wogma rating: Owner's Pride! (?)
An adorable experience. A drama-free which by definition includes melodrama-free execution. Super-witty dialogues that are timed superbly. And a plot that flows smoothly. What more can we ask for?
A faster pace? A shorter film? Maybe - but I'll take a little more of this than lose the impact it creates.
Oh and kudos to Jaideep Sahni! This man has some writing prowess!!Read more
The first scene of Rocket Singh makes you wonder if you are watching Wake Up Sid all over again. A not-so-good-at-academics protagonist will find his groove in this big bad world. While the premise might be the same, the apparatus used is entirely different. No generic heart-strings pulled for "aaaaws" from the audience. A straightforward, no riff-raff film that you can identify with. And you will laugh your way through the everyday sense of humor it carries.
BE WARNED THOUGH: it is not your regular Yash Raj film with a bright song every 10th minute. It's not one where the editor went zip-zapp-zooom to create a fast pace or a shorter film. It's slowish. It's longish. And if I were an impatient viewer, those would be my first and last complaints. And since I'm not, I have more reasons to rejoice, a few quibbles here and there, as scribbled in the notepad section.
I'm willing to sit in the beloved dark hall a little longer and watch things build-up slowly. Just in case I miss the finer details that have been paid attention to by the makers, the ones that might have helped create that warm atmosphere and yet maintain a hostile environment. Don't want to run that risk.
Especially when one of the most well-known banners in the industry "Yash Raj Films" is taking the huge risk of getting rid of the female lead altogether and having a minimum of songs. An hour into the movie and I, a fan of the non-standard Hindi films, wanted to scream "Where's the GIRL?" And what a huge risk that is for budding "star" Ranbir Kapoor too. But like they say, even superheroes take risks. Why shouldn't our heroes, then?
Many of us don't aspire to much. If we aren't one of them, we know someone very closely, who is happy with what they get and don't think they deserve any better. Our man, Harpreet Singh Bedi (Ranbir Kapoor) is one of them. He doesn't meddle with his life too much. Until, one day, realization dawns. And let me not scare you. It's not the epiphany waiting to happen. It is a slow, gradual call on the self. You'll see yourself, if you went through what Harpreet went through with his baggage of values.
Rocket Singh is also a detailed comment on how the corporate world and more specifically, cut-throat sales departments work. The sleaze is shown, but you don't puke, because it is shown so matter-of-factly. After all, you run that rat-race too.
And remarkably the character transitions are very believable too. An academically challenged commerce student doesn't turn into a superhuman in a skill set he thinks he's good at. When the tables turn, they do so subtly. The sweet talk, lies and malice turn into shrewd judgment calls. The "anti-heroes" are no dumbwits or "just-do-it" bosses. They can walk the talk too.
And all of this with sharp dialogues. In fact, the first half hour reminded me of two TV series that I admire the most for their crisp dialogues - West Wing and Sports Night. These shows were written by Aaron Sorkin who also wrote one of my favorite dramas A few good men and one of my favorite rom-coms The American President. So, if I'm thinking of Aaron Sorkin and my favorite Hindi writer-director Hrishikesh Mukherjee at the same time, the writer of this film, Jaideep Sahni has done his job! You see guys, I had no choice but to love this film.
But this also means the film is full of dialogues. Back and forth and back. If you are refraining from creating a non-loud Sikh character, you have done your job well! It's such a shame that this is good enough. And the task of creating other believable office-going characters seems like only a mild achievement.
Obviously none of this would have come through if the actors didn't do their jobs or they weren't given direction. You want the idealistic protagonist to stick to his guns but you want him to succeed too. But, you do know that in this day and age you are asking for the impossible, because you want a realistic film too.
And you make such a demand only because your hopes have risen due to the perfect casting. From the technician Mishraji (Mukesh Bhatt) to Giri despite his uneven Hyderabadi accent (or is it Telangana now? :) ). You want to hug them all. And of course you want to beat up that brat of a boss, Mr. Suri. So fresh is this cast, that despite detailed searches on the net, I can't figure out which character is played by whom. The search is on, meanwhile, dear readers, if you know, drop me a line.
But before you do any of that, go catch this sales-guy before he achieves his targets! He's not selling a product or a service. He's out there selling a value system. Remember, selling, not preaching. So you just might buy it. You know you want to.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Amodini, Amodini's Movie Reviews : ...although the film is almost entirely shot in office-space, which means enclosed rooms, Shimit Amin manages to keep up the interest with well-paced events and some great, subtle humor... full review
Thumbs up, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...Amin, working from a smart (though somewhat predictable) screenplay by Jaideep Sahni, isn’t one to belabour, for instance, the point that Harpreet is as middle-class as they come.... full review
Thumbs up, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...It may not be appreciated by the masses, but for a change it’s a simple and refreshing flick with everything just in the right proportions as required.... full review
Thumbs up, by Martin D'Souza, Glamsham.com : ...Shimit takes a neutral view of the business field and lays bare the employee-boss relationship as well as the 'percentage party' where the customer is the scapegoat... full review
Thumbs up, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...Meticulously written by Jaideep Sahni, the genius behind such gems as Khosla Ka Ghosla and Chak De India, the script of Rocket Singh is its real star. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...The wet-behind-the-ears Rocket’s blooding in salesman-‘giri’ is both amusing and thought-provoking: is this what the guy who shows up at your doorstep with a water purifier, and whom you said no to, goes through back in his office? ... full review
So-So, by Lidia Ostepeev, Planet Bollywood : ...They were defined by their office behavior and a few quirks but nothing that had me rooting for them - hoping that they would give management the slap in the face it deserved. ... full review
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
Harpreet Singh Bedi (Ranbir Kapoor) never believed in his academic achievements. Non-existent as they were. He thought he had the brains to get through life though. But roadblock - he had values too. Can values and thus the real him survive in this dog-eat-dog world?