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0.5 5 3.0
Rocketry – The Nambi Effect Review 3.0/5 & Rating
ROCKET EFFECT: THE NAMBI EFFECT is the story of an incredible scientist. In the late 60’s Nambi Narayanan (R.Madhavan) is a genius working for ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) as a technical assistant under Vikram Sarabhai (Rajit Kapur). In 1969 he was admitted to the renowned Princeton University and therefore moved to New Jersey, USA. His dream is to do his PhD with Professor Crocco (Vincent Riotta). The professor hasn’t accepted any students, but makes an exception for Nambi out of conviction, sharp mind and also because Nambi offers to take care of the professor’s house and ailing wife (Branka Petric). Under Professor Crocco and through his studies at Princeton, Nambi acquires a great deal of knowledge about liquid gases. He gets an offer from NASA, but he turns it down so he can return to India and take ISRO to dizzying heights. Thanks to Nambi, ISRO manages to get hydraulic engine parts from Rolls Royce for free. He also accompanies a team of ISRO scientists to France to help them with their space mission. In return, Nambi and the scientists continue to learn about space technology. During the fall of the USSR, Nambi tries his best to secure cryogenic fuel-based engines at a lower price. Everything is going well for Nambi, but on November 30, 1994 everything changes. Nambi is arrested on charges of espionage and leaking important secrets to Pakistan. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
The story by R Madhavan (additional story by Anjali Nair, Ananth Narayan Mahadevan and Sreedevi Krishnan) is quite promising and makes for a great movie. The script by R Madhavan (additional script by Sukhmani Sadhana and Anjali Nair) is fine. The writing is such that one embarks on Nambi’s journey and is also touched by the hardships he faces when he is falsely accused of being a traitor. However, the first half could have been written better. R Madhavan’s dialogue (additional dialogue from Rahul Pandey) is simple but sharp. In the first half, however, a lot of technical jargon is used and could have been avoided.
R Madhavan’s direction is fair. This is his directorial debut and he handled some scenes exceptionally. His choice of subject is also too good, since the audience doesn’t know much about this great man. R Madhavan takes key episodes from his life and turns them into entertaining stories. Audiences would be surprised to learn that Nambi Narayanan had worked with APJ Abdul Kalam and that he had impressed Neil Armstrong and Rolls Royce CEO Cleaver Hughes. Also, the fact that such a genius endured a frivolous case for more than two decades will leave viewers stunned and even agitated. On the other hand, the film is too lengthy at 157 minutes. The first half is weaker and the use of complex rocket science language will have audiences scratching their heads. The second half is better as it focuses on the struggles of the Nambi family after the traitor charges were brought against him. But here, too, some questions remain unanswered. After all, excitement is limited and hence the box office outlook seems bleak.
ROCKETRY: THE NAMBI EFFECT begins with a long shot that will impress audiences. In the beginning itself, Nambi is shown being humiliated and arrested. A few sequences that stand out in the first half are Nambi courting Professor Crocco, Nambi proving Professor Chokmark wrong and Nambi hiding from Unni over the death of his son. The break is exciting. After the break, Nambi’s interrogation scenes stand out. The same goes for the scene where Unni meets Nambi in prison. The finale, which shows the real Nambi Narayanan, is touching.
rocketry | Hindi Pendant 2 | R.Madhavan | Simran Bagga
R Madhavan is in excellent form as an actor. He put his heart and soul into this performance and his looks are spot on. It’s amazing to see that his appearance as an older Nambi looks exactly like the real Nambi Narayan. ROCKETRY: THE NAMBI EFFECT is certainly one of his most successful performances. Simran (Nambi’s wife Meena) gets limited opportunities in the first half but is memorable in the second half. Sam Mohan (Unni) has an important role and is too good. Kartik Kumar (CBI officer PM Nair) makes a big mark in the small role. Rajit Kapur is lovely. Vincent Riotta is decent while Branka Petric is sure to make viewers smile. Anurita Jha (Mariam Rasheeda), Dinesh Prabhakar (Inspector LD Gopal), Amaan (APJ Abdul Kalam), Rajeev Ravindranathan (Nambi’s colleague Param), Bhawsheel Sahani Singh (Nambi’s colleague Sartaj), Vladimir Vuckovic (Yuri), Rick Zingale (Professor Chokmark ), Deepak Kriplani (Satish Dhawan), Ron Donachie (Cleaver Hughes, CEO of Rolls Royce) and Sriram Parthasarathy (Barry Amaldev) also do well. Finally, Shah Rukh Khan excels in a special performance. His presence makes the film stand out.
music is poor. ‘Sri Venkatesa Suprabhatam’ is well woven into the foil. ‘Behne Do’ and ‘Asman’ leave no traces. The background music by Sam CS (additional music by Divakar Subramaniam) is intoxicating and adds to the impact in several scenes.
Sirsha Ray’s cinematography is adequate. Ranjit & Prerna’s production design is detailed. The costumes of Niharika Khan and Gautami Hazra are realistic and in sync with the decor of the period. The makeup and hair design of Vikram Gaikwad, Farah Tarapore and Rohan Jagtap are commendable, especially in the case of R Madhavan. action is realistic. The VFX by Golden Square Media Works Pvt Ltd, Hive FX Studioz and RedChillies.VFX is rich. Bijith Bala’s editing should have been sharper.
Overall, ROCKETRY: THE NAMBI EFFECT tells a shocking tale of an ISRO genius and is embellished with an award-winning performance by R Madhavan. At the box office, it will depend on positive word-of-mouth from the target audience.