The wait is finally over. It was last year when SonyLiv had released a teaser of the new Hindi series Rocket Boys and since then there was quite a buzz for the series. After the tremendous success of Scam 1992, people were touting this series as the next best thing. A series on the lives of two of the greatest scientists of India – Dr. Homi Bhabha and Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, this was always going to be interesting. Whether or not it would waver from its path was probably the only bit of skepticism which I had. And finally I have finished watching Rocket Boys on SonyLiv. Is the series worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Rocket Boys is a biopic made on the lives of two great scientists of India – Dr. Homi Bhabha and Dr. Vikram Sarabhai. And this is quite honestly one of the better biopics which I have witnessed in a while now. Not only is the narrative balanced but it also distinctly shows the individual characters, good and bad of the two personas efficiently. Another bit that I was curious while watching the webseries was the integration of the science bit. Being a science student myself I was quite fascinated to witness a few details of the experiments which were shown in the series. The screenplay is extremely well penned here. Not only does it maintain the pace well but it doesn’t lose focus too. There is an instant vibe which you get while the characters are being introduced. You can’t help but be enamoured while witnessing a few big names onscreen. The likes of JRD Tata, Jawaharlal Nehru and even APJ Abdul Kalam just bring a smile on your face. There is never a dull moment throughout the series and the drama keeps you hooked and booked throughout. Some of the sub plots are well integrated and they do not distract you from the main plot.
The drama around the political climate of the country during the late 40s, 50s and early 60s is well captured. A moment featuring the launch of India’s first rocket into space definitely gives you goosebumps and fills you up with a lot of happiness and pride. Another vital cog was that nationality had a different flavour here as opposed to the chest thumping jingoism. But moreover, it was the friendship between Sarabhai and Bhabha which was the highlight. It did teach us that it we can all agree to disagree without fighting with one another. The final end was the only bit which felt slightly undercooked in otherwise a masterclass in screenplay writing.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are sharp and hold a lot of weight. Some of the simplest of life lessons were seamlessly integrated in some of the simplest of lines which quite honestly left a lasting impact. The BGM is composed by Achint Thakkar who had earlier composed the BGM fir Scam 1992(which I still have as my ringtone). And the BGM is outstanding. It is just at the right pitch and it definitely creates the atnosphere of pride and achievement along with a hint of drama. The cinematography and VFX are top notch. Director Abhay Pannu has done a marvelous job here. He manages to hold your attention throughout its runtime and this is a startling achievement. The direction deserves distinction marks.
The performances are top notch in every sense of the word. Priya Raina as Pratima shines in a cameo. Neha Chauhan looks very pretty and has done a wonderful job. KC Shankar as Mathur is excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed his performance personally. Namit Das as Prosenjit is first rate in a very layered character. Rajit Kapur as Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is outstanding. Dibyendu Bhattacharya as Reza Mehndi is wonderfully restrained. One of my favourite scenes involves his character sitting next to Dr. Bhabha by the pool side(having a reactor). Arjun Radhakrishnan brought a smile to my face everytime he came onscreen as APJ Abdul Kalam. A brilliant portrayal! Saba Azad as Parwana Irani is magnificent. Being a parsi myself, I can tell of all the stereotypes representing a parsi character onscreen. But she stays away from it in what is a memorable outing. Regina Cassandra as Mrinalini Sarabhai stamps her authority and holds her own effortlessly. But the show belongs to the two Rocket Boys – Jim Sarbh as Dr. Homi Bhabha and Ishwak Singh as Dr. Vikram Sarabhai. Ishwak Singh is such a natural onscreen and with such a meaty part he has done wonders. He is extremely affable and wonderfully restrained in the most unassuming manner. Absolutely brilliant. And Jim Sarbh has been one of my favourites for a long time now. Here he holds on to the pulse of the character so effortlessly in what is an acting masterclass!
Rocket Boys is probably the best series to come out since Scam 1992. There are so many moments which will inspire you to dream and dream big. Available on SonyLiv and Highly Highly Highly Recommended!