A large part of Akarsh Khurana’s Rashmi Rocket feels like a very typical movie that wants to be vocal at every second about its feministic stand. The hurried nature of the movie to place our central character as this one in a million talent doesn’t land that smoothly. But it is actually by the time the movie reaches its interval point we realize that the real agenda of the script is not your typical underdog drama. Even though one can sense a bit of template in that part of the movie too, Rashmi Rocket manages to create a quick and thick bond with the viewer from that point, and I think it has made it a watchable movie with a good intention.
Rashmi is this young talent from Gujarat. From a very young age, everyone had noticed that she runs really fast, and her nickname was Rocket. But due to personal reasons, Rashmi decides not to pursue a career in Athletics. But when she meets Gagan Thakur, a soldier, during the prep for a marathon, he convinces her to go for it. Rashmi’s journey as an athlete and her struggles are what we see in Rashmi Rocket.
Gender-based bias is indeed the ultimate focus of this movie, and it sheds light on a topic that needs to be addressed. The emphasis on gender test that humiliates talented female athletes is the part of this movie that gets your attention. From the initial moments of the movie itself, we hear too many people judging Rashmi for the way she carries herself. The film ultimately questions the patriarchal mentality that defines how a woman should be. I did enjoy the courtroom part of the drama, even after knowing what would eventually happen, largely because of the subject.
From training montages to courtroom dialogue baazi, Akarsh Khurana depends too much on clichés. His last film, Karwaan’s biggest highlight, was the subtlety with which emotions were approached. Here he is treating the movie more like a campaign. The high pitch somewhere reminded me of Akshay Kumar’s Toilet: Ek Prem Katha. We even have a love song featuring Taapsee and Priyanshu that just doesn’t fit in. Maybe the initial plan was to release it in theatres, and they were more concerned about reaching people rather than showing craft. The production design isn’t that great, but the pumping background score by Amit Trivedi does help the movie in making us forget about the budget constraints.
Taapsee delivers an earnest and believable performance as Rashmi. The shift of the character on an emotional level was portrayed neatly by her. Physically also she looked the part, but I don’t think the makers could present her as this “Rocket.” The wonderful Priyanshu Painyuli shares great chemistry with Taapsee on screen, and as the understanding husband, he played the part perfectly. In every movie, we would see one character-actor who will create a surprisingly good impression with his or her performance, and in this movie, that is Abhishek Banerjee, who plays the role of an advocate. The character is in that Jolly LLB space, but Abhishek knows how to make it his own. Supriya Pathak is memorable as this strong and supportive mother.
Rashmi Rocket is the kind of movie that you won’t mind sitting through mainly because of the subject it tries to focus on. The film has a good pace, and thus you won’t feel that they are dragging it far too much. The solution might feel a bit simplistic, but the fact that this is something that has been happening in the athletic world for a long time makes the movie a very relevant one. For that reason alone, Akarsh Khurana’s Rashmi Rocket deserves a watch.
The solution might feel a bit simplistic, but the fact that this is something that has been happening in the athletic world for a long time makes the movie a very relevant one.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended