The story of rocket scientist Nambi Narayanan’s rise to being India’s biggest scientist hero and the following fall of grace, had to be told. I am glad the very versatile, very Tamil R. Madhavan is doing it. Here’s why: Maddy has the intellectual bandwidth to get it right without over-intellectualizing the role, as Kamal Haasan would have, or playing to the galleries, as Rajinikanth would have.
Madhavan is pitch-perfect as Nambi Narayanan, the Rocket Man who took India kicking and dragging into the space age only to be branded a traitor. As the trailer aptly sums it up, sometimes the shaming of an individual is the shaming of the nation. At a time when branding individuals as anti-national has become a way of life, Rocketry comes as a timely warning: don’t mess with a genius.
The trailer has terrific tempo.And a will to look at the hero with all his blemishes without blushing or flinching. We get sucked into Narayanan’s dedication, passion and discipline and thereafter his shocking torture and humiliation hits you in your face. We can see Madhavan has given all of himself to the part, and more.
There are no concessions to filmy trappings in the trailer. No songs. No oomph. No girls in bikinis. Only big boy playing big games that would change the way India is perceived by the world.
The man who had the gumption to bill India’s rocketry as “puppetry” is no ordinary scientist. He is destined to change the world. It is only befitting that a film as epic in vision as this should be made on his life.
Knowing the Covid situation and the way it is going, we don’t know how Rocketry The Nambi Effect will make it into theatres. I spoke to Madhavan after the trailer started trending crazily on Wednesday . He is down with Covid. But he is determined. “I don’t care how long I’ve to wait. But I am going to release my film only in the theatres,” Maddy told me.
Now that’s the spirit the real Rocketman would approve of.