The Vaccine War is the first Indian science film that I have ever seen. It has simplified cutting-edge virology and has made it accessible to non-scientists. It has done so by embedding various characters into the science, not the other way and has shown the lives of women and men behind the vaccine.
Second, it exposes and demolishes the narrative of Indian hatred that has infected some media. The filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri shows how, alongside the virus, the scientists at the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) and NImmunology fought these battles too.
Contribution of Indian Scientists to Pandemic
Thirdly, our scientists have not just saved Indians but also the citizens of the 101 countries to whom the co-vaccine was provided free. The vaccine war movie reminds us to thank the ICMR and NImmunology for making the vaccine and the government for turning it into a public good.
Features of the Movie
Fourth, the storytelling is taut, emotive, gripping and inspiring. All through, I held a tear in my eye and choked in my throat, Melding science with human stories, achievements and frustrations. The Vaccine War tells a story that is as informatic and as dramatic. Fifth, the music was tuned to the story, and it hit your gut. Out of nowhere comes the Nasadiya Sukta from the Rig Veda creating a catharsis that no other sound can match.
Experiences with Actors, Crew
Sixth and this is personal, my engagement with the crew from Vivek Agnihotri, Nana Patekar, Pallavi Joshi and Anupam Kher, along with several actors, camerapersons, and makeup artists, the entire team, showed me the face of the industry that is professional diligent and untiring.
The humility of Nana Patekar ji is unbelievable. At one point, I was moving my hands to bring the impact to my dialogue. Nanaji told me to speak with my eyes, and Anupam Kher educated me on dialogue delivery. I learnt the best, and I am grateful to both.
I have no words to express my gratitude to Vivek Agnihotri. He has turned me, a huge consumer of cinema, into an insider. Now, I cannot watch any scene in any film without appreciating the fine intricacies that go into making it. Acting in the Vaccine War has been a rich education.
It is also tempting to ask Pallavi Joshi and Vivek Agnihotri to make the next film on ISRO, but they should not fall into stereotypes. As we wait for the next film, two final words: every Indian must watch “The Vaccine War,” and every state government must make it tax-free.