Posts Tagged ‘Rocket Singh’

So, she sat down, pushed the rewind button, compared notes with other films and wrote this post for us. Fatema Kagalwala is the girl on the bike. Thats an easy way to spot her. Atleast we dont know any other girl in Mumbai who is happy to give us a bike ride anytime. In between ADing and writing, these days she is bit busy with pati and ghar-grasthi but like many of us her first love remains cinema. Read on. And like us, if you loved Rocket Singh, attack her!

”You know what I feel about these new-age ‘realist’ kinda movies, they put a complete honest effort into developing the whole film and when it comes to the climax its like they have lost all interest and want to just wrap it up hurriedly.”

These words were said to me by my husband introducing Rocket Singh, the salesman of the year, before I watched it. After I watched it, it made me think. Sadly because I tended to agree with them whole-heartedly about our so-called ‘new-age’, ‘multiplex’, ‘slice-of-life’, ‘realist’ cinema.

I finished watching the film with these words in mind. I did not agree with the analysis with respect to this film but still have chosen to open my piece with it as the problem with Rocket Singh, I believe, is not sincerity or honesty but simply a lack of balance.

Balance between dramatic reality and reality, entertainment and truth. In the cinema of some makers these dimensions are polarised. But when it comes to what I term as ‘filmy realism’ the tight-rope walk is do or die. Sadly, in these days it is becoming more die than do.  

At the end of Rocket Singh, I missed Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Basu Chatterjee and his likes with a pain. Generally, I crave that era wistfully but this time I missed it with a bit more vigour. Because, filmy realism began with them and ended with them. And try as we might we are unable to  recreate that world try as we might with whatever talent and money we can muster.  

Why do I compare both the world of Rocket Singh with that of Hrishida is not because of simple idealism or old-world values. I do so from the pov of story-telling, plain and simple.  

The drama of melodrama as a genre is easy to achieve insofar as one knows its boundaries and does not go the ham way or over-emphasize too much. There has been an established formula for melodrama for years which has successfully played out and will continue to do so. No blancing act required there except to keep in check over-emphasis.  

The drama of brutal, raw realism comes from itself. No holds barred, reality gets more real by this token. There is no limit to drama here as long as it is raw, brutal and stark. There are no balancing acts here that put demands on the maker vis-a-vis the value of his film, the choice only determining the nature. 

But filmy realism is a tricky thing. It is ambitious too. It straddles the world of reality and tempers it with a light-hearted note that might or might not be true/real, takes on the baggage of entertainment and even a note of drama to spice up the proceedings. All this within the construct of strict everyday reality yet keepng the fourth wall intact. Reality that is charming yet real yet engaging enough to keep you hooked yet unreal enough to keep you suspended in that ‘story-world’, yet layered enough for you to identify with every motivation, yet interesting enough to keep you rooted and at the end of it all real enough to be believable. Tall order, which Hrishikesh Mukherjee and his likes seemed to do effortlessly. And which our bluest-eyed boys fail at miserably time and again.  

Rocket Singh, according to me failed there. It did not have the correct balance of all ingredients. To spell it out, it relied too much on the truth of the character and sacrificed all the spice to it. The climax was beautiful in its honesty to the film, to reality, to the film’s reality and the world of its characters. But it left us cold. It left me cold and the person who I have quoted in the beginning. And millions of viewers who rejected it, which is painful.

Because it is not a bad film at all. In fact it is a good film. Far better than Chak De. Far braver too. But the idealism of the climax (and I don’t mean Rocket’s idealisim, I mean Jaideep’s idealism as a writer) not to compromise the truth of his character to drama and entertainment, not to pander to our baser and easily-fulfilled sides of our minds that would demand that. Brave decision. And in doing so he has made sure he has maintained the soul of the film. It is one film start to end and does not become something else altogether in the end just because a climax has to be certain way and story-writing conventions say so.

But, and now I will contradict myself. It is still not one film. Because it holds out two promises to us. One of idealism winning by its own gumption, the other of a nice light-hearted but deeper film, like Khosla ka Ghosla. It does not deliver on both accounts. 

Let’s examine the first one – Rocket Singh, the character is one of pure idealism, one who is forced to be honest, almost as though he is congenitally diseased by it. This idealism is doubly fuelled by his confidence in himself, his abilities and then later in his values and  to an extent, revenge. These were the very attributes that made Rocket Singh a hero, a real hero, even though he espoused what would seem today unrealistic values. These very values stood by him to give him strength in all his endeavours and weaknesses. So what happened in the end? What happened in the end, the breaking down of the man, in front of circumstances yet not bending his values yet being destroyed himself by his choice is I think a brilliant characterisation. It’s far more layered and telling that any our cinema has seen in a long-time. But, the promise the writer makes to us right from the beginning is that this man’s values are his strength. And so we expect him to derive strength from those. But that does not happen. What happens is a Gandhian ending where suffering is epitomised and ‘satya’ compels the ‘enemy’ to bend. Very idealistic and touching. But we were not promised a Gandhi’s story and so we felt cheated.

We felt even more cheated because the impact of this Gandhian ending left us miserably shaken out of our light-hearted mode (no it did not do anything to our consciences or anything, nothing RDB type of shaking up) but a rude awakening or say let-down. Like as though DDLJ had ended like  a Tezaab!

Not to say that a writer cannot suit his endings to his ideology. That he cannot subtly make his character do what he wishes him to do if it is within the parameters. Of course he can. But then do not promise a character that is different from that. Or do not scultp the tone of a story such that the legitimate conclusion would not fit in with your aspirations. I think Oye Lucky Lucky Oye did that brilliantly in recent times. Trippy, the film made no misleading promises, just sit back and enjoy the ride, it said. It’s an episode. Rocket Singh promised not only a joy-ride with a meaningful end but also an entertaining 2 and a half hours full of real-world charm and old-world values. But with the tone of the ending changed the complete tone of the film. Something that it was not building upto all this while. That’s why it was not one film. That is why even though it may have been true to its character it still was not true to its film.

Agreed, the questions were serious and choices life-defining even. But throughout the film not only does the tone of the film but the central character also promises me that life will be defined in a breezy way. More or less. And then a Hrishikesh Mukherjee film becomes a Shyam Benegal film. (Don’t take it literally, I am talking about the cinema they represent.)

On a more massy level, I would attribute the lack of drama in the climax to its failure. Maybe there are more such reasons with what was wrong with it. And if there wasn’t much, then lots is wrong with the audience that rejected it so brutally. 

– FK

PS – And to read more of her filmy thoughts, you can visit

2009 – The Master of Feel Bad started the year delivering his career’s first hit and the Master of Feel Good Cinema ended the year with a recording breaking monster hit! Aha, not that bad if we count only the boundaries. After the musical notes of the year, we sat down to discuss the filmy notes of the year. Here it is – the good, the bad and the fuglies!

1. Best Credit Roll – If ever a credit roll said something so simply and superbly, this is it. Luck By Chance. Also great debut by Zoya Akhtar.

2. Anurag Kashyap turned musical and how! More than a dozen songs and we discovered Amit Trivedi.

3. Anurag Kashyap – 2009 belongs to only one director. Dev D, Gulaal and even Paanch finally got a release, you know where. Whats more, he finished shooting his next film That Girl In Yellow Boots in just 13 days. Aur bolo ?

PS : The same Anurag Kashyap wrote the dialogues for Kurbaan ! Strange bedfellows remained strange.

4. Nobody, we repeat nobody, can save Harman/Hurrman/Harmann/Harrman/Whatever it is Baweja.

5. Wooden Film of the Year – New York. Three good looking woods with zero expression.

6. Ranbir Kapoor – Dude of the year! He is not only working with best directors of bollywood but delivering his best too. Cool & confused, fool & romantic, middle class & lost – he did it all.

7.Imran Luck Khan – The poster boy of 2008 is light years behind Ranbir. He only talks cool and acts still uncool.  Competition, whats that ?

8. Imtiaz Ali has only one story to tell. The journey of cool and confused lovers on the verge of marriage. First time, they were about to mary. Second time, they were close to marriage. This time, they finally married and then solved their problem. More here and here.

9. Samir Karnik got money to make one more movie. Who ? Where ? Why ? How ?

10. Rani Mukherjee’s career is over. Hadippa!

11. Multiplex cinema & hits are not everything. Its a big myth. Ask the makers of Wanted. Or is it only Salman Khan ?

12. And if its Salman Khan, why Main Aur Mrs Khanna packed up in just two days ? As they say, nobody knows anything. And what was UTV smoking ? 

13. Overrated Gimmicky shit of the year – Paa. More ramblings here.

14. R Balki should stick to making tv commercials. One idea and thats it. He also told the same story again. Smart & dying child bring lovers back together. Age gap somewhere. Check.

15. Akshay Kumar’s bubble busted and how!. He failed everywhere. Chandni Chowk, China, Hollywood, under water, inside or outside Tasveer.

16. The Invisible Director – Who is Anurag Singh ? Does anyone knows him ? The man who put the last nail in the coffin of Rani’s acting career. Hadippa!

17. Sanjay Gupta and gang (read Suparn) are still copying. Even the promos! Now the Unknown ones! More here.

18. Suresh Nair – the only writer to have two big films releases on the same friday. Aladin & London Dreams and both flopped.

19. Underrated Film – Sooni Tarporevala’s delightful Little Zizou, where all the possible parsis united to turn bollywood into pollywood! ( Missed Barah Aana, Mohandas)

20. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not – Sunil Shetty got an award for acting in Anant Mahadevan’s Red Alert – the War Within. Believe it, nobody has seen the film yet.

21. Most Subtle Expression of the year – In Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Delhi 6, a man lands up with a mirror to show your andar ka kala bandar! Beat this!

22. Nagesh Kuknoor – Dont give him big budgests and big stars. He will go cuckoo-noor!

23. Vishal Bhardwaj delivered again. Five films in a row. And showed us Amole Gupte – the actor. More here.

24. Ajab Prem ki Gazab Kahani tried too hard to be Andaz Apna Apna. Insanity happens! You cant plan and design it.

25. ENG Filmmaker -Madhur Bhandarkar continued his expose and it finally flopped.

26. Smirk & Smug of the Year – Vivek Oberoi in Kurbaan. It was the ROFLOL film of the year where terrorism was wrapped in chiffon saree.

27. RajKumar Hirani lied to all of us and made the same film again. As a friend said, its Munnabhai B Tech. More here.

28. Couple Of The Year – Jaideep Sahni & Shimit Amin who delivered Rocket Singh – Sales Man of the Year! More here.

29. The only U-25 who proved us wrong – Ayan Mukherjee. Wake up Sid. Confident debut. More here.

30. Only 12 scenes, not 12 roles – Ask Priyanka Chopra. Easily the best performance of the year. Length doesnt matter, performanace counts. Vishal did it. Gowariker failed.

Bravery Awards  – Aftab Shivdasani turned writer and producer with Aao Wish Karein.

Someone directed a film titled Jai-Veeru!

Abhijeet Sawant turned actor.

LOL Titles Of The Year  – They said it all. No explanations required.

Kal Kisne Dekha

Do Knot Disturb

Fruit & Nuts

London Nightmares


Aa Dekhein Zara

Dhoondte Rah Jaoge

Ek Se Bure Do

(Tough) Luck

Shorkut – The Con Is On

PS. ENG – Electronic New Gathering.

Coming up next –  what to expect in 2010!

A new song promo of Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year is out.  Pocket me rocket hai, pocket me…check it out!

Rocket SinghHuh! Such a long wait! Just a few hours back, we wrote this post on what we saw in the trailer and how we are still searchig for it online. Finally some kind soul has done the good deed for the day!

The trailer/theatrical promo of Shimit Amin’s new film Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year is finally here. Its written by Jaideep Sahni, produced by Aditya Chopra (Yashraj Films) and stars Ranbir Kapoor and Shazahn Padamsee.

Though the trailer doesnt say or show much about the film but check it out! Ranbir Kapoor selling the film to you in just 60 seconds. Will you buy the ticket ? We surely will. Not based on the trailer though, which connects well with the concept of the film but is quite unimpressive otherwise.

What we know – As the name suggests, Rocket Singh (Ranbir Kapoor) is a salesman who is doing great at his work. The story is about how this salesman slowly becomes a conman and how he starts operating a parallel company within the same company in which he is working without the knowledge of others.

Though we are quite repulsive to Yash Raj Films’ Hadippa genrae of films but with Jaideep Sahni & Shimit Amin, we hope we will not be disppointed!

Its one of the much awaited films of the year! Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year starring Ranbir Kapoor.  Its produced by Aditya Chopra (Yashraj Films). Director Shimit Amit & writer Jaideep Sahni, last time the duo came together and delievered the blockbuster Chak De India ( Har team me ek hi goonda hota hai..woohoo) !

Here is a new pic from the film.

Rocket Singh

BTW it seems the trailer of the film is also out. WTF! Why is it still not online ? Why would anyone want to hide it when the whole point of the trailer is to get everyone curious about the film! We are not going to watch any of three duds to catch the trailer! We saw a teaser of the film today (is this the trailer? ) in which Ranbir Kapoor comes on screen, introduces himself and as a salesman tries to sell the film in 60 seconds with a clock ticking on left corner of the screen! It ends with Ranbir Kapoor doing few dance steps, in the same salesman attire. It doesnt say or show much but we are waiting and how!

What we know – As the name suggests, Rocket SIngh (Ranbir Kapoor) is a salesman who is doing great at his work. The story is about how this salesman slowly becomes a conman and how he starts operating a parallel company within the same company in which he is working without the knowledge of others.

Also, if you look carefully, its easy to spot SHIM IT Computers & JAIDEEP Computer Solutions in the pic which suggests the kind of company Rocket Singh is working for!

rocket singh locationrocket singh location2Mid-day has published on location pics of Ranbir Kapoor’s new film Rocket Singh – Salesman Of the year. The film is directed by Shimit Amin (Chak De India, Ab Tak Chappan)and written by Jaideep Sahni.

Its being currenty shot at Vrindavan Society in Thane. And if gossipmongers are to be believed the film is about a smart salesman who forms his own company within the company, where he is working. And people have no clue about the parallel company that Rocket Singh is running. 

If you want a better look at Ranbir’s Rocket Singh look, here it is.


Here is the first look of Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year. Ranbir Kapoor plays the lead role in this Yashraj Films production. The film is directed by Shimit Amin (standing, right) and written by Jaideep Shani ( sitting, left). The duo delivered the blockbuster hit Chak De India.

Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year will release by year end.