More and more film-makers are borrowing stories from real life. Giving shape to stories or incidents they believe in. Stories that provoke thinking and divert your attention towards issues that we otherwise brush aside. Director Mahesh Pandey's 332 - Mumbai To India attempts to chronicle an incident that occurred almost two years ago in Mumbai.
But let me clarify at the outset that 332 - Mumbai To India is not a documentary on Rahul Raj, as is widely understood, but tries to portray the incident and its repercussions [from the director's point of view]. In fact, the director has clubbed yet another incident to the main story, which is not connected to the bus hijack episode even remotely - 26/11.
Though interesting in parts, 332 - Mumbai To India left me with mixed feelings at the end of the screening. Ideally, the film should've been a hard-hitting drama or a pragmatic interpretation of an occurrence, but what comes across on screen, in the final tally, is a tame experience. It is provoking intermittently; it kept me hooked in parts, not in its entirety. The film ends on a positive note, but the question that crossed my mind was, does it offer any answer or solution to the very issue that it raised in the film? The question that crossed my mind was, will it change the perception and thought processes of those from Bihar as well as from Maharashtra towards each other? Most importantly, has the incident made any difference to anyone's life or is it just a case of one more precious life sacrificed towards a cause not many are concerned about? The answers offered, in my opinion, are unrealistic, a contrast to the essence of the film