Mission Majnu Review: More Engaging As A Love Story, Less As A Spy Thriller

Why turn a spy thriller into a romantic drama?
Mission Majnu Review: More Engaging As A Love Story, Less As A Spy Thriller

As a fauji brat, there’s nothing that I love more than watching a spy thriller or a film or series about the armed forces. More so because I grew up around heroes who silently did their duty and served the nation. And that’s precisely how spies work to save our nation. Directed by Shantanu Bagchi and produced by Ronnie Screwvala, Garima Mehta and Amar Butala, Mission Manju is also the story of one such spy, an unsung hero, who saved the day and the country. It stars Sidharth Malhotra and Rashmika Mandanna in lead roles.

This film is dramatised story of true events about a RAW agent who was part of a covert operation that took place in Pakistan post the India-Pakistan war of 1971. The film also stars Parmeet Sethi, Sharib Hashmi, Kumud Mishra, Zakir Hussain, Rajit Kapur and Mir Sarwar. Mission Majnu was initially scheduled for a theatrical release in May 2022 which was pushed to June 2022 after which the theatrical release was cancelled. The film is set to release on the OTT platform Netflix on Friday, January 20.

The Story Of Mission Majnu

Mission Majnu follows the story of Amandeep Singh aka Tariq Ali (played by Sidharth Malhotra), a RAW agent who is undercover in Pakistan and the love of his life, Nasreen (played by Rashmika Mandanna). Amandeep is undercover in Pakistan as a tailor named Tariq Ali. While he awaits instructions from his seniors in Delhi, Tariq falls in love with a blind girl, Nasereen and marries her. Soon after their wedding, just as the couple was getting ready to begin a new chapter of their lives with a baby, Tariq Ali aka Amandeep Singh is asked to get active in the field.

Tariq is asked to investigate if Pakistan is in the process of developing nuclear weapons while remaining undercover. This mission is named ‘Mission Majnu’. As Amandeep Singh jumps headfirst into his mission to save his nation, he must also balance his personal and professional life and fulfil both his duties with honesty and honour. But will his love for the country triumph over his love for Nasreen? Will Amandeep be able to save both his nation and Nasreen? Guess, you’ll just have to watch the film to find out.

Also Read: Sidharth Malhotra In Colourful Pantsuits Is On A Mission To Be Our Majnu

Cast And Characters

Sidharth Malhotra as Tariq Ali/Amandeep Singh: While most of us consider Sidharth Malhotra to be a chocolate boy, the fact is that the actor has time and again proved his mettle with his amazing acting skills. And he has gone and done it again in Mission Majnu. Sidharth plays the role of a RAW agent on a covert mission as he tries to balance his work and personal life. More importantly, his character Tariq/Amandeep is someone who is willing to brave through hardships and lay down his life for the country but at the same time, he’s also smart and uses his intellect to get things done instead of indulging in violence. Not only does Sidharth look appealing in the film but one can see the effort the actor has put to breathe life into his character.

Rashmika Mandanna as Nasreen: Despite the lack of character arc, Rashmika Mandanna not only played the role of a blind girl to near perfection but she also aced Nasreen’s dialect. It’s commendable what the actress has done to contribute to the film despite the shoddy writing and character development.

Kumud Mishra as RAW Agent: Kumud Mishra is known to be a nuanced actor and he is just what this film needed to take it up a notch. TBH, considering Kumud’s limited screen time and how he supported Sidharth Malhotra in anchoring Mission Majnu, I’d give one star just for that. The actor will quite literally BLOW your mind towards the end of the film while looking badass AF.

Sharib Hashmi as RAW Agent: While Sharib Hashmi happens to be a great actor, this role was not well suited for him. Not only does he look off his game but he does not seem to settle well in his character. The character and Sharib Hashmi are like chalk and cheese. The casting could’ve been better. To make things worse, the makers and the makeup artist made Sharib Hashmi wear a godawful wig that makes one cringe at the first sight. Wonder what’s wrong with Bollywood and wigs! That’s an incompatible relationship.

Zakir Hussain as RAW Agent Handler: Zakir Hussain also has very limited screen time but the actor was most definitely on top of his game. He oozed the angry RAW handler vibes that makes one feel more invested in our very own Majnu aka Tariq/Amandeep’s success.

Rajit Kapur as Pak PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto: Rajit Kapur has perfectly portrayed the then Pak PM, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s obsession with developing atom bomb and making Pakistan a nuclear power nation. To add to it, the actor will keep you hooked to the screen as he repeats the Pakistan PM’s dialogue about eating grass if need be in order to make nuclear weapons.

Parmeeti Sethi as Zao, RAW Chief: Parmeeti Sethi will leave you feeling emotional with his spectacular acting in Mission Majnu. He makes you feel more invested in RAW and Tariq Ali with his faith in his agent.


In terms of music, Mission Majnu has just 2 songs – ‘Rabba Janda’ penned by Shabbir Ahmed, composed by Tanishk Bagchi and voiced by Jubin Nautiyal and ‘Maati Ko Maa Kehte Hain’ penned by Manoj Muntashir, composed by Rochak Kohli and voiced by Sonu Nigam and Rochak Kohli. While the music is beautiful, the songs are not earworms.

Verdict: An Emotional But Lacklustre Spy Thriller Saved By Sidharth Malhotra, Kumud Mishra

To begin with, the acting was amazing. There’s no questioning that. It’s obvious that all actor put their heart and soul into acing their roles in Mission Majnu irrespective of their screen time. It’s essential to note that this film is not just about patriotism but rather a story of a spy full of love and passion for his country as well as the love of his life and the sacrifices he makes to maintain the balance in his life. This makes for an emotional tale of love, romance, passion and patriotism. Thanks to the amazing acting, the film is full of raw emotions that keep one engaged and invested in the story of a spy on a mission to save his nation and his love. Sidharth Malhotra’s amazing acting will keep you on the edge of your seat and that’s no easy feat.

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But the one thing I must give the film credit for is maintaining accuracy. Just like the reality, in Mission Majnu too, Pakistan gets started on developing nuclear weapons after India’s nuclear bomb test which took place in Pokhran and was completed under the code name Smiling Buddha. From the code name of India’s nuclear testing mission to the research facility in Kahuta on the outskirts of Rawalpindi where the atom bomb was developed to late Pak PM ZA Bhutto’s contribution to the nuclear weapons development to his statement in the press about eating grass if needed in order to develop nuclear weapons, all facts remain the same. The script, screenplay and dialogue writers have done their research well which is rather commendable. It is also what makes this spy drama rather compelling to watch.


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Now, speaking of what does not work for this film. The first thing to note is that the film is set in Pakistan in the post-Indo-Pak war of 1971 however, the film failed to set the background or the premise as well as one would expect. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it’s set in some remote town in India and not Rawalpindi in Pakistan. For a spy thriller, it lacks thriller and patriotism. It’s a film that may make you feel emotional and invested in Mission Majnu and Tariq Ali aka Amandeep Singh’s life. It may make you feel proud of India and the sacrifices Indian spies make to protect the nation but what it fails to do is make one feel patriotic by the end of the film. Moreover, the kind of courage and patriotism one expects from a spy thriller is missing from this film. It’s no Raazi after all.

While the writing is decent but the dialogues are nothing memorable or iconic. Having said that, it’s time we address the issues in the plot and the subplots. From Sidharth Malhotra’s Tariq’s romance subplot with Rashmika Mandanna’s Nasreen to his backstory, every subplot has been left midway. One would expect all the loose ends would be tied by the end of the story but sadly, it leaves you with several questions about Tariq Ali aka Amandeep Singh’s life and his backstory. Now, I understand that the idea of a romance is an attempt to humanise the character of a spy but in this case, it wasn’t needed. While Rashmika Mandanna displayed her amazing acting skills, her character was limited to being a showpiece in the film. Honestly, we wouldn’t have missed the character if the filmmakers were to keep the story limited to just the story of the mission.


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Despite her screentime, Rashmika’s character had nothing substantial to add to the plot except for being a love interest. Another thing to note is that the pregnancy subplot was way off and unnecessary, especially since it did just about nothing to add to the story. The same goes for Sidharth’s character’s backstory. The story of the son of a traitor who goes on to become a spy to prove his worth and patriotism towards his nation. Now, that would be interesting if the traitor angle was explored instead of using it simply to allow Amandeep aka Tariq’s senior to be mean to him. From where I come from (fauji background), seniors do not need a reason to be mean or wield power.

Coming to the loopholes, to being with, how the hell on earth does a spy not know how to use a disguise or rather when it’s necessary to use a disguise? The lack of spycraft and skills here is unmissable and the ending will prove my point. Moreover, how is it that a blind woman who knew that a man was following her around like a lovesick puppy because of his perfume, did not know that her husband has been opening suitcases and being his usual spy self at home in the middle of the night? And don’t even get me started on Sharib Hashmi’s god-awful wig.

Overall, it’s an emotional story of a spy that makes for a decent one-time watch but does not have much to offer. Mission Majnu was anchored by Sidharth Malhotra till the very end with some aid from Kumud Mishra.

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Janvi Manchanda

​​She uses her pen to slice through patriarchy. She could be Geet one day, Wednesday Addams next. Writing is the bane of her existence and the object of all her desires!

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