered bodies of hundreds of people who died within minutes makes the viewers understand the gravity of the disaster.
The show keeps reminding the audience that the occurrences on screen are based on real-life events. Towards the end, the videos and photographs taken in 1984 smoothly merge with the reenacted scenes. It serves as a hard-hitting reminder.
The show seeks to question the value of a common man’s life in a world ruled by profits and wealth. It begins with this question, and by the time the show ends, the audience has their answer. However, as there are different types of characters, the answer is anything but simple.
Although the show is about a terrible disaster, it is full of stories of human courage and compassion. There is also greed and hatred, but it is the altruistic acts of the central characters that are given more importance, and this prevents the show from becoming gloomy.
The Railway Men is not without its dull moments. There are times, especially in the first episode, when the show is not able to keep the audience’s attention.
Additionally, the plot of the show can get confusing. When too many things happen at the same time, it can be hard to keep track of all of them. There are some subplots, like the one involving rioters, that the show could have done without.
The deaths in the show are upsetting, but when the plot becomes too dense, it gets robbed of emotion. If the events depicted in the last two episodes had been simplified, the show’s emotional impact would have been greater.
The Railway Men is a heart-wrenching drama, but too many subplots prevent it from being as impactful as it could have been. However, the cast elevates the show and makes the audience want to stay till the very end.
The Railway Men
Director: Shiv Rawail
Date Created: 2023-11-18 13:30
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