Star Cast: R. Madhavan, Simran, Rajit Kapur, and ensemble.
Director: R. Madhavan.
What’s Good: R Madhavan is a one-man army and a force to reckon. He possibly does everything in this movie and I have a newfound respect for the star considering this is the first time. Brilliance is the word.
What’s Bad: There are little flaws, but nothing that should stop you from investing in this movie.
Loo Break: definitely not. You need to respect an actor’s dedication to bring you this story. Yes, I am talking like a school principal, but if that makes you sit, then be it.
Watch or Not?: It is how biopics should be told. Let the drama of their existence take the centre stage and you as a creator don’t add any fuss to it. Watch it.
Language: Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam & Kannada.
Available On: In Theatres Near You!
Runtime: 157.20 Minutes.
Almost all of us know the veteran Rocket Scientist Nambi Narayanan for his contribution to Mission Mangal (2013) and before that the controversy that was attached to him. None of us ever bothered to see the human inside him and Madhavan’s product does just that.
Rocketry: The Nambi Effect Movie Review: Script Analysis
The fact that R. Madhavan is headlining this movie like no one’s business by writing the screenplay, dialogue, directing, and acting in it, is to be celebrated and appreciated. The herculean task in this one is not just writing a story and translating it on the big screen, it is to justify a life that still exists and give him the homage that the country failed to for years and only gave him a lot of injustice.
So what does Rocketry: The Nambi Effect exactly do? Does it take the Shakuntala Devi route or are we going the Theory Of Everything way? None, we are going the Maddy way. The actor has marinated himself so much in this source material that he almost writes a love letter to Narayanan. But he makes sure it isn’t a flowery or whitewashing move. For a first-timer, Maddy ends up leaving rough edges and ones that are important.
Nambi Narayanan led a life that was meant to be a story. Of course, there must be changes and amends to the chronology of things, but even the standalone episodes of his career and personal journey are so interesting and they deserved to be told. So the task at the hands of makers is to tell this story in a way that it doesn’t end up looking like another biopic taking the same route.
Madhavan begins this story from the worst day of his life, when he was arrested on false grounds. The story in the movie travels almost through decades starting from the year 1969 to 2020 when he was finally served proper justice. Between this, there is science, friendships, family, trauma, life, and its difficulties. Madhavan makes sure you feel it all.
What works for me is that he doesn’t over-simplify the world of scientists. For the ones who have never touched a physics textbook, the jargon and the scientific term will make you feel alien and you deserve it (not in a bad way). It only adds up to the experience and makes you realise how genius minds these are. There’s APJ Abdul Kalam, Vikram Sarabhai, and Niel Armstrong after his moon expedition, and they just enter the screenplay without any special introduction. You are supposed to know them because you have kind of studied about them.
This very much reminds me of the iconic scene from Nandita Das’s Manto where on a table all the prestigious literary artists sat and discussed the revolution. Remember the verbal war between Manto and Ismat Chughtai? They are humans and they had friends and life where a special introduction didn’t show up on their heads. I love when filmmakers think of their audience as literate people who know things.
There’s a whole lot of history that plays up on the screen. Madhavan makes sure not everything only worships his subject but also shows his flaws, his stone-hearted nature at times, and his cunning greedy attitude. But the indulgence also affects the screen time which seems a bit stretched at some points.
Rocketry: The Nambi Effect Movie Review: Star Performance
R. Madhavan has gone beyond his limit to shape Rocketry and there is no way he could have let anything go wrong from at least his end. The actor has to age back and forth and he manages to make us believe and invest through all of it. Even with the heavy prosthetics in a part, you can see him put those efforts. It’s one hell of a Maddy show and he deserves to be seen.
Simran plays Nambi Narayanan’s wife Meena. The actor is all forms of amazing for the lack of a word. In the most traumatic of the situations where Nambi is still composed, she makes you feel the height of pain the family has gone through. What starts like a stereotypical character gets so nuanced after a point. Another nod to the good writing.
Rest everyone does their jobs earnestly and creates a world that is lived in and authentic. There are a lot of good actors involved for parts that are almost special appearances but crucial. You will know. Rajit Kapur is beyond reviews for such parts now.
Rocketry: The Nambi Effect Movie Review: Direction, Music
R. Madhavan as a director is like a free-flowing river. There is no set blueprint or map to his direction. But that also works in his favour. The actor simultaneously shoots two versions of the movie and it must be a task that only some can pull off. As a director he decides to invest less time in things that the audience already know. To do this he uses Shah Rukh Khan quite cleverly. He makes him narrate known incidents but also makes sure it doesn’t look lazy.
What he shouldn’t have done is add hints of the big events that are about to come. He adds quick visuals like you are being foretold the future. He uses this to join two scenes and that end up breaking the tone.
The music is moving but also a bit extra in some parts. Can’t deny Behne Do is placed in a way to churn out emotion and it does that successfully.
Rocketry: The Nambi Effect Movie Review: The Last Word
Rocketry is a movie that must be celebrated because an artist has tried to come out of his comfort zone and tell a story not many could dare. It is about a man who gave this country big achievements but was compensated with brutality. It took almost two decades for the government to give a veteran scientist a clean chit in a case he was never guilty of. It is a story that must be told and heard!
Rocketry: The Nambi Effect Trailer
Rocketry: The Nambi Effect releases on 01 July, 2022.
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