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The Vaccine War Movie Review: Media Takes Center Stage in This One-Sided Medical Drama Instead of COVID-19

The Vaccine War Movie Review: Synopsis: Based on Prof. Balram Bhargava’s book, “Going Viral,” the film aims to honor India’s scientific community, the unsung heroes who accomplished the remarkable feat of developing India’s indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, ‘Covaxin,’ in just seven months.

The Vaccine War Movie Review

The Vaccine War Review: The COVID-19 pandemic will forever remain a somber chapter in human history, causing immense loss and despair. “The Vaccine War” is a film that may evoke strong emotions, especially among those who have suffered personal losses during this global crisis.

The narrative of the film chronicles the meticulous process of creating Covaxin, a collaborative effort between Bharat Biotech, ICMR, and the National Institute of Virology (NIV). Spanning a runtime of 2 hours and 40 minutes, this medical drama revisits the tumultuous events that unfolded in India following the initial outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Additionally, it attempts to counter the criticism directed at the central government for its perceived mishandling of the pandemic, which resulted in significant loss of life.

“The Vaccine War” can be divided into two distinct segments. The first half delves into the lives of scientists, providing them a platform to express themselves. Conversely, the latter portion appears to serve as a government propaganda piece, attempting to whitewash allegations. The film excels in the first half, offering sincerity and emotional depth, but it falters in the second half, undermining its earlier accomplishments.

The film’s weakest aspect is its portrayal of the media as malicious and insinuating that it is the true virus that needs to be eradicated. Phrases like “This is not a bio war, this is an info war” are used, suggesting that the media is influenced by foreign powers due to funding, which sounds more like unverified WhatsApp forwards than substantiated claims.

While the film criticizes certain journalists and their ideologies as “prejudiced,” it ironically falls into a one-sided mindset itself. Dismissing opposing viewpoints and presenting them with an anti-India bias is unconvincing. The inclusion of conspiracy theories regarding China’s alleged deliberate virus leak, pharmaceutical lobbies, media trials, and foreign power connections appears more opinionated than factual.

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Despite its flaws, the film has its strengths. The script draws inspiration from real characters, portraying their everyday challenges and workplace dynamics during a global crisis convincingly. It effectively captures internal communication, organizational chaos, and conflicts. Technically, the film is well-crafted and surpasses the director’s recent works. Nana Patekar, portraying Dr. Balram Bhargava (DG-ICMR), and Pallavi Joshi, as Dr. Priya Abraham, Director-NIV, deliver impeccable performances. Girija Oak Godbole is also effective in her role as Dr. Nivedita Gupta (ICMR).

The film is engaging in shedding light on Indian scientists’ contributions. However, its excessive emphasis on promoting self-reliance during a severe global crisis, which resulted in substantial loss of life, may come across as somewhat immature.

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