– Ashwini Kumar
‘The Vaccine War’ is Vivek Agnihotri’s outrageous attempt to crucify journalist Rohini Singh as if she is the biggest villain against India and its war against Corona. This crucifixion is showcased in the backdrop of ICMR scientists’ great struggle to develop India’s own indigenous and affordable COVID-19 vaccine – Covaxin.
Rating – ⭐💫
Vivek Agnihotri’s film claims to be based on DG -ICMR, Balram Bhargava’s book – Going Viral: Making of Covaxin. The movie is based on the story of the Indian Scientific Community’s achievement, applauding Women’s Power, and showcasing the Indian Govt’s Aatm-Nirbhar approach.
Along with all these elements, the writer-director Vivek Agnihotri imposed the part that shows how a journalist single-handedly collaborates with foreign govt and big lobbies of pharma companies and spreads fake stories against the Indian Govt and scientific community.
He spent a good 40 minutes on this unrequired track, even the complete climax sequence is on the so-called tool-kit gang. Surprisingly, his film showcases ICMR DG and scientists watching her reports in their important meetings/conferences in order to make their counter-action plan to develop the vaccine. Giving this extra ounce of importance to a single journalist seems senseless. What about thousands of Media Reports applauding the government’s zeal and scientist’s achievement?
The intensity of the story is fine, however, it doesn’t involve much scientific language and process for it would be more complex for the audience. One thing, that makes little uncomfortable is the way women’s strength and struggle have been picturized. Why do filmmakers always take the caricaturish route to show them weak with tears?
Top women scientists literally weeping every time after DG scolds them, is not impressive. Nana Patekar is phenomenal, Anupam Kher has a small but impressive character, and Pallavi Joshi is as brilliant as ever. Girija Oak and Nivedita Bhattacharya played their parts well though the character of Raima Sen seems over-dramatic. This movie can be watched to see our scientist’s determination if the agenda part can be ignored.