Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year – Movie Review without spoilers
What’s it about?
Rocket Singh has an unusual and original theme for a Bollywood film. It’s about ethics in business. The film sends a strong message that ethical business is the only kind of business worth doing. A less important theme which runs concurrently through the movie is that a poor academic record doesn’t mean that you are a duffer. Very relevant themes for India today which is battling with corruption in all aspects of life and with a poorly designed educational system as well.
And the movie is a comedy.
Even better, the story and the dialogues are original. But why should we be surprised when the director of the film is Shimit Amin, none other than one who directed other unusual Hindi films, like Chak De! India (2007) and Ab Tak Chhappan (2004). The writer of the film, Jaideep Sahni, has written some good movies like Chak De, Khosla Ka Ghosla, Bunty Aur Babli and Company.
The story in brief without spoilers
Like the promos tell you, the story is about an ordinary boy, Harpreet Singh Bedi, a Sikh, who decides to become a salesman because he doesn’t see many other career options after a poor academic performance. He is quite sure that he is intelligent enough to succeed, despite his low marks. The movie tells us about his adventures after he joins a computer assembling and marketing company called AYS. We are entertained by a myriad interesting and amusing characters like the humble office peon (Mukesh Bhatt) who is so used to being humble that he has developed an inferiority complex, the smart office receptionist (Gauhar Khan) who is treated like a bimbo even though she isn’t, and the porn addicted employee (D Santosh) who is not as laid back as one assumes.
The story focuses on the theme and does not deviate, even for romance. The romance between Harpreet or Rocket Singh and a girl he meets is almost an aside. And well, that is what we want!
Ranbir Kapoor’s acting as Rocket Singh is alright but more important is that he comes across as a genuine and believable sardar. D Santosh stands out in the role of Giri, and Mukesh Bhatt and Naveen Kaushik as Nitin are good too. Prem Chopra does a decent job as Harpreet’s grandfather. Overall I thought the cast did a great job. Shazahn Padamsee, is supposedly the female lead but she has a small role and her acting comes across as stilted. I didn’t see any chemistry between the Ranbir and her and this adds to the disconnect. Shazahn seemed to be present for the glam value because in any case romance had little place in the story.
The movie plays out in office settings and is shot mostly indoors. The office chosen is an ordinary one, that of a small computer assembling company. There is no glamour here, and the realism adds weight to the movie. Audiences are able to relate to the characters much better in such settings. I think many of us are super fed up with stupid dream sequences happening in the most unlikely of stories. Inserting brainless fantasies into a movie shows a lack of confidence on the director and I am glad this movie has none of that. Not resorting to stupid gimmicks to sell the movie shows honesty on the part of the directors and producers.
Overall movie experience
We caught a late night show of this movie and the cinema hall was packed. The audience clearly loved the movie. We enjoyed it too although we felt that it dragged in the first half. At least 20 minutes could have easily been cut from the 2 hours 38 minutes! The movie does pick up in the second half though. The movie is funny and serious. Worth a watch.
(Photo is from glamsham.com)
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