The 1984 leak of methyl isocyanate at the American-owned
Debt-ridden Dilip (Rajpal Yadav) is eager to find work at Carbide. Financial relief aside, a job with the town's flagship employer bestows a certain social respectability that will improve his sister's marriage prospects. The freak accidental death of a worker creates an opportunity, and Dilip steps into the vacancy despite his lack of experience and training.
Meanwhile, the same accident prompts local muckraker Motwani (Kal Penn) to investigate the company's chemical products and safety precautions. During a visit by Chief Executive Warren Anderson (Martin Sheen), Motwani tips off Western journalist Eva (
Filmmaking outside the Bollywood system, Kumar depends on Hollywood actors to generate interest here. He pulls off the mammoth, apocalyptic scenes of the disaster, which are devastating. Although the real-life events took place three decades ago, the cautionary tale could not be more relevant: Through "Bhopal," the filmmaker argues that the promise of jobs and prosperity all too often trumps environmental and safety concerns, and it leads government to ignore corporate wrongdoing.
"Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain"
MPAA rating: None.
Running time: 1 hour, 36 minutes.