Cast: Jim Sarbh, Ishwak Singh, Saba Ahmed, Regina Cassandra, Rajit Kapoor, Dibyendu Bhattacharya and ensemble.
Creator: Nikkhil Advani
Director: Abhay Pannu
Streaming On: Sony Liv
Language: Hindi & English (with subtitles).
Runtime: 8 Episodes Around 45 Minutes Each.
Rocket Boys Review: What’s It About:
Bringing to you our glorious history and two of the biggest milestones in the history of science, Rocket Boys takes us back to the time Dr Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai were busy shaping some of the biggest inventions for mankind.
Rocket Boys Review: What Works:
I can’t resist myself but begin with the best part. Former President Of India, Late APJ Abdul Kalam in his introduction scene says, “Barbaad gulistan karne ko bas ek hee ullu kaafi hai, Har shaakh pe ullu baithe hain, anjaam-e-gulistan kya hoga”. I will always remember Rocket Boys by these words and that scene definitely shook me in a good way.
Mundane biopics and the overdose of them has made us a lot sceptical about that territory. Rocket Boys that tells the story of the three men who took us to space and not just that but invented many more things than that. The show created by Nikkhil Advani is a shining example of how one must approach a biopic. Of course, the prolific work by these men does stand out and leave you in awe but that doesn’t mean they are the god of this story. Rather they are flawed. Even the men who invented the rocket did severe mistakes even if they were in their personal lives.
Written by Abhay Pannu, Rocket Boys is more than the genre it is set in. It is a story about friendship, an eternal tale about resilience, the emotional turmoil of the people we have only read about in books where only glorious phase was written. It is literally history staring at you with all its aspects and Abhay’s writing and Kausar Munir’s dialogues make sure you pay attention to it.
The screenplay concentrates more on the little moments than on the big events. You know about them, you have read the big achievements and the makers acknowledge it. What you don’t know is what went behind it. Their friendship, how it flourished, what a war away from the border looks likes, how the most adorable of them Abdul Kalam joined these two to form the ‘Mad Scientists’ trio.
Rocket Boys is a beautiful saga that never believes in chest thumping but is supremely patriotic. The fact that the leading man Homi Bhabha played by Jim Sarbh was a man who thought in the country’s best interest, but made it sound like his selfish need, is what makes the show unique. Everything from costumes, to set designs to even voice modulations are on point.
Composer Achint Thakkar last known for his game-changing music for Scam 1992, does an amazing job here. He realises Kausar Munir’s power of winning people with her words, so he keeps his music subtle. He builds a crescendo with regal instruments, violin being the most common.
Rocket Boys Review: Star Performance:
Jim Sarbh uses every muscle in his body to become the legendary scientist Homi Bhabha. His mannerism, the careless attitude, his breakdown, and even the accent, he gets it all perfect. He makes sure it doesn’t look like a caricature and wins in that department.
Ishwak Singh becomes Vikram Sarabhai. He has one of the most subtle characters on the show and then also has the task to be at the centre. Last seen in Paatal Lok, the actor has a range and embodies the legend with confidence. It is when he shares screen with Jim is when he shines the most. There is a beautiful chemistry between the two and you can observe that in the very first scene.
The women get a fair share of the cake. We have never been taught about them, so the makers make sure there is enough of them. Saba Ahmed plays Homi Bhabha’s love interest Parvana. The actor knows how to act with her eyes. In a scene when she gifts Homi a watch, she expects him to finally express his love, you can see the longing in her eyes at that moment, and the dream breaking too.
Regina Cassandra brings the right amount of poise to the script. She is never over fascinated by what Sarabhai does. She tells him to focus a bit on the family instead. The two make you realise the flaws there were in the men who history considers Gods of science.
Rajit Kapoor was born to play Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Rest everyone including Divyendu Bhattacharya, Arjun Radhakrishnan and others do amazing jobs putting all their heart.
Rocket Boys Review: What Doesn’t Work:
The only complaint I have is with the colour tone that went too dark in parts.
Rocket Boys Review: Last Words:
Rocket Boys is one of the most entertaining History class you will ever attend. Go for it without even a single doubt, you will come out satisfied and with some fresh knowledge.
Fan of comedies? Read our Decoupled Review here.