The Railway Men - The Untold Story of Bhopal 1984

The Railway Men - The Untold Story of Bhopal 1984



Four fictional railroad workers rise to the occasion in this depiction of India’s worst industrial disaster


TV Show

English, Hindi
Babil Khan, Divyendu Sharma, Juhi Chawla

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The start has so much to introduce, but it’s still compelling, especially with the excellent performances.

What it's about

After the highly toxic gas methyl isocyanate leaks from a pesticide plant, brave railway workers risk their lives to help save others. Based on the 1984 Bhopal gas leak.

The take

The 1984 Bhopal gas leak is the world’s worst industrial disaster, and with the success of HBO’s Chernobyl, YRF Entertainment partnered with Netflix to create a miniseries based on the event. The Railway Men: The Untold Story of Bhopal 1984 is a compelling watch, with four fictional protagonists that serve as composite characters of real life heroes in the tragedy. Even as the viewers know what will happen – the case details are available online and the show’s first moments reveal the outcome – it’s still a powerful depiction of the preventable tragedy, as the show recognizes the personal consequences through their heroes. While the narrative does sometimes lose balance, and the certain effects falter, the series carefully depicts the preventable chaos with an anger over the injustice that still remains unresolved.

What stands out

The Railway Men is one of many depictions of the tragic 1984 Bhopal gas leak, meaning that it’s harder to find a unique angle for new media to talk about the event. The Railway Men does stand out, though, focusing not on the company nor the nearby affected villages, but instead on the titular heroes that helped the city’s passengers. The show crafted four fictional heroes to root for, that are based on real-life accounts. This approach allows the show to draw viewers in emotionally with this unresolved injustice, and knowing the outcome, it rightfully questions the inequitable treatment between the convicted Indian employees and their white higher-ups, with an anger that makes the narrative compelling. That being said, the show does introduce too much too quickly. This doesn’t totally derail the series, but it does make it harder to follow, and root for the four individual heroes.

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