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From real to reel: A film tells the story of the disaster

Survivors in Bhopal will get to see their story on celluloid on December 5 for the first time in 30 years, when the movie ‘A Prayer for Rain’ will release at a local Cineplex here.

bhopal Updated: Nov 30, 2014 18:24 IST
Neeraj Santoshi
Neeraj Santoshi
Hindustan Times
Bhopal,Bhopal gas tragedy,Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain

Survivors in Bhopal will get to see their story on celluloid on December 5, when the movie ‘A Prayer for Rain’ will be released at a local Cineplex here.

The Facebook page of the movie ‘Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain’ has already garnered over one lakh likes. According to its makers, the movie was largely shot in Hyderabad which also has old world charm like Bhopal. However, some outdoor scenes involving the streets and cafes and the Union Carbide plant area were shot for real in Bhopal for authenticity.

“A miniature scale model of the Union Carbide plant and Bhopal was built in London by the world’s leader in the field — Mattes and Miniatures Visual Effects Ltd. The model was built from the designs of the original plant and maps of Bhopal to keep the story’s authenticity. This method is painstakingly slow and costly, but the result was aerial shots that were so amazingly lifelike that even industry experts believed they were real,” says Ravi Kumar, director on the FB page of the movie.

According to the director, the entire soundscape of 1980s small-town India had to be recreated in their London studio from carefully recorded old car horns, rickshaw sounds, market noises etc.

“Our team visited Bhopal to record local sounds, and local dialect chatter was spread throughout the film so it sounds authentic to the people of Bhopal.

Our sound designers at Pin Drop created a menacing hum for the plant that gave a spooky, ominous feel without being over the top. The fact that the film feels epic, especially in its climax, is due to the fact that the sound is huge, sometimes having hundreds of layers of sound effects in each frame,” said Ravi Kumar on the movie’s FB page.

Jointly produced by Sahara Movie Studios and Rising Star Entertainment, the movie takes you into the tragedy through the story of Dilip, a rickshaw driver in Bhopal, who lands himself a job at the Union Carbide plant.

Activist Rachna Dhingra from the NGO International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB), who had earlier some reservations on the movie, told HT, “In September, we were invited to Mumbai for special screening of this movie. After we watched it, we were satisfied that it had done justice to the complex narrative of Bhopal gas tragedy. I recommend all survivors in Bhopal to see this movie based on their own story,” she said.

First Published: Nov 29, 2014 15:42 IST