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Rocketry: The Nambi Effect

Farhad Dalal
By-
Farhad Dalal
Rating
3.5 Star popcorn reviewss

Introduction

Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the new Hindi/Tamil film Rocketry starring R Madhavan. The film seemed promising right from the time its trailer was out. And I was really looking forward to watching the film. Unfortunately I had to wait due to multiple delays because of the pandemic! What qas most fascinating for me was the witness Madhavan in the role of a director for the very first time. Moreover, this film involved Science and coming from a Science background myself(Yes, Hum Science Ki Taraf Se Hain!), I was really excited for this one simply because we don’t talk or make films about science and the scientists. So when a series like Rocket Boys or a film like Mission Mangal or now Rocketry comes along, I am the most excited about them. That said, is Rocketry worth your time, stay tuned.

Story & Screenplay

Rocketry – The Nambi Effect follows the story of renowned Indian scientist Nambi Narayanan of ISRO who was false accused of being a traitor. The story is something that really needed to be told where the focus needs to shift back to Science. I was honestly fascinated by this powerful tale which was inspiring as well as shocking in terms of the treatment provided to an individual of Mr Nambi’s stature. It was just appauling and no amount of words of compassion could justify what was done! But then coming back to the review! The screenplay of almost 160 minutes meant that it was overwhelming to begin with. And this particular concept was a potential candidate for a webseries where the audience would have ample amount of time to settle into the drama.

The screenplay here especially in the first half felt slightly disjointed(only marginally) but that was understandable considering the amount of events in Mr. Nambi’s life with the writers wanting to touch upon most of them. There was a major distraction for me which I will get to in my next section. But the first half provided some exciting and inspiring moments on how the scientists then dealt with difficulties before coming up with some smart solutions. Yes, it might be slightly difficult to absorb for people who do not have a Science background. A few people may be left wondering on the meaning of a few jargons which are thrown in. But the first half does have plenty of moments which are brilliant.

The second half almost unfolds like a spy thriller. There is a hush hush mission of bringing some machinery which is nicely touched upon before getting to the part of Mr. Nambi falsely accused of being a traitor. This is the part when the writing truly excels as it paints a glum picture of the things faced by the protagonist briefly touching upon the politics behind it. Although there are no names mentioned and the writing plays it safe but the events are engrossing and engaging. This is when the human story kicks in and the writing excels. The final act of bringing the real Mr. Nambi in front of the camera was a genius decision and it ascended the script in a wonderful manner. Overall, the screenplay is well written and deserves to be watched.

Dialogues, Music & Direction

And here comes the distraction. I happened to watch the Hindi version and the dialogues involving the foreigners’ voice being dubbed in Hindi threw me off guard almost right through the first half. Not sure if it was for the single screen but I really wish they had retained the original dub(of English) and added subtitles if at all. All other Hindi lines are fine. The music is pretty good, so is the BGM. The cinematography is pretty good which contributes to some lovely metaphores thrown in the screenplay. And here is the biggie! Director R Madhavan in his debut vehicle as a director does a decent job. You can make out through a few sequences that he is new to his craft and a little rough around the edges but he also provides glimpses of brilliance in certain sequences. I really feel he will keep getting better at this craft which does need to be polished a little more!

Performances

The performances are quite brilliant here. Dinesh Prabhakar, Bijou Thaangjam, Bhawsheel Sahni and Emma Gojkovic have their moments to shine. Anuritta Jha shines in her role despite a limited screentime, as does Meesha Ghoshal, Sam Mohan and Simran. Rajeev Ravindranathan was refreshing to watch in a role which wasn’t exactly a comic character. Oh and before I forget, the Hindi version had Shahrukh Khan in an extended cameo(the Tamil version has Suriya) and I was the happiest watching Badshah Khan himself onscreen after 4 years. The momentum will only grow from here in what is a splendid 2023 ahead for him and us. But it is Madhavan the actor who stands up and takes responsibility of doing a lot of the heavy lifting here. He takes you on an emotional ride keeping his everlasting charm intact and delivering a towering and memorable performance that stays with you long after the film is over!

Conclusion

Rocketry is a powerful biopic on an individual who should be celebrated for his massive contribution towards building the nation! Available in a theatre near you!

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