Bhopal Express

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Bhopal Express is a human drama set against the backdrop of the gas disaster in 1984, which took the lives of over 16,000 people and maimed over 500,000 others in the city of Bhopal in Madyha Pradesh, India.

The larger purpose of the film is to take a close look at the thoughtless and irresponsible administration behind the tragedy and its effect on the common people. The straight narrative of the film unravels through the eyes of a newly-wed couple (Verma played by Kay Kay and Tara, played by Nethra Raghuraman), whose life takes a serious turn when the tragedy strikes, and through the eyes of their friend (Naseeruddin Shah), a larger-than-life character in the drama.

Shot in Hyderabad, Bhopal Express centers around a newly-wed couple. Verma, the husband, (Kay Kay), is a simple man, who works as an assistant supervisor at the Union Carbide Factory. The life of Tara, his wife (Nethra Raghuraman) revolves around him and her new-found domestic bliss. A friend of the couple, Bashir (Naseeruddin Shah), is a maverick character who left the factory because of increasing dissatisfaction with the management. As tragedy strikes and the film reaches its climax, Bashir and Verma become entangled in the drama that follows and Tara's secure life, in turn, is turned upside down. Their world, which forms the basic plot, tells the larger truth of the disaster, and comments openly on Union Carbide Corporation's.systematic refusal to accept responsibility for the tragedy.

Asked about the film, a Union Carbide spokesman in Danbury, Connecticut, said the company had not seen the movie but added they had done a lot to help victims. "Union Carbide had and continues to have compassion for the victims,'' said Tomm Sprick. "Reports suggesting that Union Carbide is indifferent to the plight of victims are untrue." He also said years of investigations found that a disgruntled employee deliberately added water to a tank, setting off the accident.

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The official movie website:

MUSIC TO MY EARS 'Bhopal Express':
Try To Catch The Wind

Tim White

May 2000
UCC's reply Tomm Sprick 12.4.2000
Invitations to UCC executives to New York screening Mahesh Mathai 5.4.2000
Film Seeks to Help Victims of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Reuters 11.2.2000
Nightmare in Bhopal: The world's worst industrial disaster is the focus of a feature film marking its 15th anniversary Time (Asia Edition) 155:2 17.1.2000