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23 Mar, 2023
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Rocketry: The Nambi Effect – The Tale of Indian Aerospace Scientist Nambi Narayanan

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R Madhavan’s directorial debut, Rocketry: The Nambi Effect has released in theatres today. It is a biopic based on Nambi Narayanan, the Padma Bhushan Aerospace Scientist.  

Nambi Narayanan is a distinguished rocket scientist credited with developing the Vikas engine that was used to launch India’s first PSLV. He has done remarkable work in cryogenics, having garnered a full scholarship at Princeton and later refused a fantastic offer from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), instead choosing to work for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Thiruvananthapuram.

Cast: R Madhavan plays the titular role. Simran, Misha Goshal, Gulshan Grover, and Mohan Raman are playing pivotal roles in the film. 

Plot: The film revolves around the life of ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan, who was accused of spying. R Madhavan’s directorial showcases how he fought for justice over the years. 


Rocketry Review

Honestly, Rocketry only focused more on the dark days in Narayanan’s life where he was accused of being a spy and tortured in jail. It is another story that he was finally acquitted and declared not guilty. This segment of his life should have been elaborated. This is the story that needs to be told with brutal frankness. 

Though it was a great attempt by R Madhavan to make a film around the life of a brilliant Indian Aerospace Scientist, we need another film telling us all about Narayanan, the man and not the scientist whose loyalty to his country was severely tested.

Rocketry is written by R. Madhavan (who also plays Nambi Narayanan) with little focus; the first half of the movie seems like a physics class with so many science students pitched in which is confusing and boring. It is awfully verbose and hardly cinematic. 

The second half runs like a spy thriller with Narayanan and his men racing – in one scene — across a vast icy expanse in what was then the Soviet Union. They are being chased by Americans, who want to lay their hands on what Narayanan is carting off to India with a plane waiting and all set to take off. A typical James Bond adventure, or so it would appear! 

The biggest flaw in Rocketry is the language; it visualizes French men, Russians and the British speaking Tamil. The CBI guys talks Tamil as well! What should have been a multi-lingual work has been totally messed up; the lip-sync is terrible, and the performances leave so much to be wished for. 

Just a plea: we need another film on Nambi Narayanan’s life!

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