‘Scientists are often atheists,’ ‘the Indian cinema can never portray the Indian culture on screen,’ ‘India cannot produce movies based on science.’ Well, these are some preconceived notions that must have been at the back of the mind of any person walking into the theaters to watch Rocketry: The Nambi Effect.
Commonly known as Maddy, Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein fame R. Madhavan has successfully made his directorial debut with Rocketry: The Nambi Effect, based on the life of ‘Rocket Scientist’ Nambi Narayanan. After watching the film, one can have just one emotion that is ‘disappointment’ due to the humiliating treatment the brilliant scientist received. Also, no Indian can thank Madhavan enough for bringing the untold story of Nambi Narayanan to the big screens.
Madhavan took on himself to tell the story of an underdog
Actor turned director R Madhavan is back on the big screen with the story of an underdog; the Indian scientist who had a life full of ups and downs. From rejecting the Presidential offer of NASA to being accused of espionage, scientist Nambi Narayanan witnessed many hardships.
Nambi Narayanan is an Ivy League scientist and can be referred to as the brain behind liquid fuel powered rockets. He was the one who dreamt of competing with the ‘superpowers’ by seeing directly into their eyes. However, no one can dare to change the world order and bring India onto the world stage without making some huge sacrifices.
The same happened with scientist Nambi Narayanan. He was arrested by the Kerala Police on the charges of supplying secret information to Pakistan through Maldivian operatives. Later, it was exposed that the entire spy story was fabricated by the AK Antony faction of the Kerala Congress.
The genius mind who ditched NASA, the one whose patriotism knows no boundaries, was humiliated by the petty politicians and police officers with the aim of destroying his career. There can be no compensation that can fill for it. The beauty of R Madhavan’s directorial debut is that it doesn’t miss out on any of the aspects of life of the brilliant scientist.
Rocketry brings out the minute details on the big screen
Madhavan, being the writer, has handpicked important chunks from Nambi’s life and has brought them alive on the screen. Madhavan, as the writer, director and actor has done a wonderful job.
The first half begins with the technical part in which Nambi is being shown as a brilliant scientist who wants his nation to take a big leap in rocketry. He manages to crack some crucial deals on the foreign land that would help India in the space technology.
Nambi’s intelligence has been portrayed very well with the scenes like earning a scholarship at Princeton, making some ridiculous demands from the CEO of Rolls Royce, leading a team of 52 scientists to learn a new technology and convincing Russians to sell their technology hidden from the world, at an affordable price.
None of the scenes look boring; rather Madhavan convincingly looks, acts and behaves like a scientist. It looks like R. Madhavan is living the life of Nambi Narayanan. The scientist jargon thrown at the audience is not that hard to understand, as the movie proceeds to make the audience understand, what are the technicalities of rocketry. Hence, one needs to watch the movie, not for its only for its cinematic accomplishes, but for a story that has been hidden from the masses for a very long time.
Rocketry hits the nerve
Madhavan makes the audience connect with Nambi at a personal level. While watching the movie, one can feel every emotion that Nambi feels, be it love for the nation for which he completes several missions to his humiliation that leaves the audience teary eyed. The supporting cast too has done a fabulous job.
With good direction, good writing and good casting, Madhavan’s Rocketry stands a stage. However, some gaps need to be filled especially in the editing section, as at some instances the film takes a sudden shift. For audiences it may not be a festival bash, but it is definitely a story that people from different generations need to sit together and watch. A story that deprived India of a brilliant scientist and also a story that has been deliberately hidden from the masses.
Indian scientist Padma Bhushan Nambi Narayanan paid the price of his patriotism, but all these hurdles couldn’t deter him from contributing to the nation. The film also sheds some light on the lives and contributions of brilliant brains like Vikram Sarabhai and APJ Abdul Kalam.
Rocketry: Not loved by the ‘critics’
While the so-called film critics are busy bashing the R Madhavan directorial debut, the film portrays the story of an underdog. It is a very common practice of the film industry to pick the life story of a popular, celebrated personality for a biopic. This has become a sure shot success formula, as a celebrated icon is a guarantee for box office success. However, Madhavan took a brave step and defined a different approach. He gambled on a story of an underdog, and with compelling storytelling, he managed to grab the eyeballs.
The fate of the film will be decided by the word of mouth PR of the film, as the Left Liberal cabal is busy criticising Madhavan for picking up the story of a nationalist.
However, every self-acclaimed film critic, who is busy calling Rocketry a directorial disaster, must watch the movie at least once and search for answer of the question, which scientist Nambi Narayanan asks at the ending, ‘If he has been proven innocent, someone somewhere must be guilty, who deserves punishment.’ The whole of Left Liberal cabal should sit back and think for how long the brilliant scientist will have to wait for justice.
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