The Railway Men: The Untold Story of Bhopal 1984

by Trailerman Sam

“The Railway Men” captures untold acts of courageousness at the Bhopal railway station where thousands of lives were saved almost 40 years ago.

Don’t for one second assume that this movie is pure fiction as it is not!

After a deadly gas leak from a factory in Bhopal, brave railway workers risked their lives to save others in the face of the unspeakable disaster. In the accident, 40 tonnes of lethal methyl-isocyanate went into the air on Dec 2, 1984 from a US company that owned a pesticide factory in Bhopal,

From official data, some 3,800 people were instantly killed, additionally over 500,000 people in the small towns around the plant were exposed to the highly toxic gas. The unofficial data of instant deaths should be even much higher!

Based on true events, this spectacular recollection was crafted into a four-episode series through Netflix. The story takes one on a thrilling, scary and disturbingly tragic journey into the dark records called the Bhopal Gas Tragedy on that dreadful night and its aftermath. The film covers the entire accident in 360 degrees.

This series is primarily about the unknown and forgotten heroes of the Indian Railways, with their honest efforts, prompt action and with whatever available means and sacrifices, in vacating people from the Bhopal Junction Railway Station and calling for rescue efforts from all areas. Their primary goal was to save lives. And they did succeed on most counts.

Acting was splendidly superb with screenplay and cinematography earning double-hand thumbs up. Emotionally, the series connects with the audience. I was glued to my seat for nearly four hours. The only setback was that I ran out of chocolates and potato chips. What will happen next, what will happen next, was always storming and circulating my brain.

BGM (background music) was also very much intense during some moments while heavy breathtaking music made it more momentous. Overall, it’s a must watch series as it’s well-made.

There were good performances by every character. KK Menon was hypnotic. Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Dibyendu, R Madhavan, Babil Khan, Sunny Hinduja, Anupama Soni and Raghubir Yadaw acted as if they were the real guardian defenders of Bhopal at that point of time.

The series highlights the actions of people in dangerous life and death situations. It’s also worth mentioning that many of the saviours adopted this anti-Establishment and “no one can tell me what not to do”  attitude! The series also appears to highlight the continued bent to question authority while on the opposite side were some quarters who were always hiding behind rules, regulations and procedures to avoid exposing the truth!

There were also wretched and amusing moments like when a character came out of nowhere to frantically look for his suitcase while others were racing against time to save lives. It was that moment when I’d like to give that character a bloody kick!

Every movie has a Hulk who feels he has got what it takes to be invulnerable. Bhopal has one. There’s also a “Macho” character who takes risks to impress others. Don’t miss out on the appearances of gas-lighting individuals and “wet blankets” with the attitude of “What’s the point?”

Final score? An 8.5 star endorsed by IMDb (Internet Movie Database) with 17,000 registered viewers.

Besides observing many interesting things in life, Trailerman Sam is an avid movie fan from Lunas, Kedah. (The views of our columnist are entirely his own).