Star actor Madhvan's Rocketry: The Nambi Effect captured the imagination of all ever since its launch. The film is a biopic on ISRO's former aerospace engineer Nambi Narayanan who was falsely implicated in the espionage charges. The film was premiered at Cannes Film Festival and is releasing on July 1, 2022. Let us see what impact it made on movie lovers.
Celebrity actor Suriya (Suriya) is on the verge of interviewing Nambi Narayanan (Madhavan), a former aerospace engineer at ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation). The TV crew is keen to wrap the proceedings as quickly as possible and Nambi also gets impatient with the delay. But as the interview progresses, Suriya unearths shocking truths about Nambi Narayanan. To find out more about it and his connection with his wife Mira (Simran), son-in-law Arunan(Muralidaran), and scientists Vikram Sarabhai (Ravi Raghavendra), Gulshan Grover (Abdul Kalam), Unni (Sam Mohan) watch Rocketry on the silver screen.
Artists, Technicians Review
Madhavan on his directorial debut dared to be different by choosing an interesting story and a biopic of a scientist wrongly implicated and who was unknown and forgotten by many. He starts off the narration in an interesting manner. But as the narration progresses, the story resembled that of a docu-drama and the slow pace at times tested the patience of the viewers. The first half ends on an interesting note with how Nambi Narayanan along with Vikram Sarabhai and other scientists like Abdul Kalam spearheaded India's space research and the obstacles they faced in their pursuit.
All these scenes remind one of the web series Rocket Boys based on Homi Bhaba and Vikram Sarabhai. In the second half, the story takes a serious turn and from then on the narration turns gripping. The same tempo is maintained till the end barring a few scenes here and there. Though one felt the climax was rushed, the way Madhavan introduced the real Nambai Narayanan on screen and made him deliver the dialogues made a stunning impact.
Madhavan's story is interesting and the screenplay generates curiosity in the second half. He made a decent debut as a director. He got the optimum output from the entire cast and crew and should be commended for his attempt. More than the director, Madhavan stole the hearts of all with his acting.
Madhavan made a lasting impression in the lead role. He brought in variations in his expressions and emoted in such a way to make a lasting impression. He surprises all as the young and enthusiastic scientist who believes nothing is impossible and goes to any extent. Similarly, he showed powerful emotions when faced with various setbacks and also the deadly charges. Even his makeup looked natural and realistic and more or less he resembled the real Nambi Narayanan.
Others got limited scope to perform and they all supported Madhavan perfectly. Simran played the role of his wife and she is ok in her role. She showcased the trauma she underwent in a perfect manner but at times she went overboard. Muralidharan who played the role of Nambi's son law performed well. Unni made a good impact as a co-scientist Unni. Ravi Raghavendra and Gulshan Grover did well as Vikram Sarabhai and Abdul Kalam. Others performed according to their roles. Suriya made a powerful impact as the anchor.
Sam CS' BGM made an impact and the cinematography of Sirisha Ray gave a realistic feel to the chronology of the events. The editing of Bijit Bala is ok but could have been more crispy. Production values are good.
Lack of commercial elements
Biopics are always difficult and risky to film on the screen. One cannot take many cinematic liberties and if one shows the facts, it will turn into a docu-drama. Madhavan's Rocketry-The Nambi effect suffers from the same confusion. The entire first half is full of science, rockets, and cryogenic engines. Even the formulas, P1, P2, etc are discussed to some extent and this will confuse commoners and even the science and engineering, students. All these scenes brought back memories of the recent web series Rocket Boys. The first half which highlighted the rise of Nambi Narayanan in ISRO who was on the verge of becoming the ISRO's next chief in an interesting manner, it also ended up confusing the commoners giving it a feel of a docu-drama. The second half turns interesting with a few twists and turns. However, the heavy dosage of emotions may put off people who come for entertainment. The dialogues in the climax and Madhavan, Suriya, and real Nambi Narayan's expressions and screen presence elevated the scenes. Madhavan's story is good, the screenplay is interesting and the direction could have been better. It has to be seen how viewers receive Rocketry at the box office. Considering all these aspects, Rocketry The Nambi Effect is a realistic portrayal without running after commercial colors. Madhavan worked hard to enlighten people about how the vested interests in the then Government treated its great scientist like Nambi Narayan for personal gains which impacted India skyrocketing into the space. The dialogue 'Scientists react only when Rockets fail to take off, they do not know how to react in other situations' sums up in one line, the trauma faced by the talented scientists in the country. Following this CJ will not be giving a rating for Rocketry The Nambi Effect for the honest attempt.