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Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year



Lead Actors: Ranbir KapoorManish Chaudhary
Genre: Drama, Comedy

A very fresh story for a Bollywood movie, and good performances. The plot of the movie is based in Mumbai, the working class is trying to succeed in life (and make better money) amidst competition, rules and constraints. The plot may seem to be focussed around one person (Ranbir Kapoor as Harpreet Singh Bedi), but to carefully analyze, the weight is on the plot itself. Harpreet is a recent BCom graduate who commends himself as a being a good salesman, and his confidence does land him a job at a computer assembling and delivery company (say, A). A wrong step in accordance with his morals costs him his impression with the big dogs at A and he gets an ultimatum to quit the job after the probation.

On finding out cost specifics from the grey market, Harpreet decides to venture and start the same business, but due to lack of logistics, ends up using A’s facilities and keeps track of every penny-worth used. Harpreet uses help of his colleagues at A – a technician, a peon, a receptionist, a sales lead. He christens this fictitious corporation as ‘Rocket Sales’, makes these helpers ‘partners’ at Rocket Sales, and continues to offer business to clients - most of them A’s. Their limited number of employees form an efficient organization, meet regularly outside of office hours and make timely deliveries. A starts losing business eventually to Rocket Sales, and the MD of A, Puri (played by Manish Chodhary) figures out this ‘golmaal’ eventually and puts an end to this corporation by making Harpreet signing legal paperwork to merge (give away) the brand of Rocket Sales to A, and himself stay out of this business for at least 3 years. Rocket’s clients who are now A’s are continuously unhappy and Puri figures it’s the good customer service which A cannot provide and throws the legal paperwork away to bring Rocket Sales back into the game.  

PERFORMANCES: Ranbir Kapoor as a Sardar is very convincing. The role requires the character to be confident, bold, straightforward, pushy and not bog down under pressure – a salesman, and Ranbir does an excellent job at displaying all these characteristics. Although he is not a seasoned actor, the maturity in his acting gives a great projection of his abilities and his versatility. His sales pitch would sometimes remind you of sales people you may have encountered in real life, for their ability to stay in your mindframe. His chemistry with the Shazahn Padamsee (as Sherena) is alright, but is nothing worth mentioning. But there are quite a few scenes where Harpreet does not react, or keeps numb – the visuals fall flat here and better treatment of the scene could have been possible - may be by making Harpreet’s enthusiasm more visible and consistent throughout.

Manish Chodhary as Puri is an excellent addition to the cast. Shimit has tapped his potential very well. Puri is an aggressive CEO (of A) and wants results, cares little about relationships but measures everything in terms of profits. His actions, body language, costumes, dialogue delivery very clearly depict that he’s the boss at A. Nitin (Naveen Kaushik) plays a sales lead who’s commanding, but not very respected. Harpreet looks upto him, trusts him but Naveen is a smart person who knows how to deal with people. He is a good sales person, but lacks boldness which Harpreet teaches him by having him join Rocket Sales. His character is that of being a mentor to Harpreet in initial stages, which he does well by adding some humour - regular and sarcastic. Koena (Gauhar Khan) becomes another ‘partner’ of Rocket Sales who adds more than glamour to the team. Scenes where she sympathizes with Harpreet when he gets shunted by Puri are good. Girish (Santosh)’s performances in the past have been well-appreciated. He is best suited for comedy and begins the journey in the movie as a guy watching porn at work, a technician who knows the ins and the outs and willing to help a fellow colleague being run down by peers and bosses. His dialogues are in Hyderabadi and he does the accent well, although not perfectly.   

SCREENPLAY & DIRECTION: Given a central idea and wide plot of developing an ambitious idea in silhoutte without getting caught, the screenplay of the movie had some flexibility, but Director Shimit Amin has used the screen time and space very economically. A few scenes could be called superfluous – based various characters are developed, or eg. the bribing scene, the office party, etc. These scenes and a few more have particularly not added value to the script. Shimit has experience directing movies in diverse genre like thriller and sports-motivation. A few characters in the film could have been done away with, or probably built better – like Harpreet’s grandfather (played by Prem Chopra), or Sherena or Harpreet’s friends. Their screen-time leaves the viewer asking for the director to get the story back to Rocket Sales. The dialogues for each character are well-written. Most of the language is Mumbai Hindi slang, with hand gestures too. The sarcasm is alright, which more or less all characters exude and scenes are placed in a logical sequence. What’s confusing with the plot though, is how in the end Puri of A is not able to meet the service requirements as demanded by the clients of Rocket Sales who finally convert to A. How difficult can it be to mobilize 24x7 technicians for your clients, when a team of 5 was already doing it? Although, what’s convincingly portrayed is a company which is as big as 25-30 people can easily lose information and resources to situations and opportunities outside. Overall, the screenplay and direction could use some improvement. 

CINEMATOGRAPHY: The main job of Vikash Nowlakha Anshum was to place more emphasis on events than people. The sets are those of an office majorly, sometimes streets and sometimes an apartment being used an office. All this said, Vikash has used short-range shots, and has been able to capture body language and expressions perfectly. The office sets (that of a small-size company) have been well absorbed. The lighting could have been better in some scenes where the look and feel is dull, may be the angles used could have been better. But the movie wasn’t designed to be a visual treat, so Vikash has been able to project ‘reality’ without distorting the visuals so much. The props in the scenes are adequately caught on screen and so are the locations.

MUSIC:
 There are no songs in the movie (but are in the album), and it’s a good decision. The background score is a take off on songs from the album. Both by the artiste duo Salim-Sulaiman. The music is very urban and suits the look and feel of the movie, without any unwanted dramatization. There are some pauses here and there, which movies in this new millennium are witnessing compared to ones from the 90s where background scores in parallel to dialogues were the norm. The pauses are adequate. There probably isn’t much variety, but the score has definitely accentuated comical scenes.

Rocket Singh has a plot that could have definitely been exploited better, but the performances are worth noticing. The viewer may not lose their concentration, although, there was more flexibility with story development (fast vs slow, may be more ‘masala’). Shimit and team have stuck to the central plot which is a good thing. Overall, the movie is a good watch, which should receive critical acclaim if not commercial success.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

where is the rating?

Sunny said...

I'd say 3/5.

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