4 women, 1 mission and an inspirational story, Alt Balaji’s latest offering Mission Over Mars is the story of India’s expedition to Mars. Streaming online after the successful theatrical release of Mission Mangal starring Akshay Kumar, Taapsee Pannu, Sonakshi Sinha, Vidya Balan, Nithya Menen and Kirti Kulhari, Mission Over Mars aka M.O.M is the same pot of biryani but with different treatment and flavour.

Titled as ‘Chala Toh Chaand Tak, Nahi Toh Shaam Tak’, the first episode of MOM captures the essence of the show to the T. It introduces us to 4 different women with different struggles united by a single mission. After the failure of Mission Chandra-Vimaan, they chart out a plan to reach Mars. The roadblock between them and their dreams is China. One of India’s biggest competition in terms of space expeditions. What happens when China announces a similar mission? Will it succeed or give India another chance to take a lead?

Maushami Ghosh (Mona Singh), hails from Begusarai, Bihar. An incident from her childhood shows Maushami proving an external examiner wrong by solving an equation for Class 10th students. She says that she will keep proving people wrong and become India’s best space scientist one day. Years down the lane, Maushami is arguing with her seniors to keep Mission Chandra-Vimaan alive at ISA, a place where she always wanted to be. Maushami is a single mother, who is outspoken, driven and imperfect yet represents modern Indian women and Mona Singh fits the bill perfectly.

Nandita (Sakshi Tanwar) plays a team lead at ISA responsible for asking for permissions, make teams, estimate costs and chart out a feasibility report for MOM. She is also a concerned mother with facing a discord with her teenage son, who lies to her and plays cricket instead of studying for engineering entrances. Sakshi Tanwar as Nandita gives a controlled performance and brings on-board the experience and stability her character requires.

The other two female stars Nidhi Singh and Palomi Ghosh have limited screen-presence in the first episode but they make the most out of it and stand out with their different personalities. While Nidhi plays a married woman trying to conceive a baby, Palomi plays a young woman who has developed an app that scrutinises men on dating apps and finds an appropriate match for her. Mission Over Mars boasts of strong performances, simplistic screenplay, and humourous dialogue writing.

Some of the dialogues like ‘China ka maal hai. Chala to chaand tak nahi to shaam tak’, ‘our real employers are common Indians’ and ‘Mom kabhi niraash nahi karti’ will strike a chord for Indian nationalistic sensibilities. Despite such dialogues, Mission Over Mars manages to avoid being preachy and educational and makes for an interesting binge-watch option this weekend. The supporting star-cast in Mission Over Mars is equally strong, which build the narrative with more diversity and depth.

Women are at the center of Mars Orbiter Mission as well as the show. This web-series needs no Akshay Kumar and that is truly its beauty. Neither does it portrays its female protagonists as perfect. They are just ordinary women trying to achieve something extraordinary and all props must be given to the writers and makers for the feat.

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