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-.nandini.-

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Posted: 11 December 2009 at 4:13am | IP Logged

PLANE AND SIMPLE

December 11, 2009 17:35 IST

How in the world does Jaideep Sahni do it? Really, how? At a time when our cinema attempts to either be shampoo-commercial glossy or marijuana-rolling edgy, the ace screenwriter hammers out his work with a stark neatness, a stoic tidy that stands out amidst both the varnished and the handheld.
And when we see such unspectacular triumphs as Rocket Singh: Salesman Of The Year, it is clear that mere nails and efficiency aren't what hold them together: like his latest leading man, Sahni sells because he believes. As said, Shimit Amin's [ Images ] film is an unspectacular one. And it's quite hard to express just how bloody refreshing that is. Comfortable in its own skin, the film never tries too hard, and while it takes a little while to really get going, it completely eschews glitz and bling -- never an easy thing to do, moreso considering the hero's the hottest property in town since a certain Mr Khan moved to Bombay and stammered obsessively -- and does its own thing, nice and easy. Ranbir Kapoor plays Harpreet Singh Bedi, a lanky Sikh who struggled through his college marksheet and is now ready to sell. Armed with more than his fair share of enthusiasm, the good-natured lad finds himself in a trainee job in a ruthlessly competitive officeful of computer-selling sharks. Harpreet watches, wide eyed, as targets are met and chowkidars are bribed, but the morally staunch boy raised by his grandfather can't quite stomach high-stakes skullduggery, and before he knows it, he trips over his own goofy grin. The rest is right up Jaideep's alley, a tale of justice a la Jeffrey Archer, a tale that involves entrepreneurship, scruples, profit-sharing and friendship, and the writer-director duo let it unfold gradually, with such warm geniality that Jerry Maguire'd jump at the chance of working in our sincere sardar's Rocket Sales. Predictable to a degree, certainly, but some films are such an easy watch that you consciously avoid second-guessing the filmmakers, you don't want to predict what happens three scenes later. The boy, as we are all getting used to saying, is excellent. Two films ago, Ranbir Kapoor [ Images ] acted in something where more attention was paid to his tee-shirts than to plot, and yet now he slips so comfortably into the skin of this humdrum Harpreet that it's easy to forget his glamour. He's a versatile, instinctive actor working on roles that are much harder than they look: in this film, he's burdened by the most trite lines in the script, about belief and friendship and ethics, but his earnestness sees him carry them through. This isn't a traditional hero role -- his plans are more than a trifle harebrained and there are no showy moments of grand triumph -- but the way Harpreet keeps plugging away at it makes him more of a role-model than most our postermen. The ensemble is quite delightful, really. D Santosh is the pick of the bunch as Giri, a computer-assembler who surfs po*n through the night and lies to clients by day; Naveen Kaushik is super as the uniquely sideburned Nitin Rathore, a sales shark who really knows what he's doing; Mukesh Bhatt does well as Chhotelal Misra, a peon capable of more; and Gauhar Khan [ Images ] brings some nuance to her role as Koena, the ambitious receptionist. It's also great to see Prem Chopra [ Images ] as Harpreet's patient grandpa. The film's best lines are given to Shazahn Padamsee's Sherena -- right from an abrupt offering of Maggi to a casual 'I love you, use me' flung at Harpreet -- but she's far too vanilla to really work the words, keeping them from hitting the highs they deserve. Yet this only brings us to another aspect of the film: the romance. Harpreet meets Sherena on work, and then bumps into her at a party, where they drink in the bathroom and he shyly asks her to a movie before he has to get up for some guy who has to throw up in the commode. Seldom do we see a romantic track handled so casually, but Shimit knows love is completely incidental to Harpreet's story, and even though the director is obsessed with detail -- it isn't a coincidence that this tale of entrepreneurship sees Harpreet nicknamed HP, like a certain computer company formed in a garage, or that he goes to work at a store that is part of the Tata umbrella, a nod to the entrepreneur like no other -- he lets the romance drift in and out of the narrative, treating it with a breezily light hand. Smashing. The best films about sales are compelling narratives about savage closers, like David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross or Oliver Stone's Wall Street, audiences lapping up the con-games used by piranhas in action, but the Rocket Singh story is the exact antithesis of the 'greed is good' dictum: this is about a straightforward, sincere lad who believes in sharing. And it works, because the film's innate honesty makes us want to believe. That, and the lack of razzle-dazzle. (Heck, the office party sees people drink whiskey in transparent plastic cups with music running on Windows Media Player.) Rocket Singh might not be everyone's idea of a good time. It's not a film that grips you from the word go, or one that leaves you rolling in the aisles, but it's an impassioned effort that tosses skepticism out the window. Watch it, really. Rocket Singh won't suddenly break into a jig, and there's something quite priceless about the way he digs into a plateful of noodles after shoving his necktie into his pocket.

Rediff Rating:

 
 
 
 


Edited by preity*zinta - 11 December 2009 at 1:18pm

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-.nandini.-

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Posted: 11 December 2009 at 4:15am | IP Logged

POCKET THIS ROCKET!

 
Rocket Singh - Salesman of the Year (RSOTY) is the story of fresh out-of-college guy, Harpreet Singh (Ranbir Kapoor) who has just scraped through. He does what millions of Indians with such grades do ' join a sales team.
 
After the initial hiccups and learning blunders ' he decides to set up his parallel sales corporation ' Rocket Sales Corporation that deals in computers; much to the chagrin of the MD of the company he works for AYS.
 
The film's narrative is cast in a feel-good mould and the youthsparticularly will identify with the trials and tribulations of the protagonist, Harpreet Singh Bedi.
 
Directorially, Shimit Amin is in top form; except towards the latter part of first-half when the pace of the film drops. The sequences where Harpreet goes about building Rocket Sales Corporation's core team are well handled. The flaw in the film is in writing, partially, at times the screenplay seems to be too contrived. The climax too is rather lame. A stronger climax would have only culminated into a grand finale.
 
Finally, the film belongs to Ranbir Kapoor. He is the heart and Soul of the film. Shazahn Padamsee, though cast in the romantic lead, has nothing to do; in fact, Gauhar Khan's part is more developed. Production design is in sync with the film.
 

What rocks the movie:

Ranbir Kapoor. After Wake up Sid and APKGK, Ranbir once again proves that he is an actor to watch out for.
Shimit Amin's direction.
Performances by the ensemble cast.
 
 
What chucks the movie:

Writing. As already mentioned, apart from the climax, the romantic track between Ranbir and Shazahn Padamsee too is half-baked.


VERDICT:

RSOTY is a film that audiences will enjoy, only if they put Chak De India behind
 
 


Edited by nandinidev - 11 December 2009 at 4:25am

-.nandini.-

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Posted: 11 December 2009 at 4:24am | IP Logged
It Works For Us!
 
by Sheeba Hasan
 
 
Ranbir Kapoor wanted audience feedback when he presented his latest film at the Dubai International Film Festival last (Dec 10) night.

Here's our verdict: 'Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year' is a complete entertainer, which we just love. The film's appeal lies in its simplicity, with the movie proving yet again that if the script is good, even a small budget can deliver a film that's big on impact.

'Rocket Singh…' is set amidst the business of selling assembled computers and conveys two simple messages – human capital is a company's most important asset and to have a profitable and sustainable business, it has to be done the right way, the honest way, with genuine care for the customer.

Writer Jaideep Sahni's contribution to the film is crucial. His story is fresh, screenplay taut and dialogues uncomplicated and witty. Most importantly, his characters are real, with even the support cast created with utmost attention to detail. That many, many in the audience will be able to identify with the people on the screen is sure to contribute to the film's success.

Director Shimit Amin refrains from the high drama seen in his 'Chak De India', but his no-frills story-telling strikes a chord yet again.

Ranbir Kapoor continues to steady grow as an actor, with 'Rocket Singh…' being his best performance to date. It requires him to play a character that's set in a mould completely different from what he is in real life, which he does so convincingly that we never really see 'Ranbir Kapoor' on screen. Honest, straight and simple, his Harpreet Singh Bedi is from the masses and is likely to find popular support.

When Ranbir Kapoor, Shimit Amin and Jaideep Sahni took the stage to introduce 'Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year' prior to its screening at the Madinat Arena, all three stressed that it was a small and simple film. What they didn't warn us about was how potent that small dose was going to be.

Yes Ranbir, we had a blast, like you asked us to.
 

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Posted: 11 December 2009 at 4:34am | IP Logged
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Posted: 11 December 2009 at 4:45am | IP Logged
It is getting good reviews!

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-.nandini.-

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Posted: 11 December 2009 at 5:37am | IP Logged
^^Ouch!
 
Looks like the film's simplicity is what might go against it...I don't go by critics reviews entirely either...they throw up points to ponder, that's all...and from these, what can be gleaned is that Rocket Singh is definitely not popcorn fare...no songs, no romance, just about nothing integral to what is often termed paisa vasool...which isn't something unexpected, if you think about it...and for me personally, nothing wrong either...now, what that does to its fate at the BO is another question altogether...let's wait and see...
 
Everyone seems to concur on Ranbir being fantastic though...and disappointment with the climax is another recurring point...
 

-.nandini.-

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Posted: 11 December 2009 at 5:47am | IP Logged
Rocket Singh : Eminently Watchable
 
 
He won't grease anybody's palm to get a sales order for his company. He's persuasive but doesn't spiel to sell off goods. Worst of all, he's honest and believes in doing things the right way. Harpreet Singh Bedi (Ranbir Kapoor) isn't cut out to be a salesman. No wonder he gets the rap from his boss after he botches up a deal and is scoffed at by his colleagues who keep flying paper-rockets at him to remind him that he's a loser.

After scraping through his college with minimal marks, Harpreet is determined to make his mark as a salesman. Working as a trainee in a company called AYS, which sells computers, he soon finds himself relegated to a corner, snubbed by his colleagues, insulted by his boss. Staring at the possibility of a ruined career, Harpreet stashes his honesty aside, and, while keeping his job as a trainee, secretly begins his own small company Rocket Sales Corp on the side, and ropes in co-workers from AYS and builds a customer base using the resources of AYS. Smart strategy, you would say. But then, Harpreet's secret is exposed and time comes for him to pay the piper.

Coming from the director-writer-producer team of Shimit Amin-Jaideep Sahni-Aditya Chopra that gave us the cult movie Chak De India, Rocket Singh - Salesman of the Year is an eminently watchable film that, however, falls a wee bit short of expectations. Granted that Shimit's eye for details is as sharp as ever, and Jaideep's writing (story, screenplay and dialogues) as steeped in reality as one could hope, but there's something lacking. It's hard to stomach the fact that people in AYS would risk their well-secured jobs for a rag-tag company run by a rookie who's been branded a ZERO by his boss. Secondly, Jaideep Sahni ought to have given more depth and fire to Ranbir's character. As a viewer you don't feel the spark of the high-flying Sikh hitting pay dirt after convincing his clients with his mere honesty and willingness to take big risks.

The fuel of 'Rocket Singh' is its myriad characters that drive the story. There's a po*n-junkie computer engineer (enacted superbly) who sits cheek by jowl to Harpreet in the office and later helps him in Rocket Corp. There's a feisty receptionist (Gauhar Khan) with a dream of rising to managerial position. There's a street-smart team-leader who grills Harpreet but later joins him. There's a sneering boss who's interested only in sales figures and numbers rather than people. There's a peon who's tired of taking insults from his bosses. And, of course, aside from this melee is the newbie Shazahn Padamsee who gets only three scenes with Ranbir.

Ranbir Kapoor plays his part well but doesn't modulate his voice much. Though his exterior, his body language (how he dances and adjusts his turban like a true-blue Sikh) is bang on, when he speaks, you almost hear a Sid or Prem talking. Prem Chopra, playing his father, is delightful in just a few scenes. But it's the terrific performances by the supporting cast that makes 'Rocket Singh' what it is. It's an almost perfect cast ensemble put together by Shimit, Jaideep and Aditya. The only three songs in the film (Salim-Sulaiman) play out in the background and cinematography by Vikash Nowlakha is a treat to the eyes.

Kudos to Shimit for the finesse with which he brings realism to a heart-warming story laced with wit and humour by Jaideep Sahni. But how one wishes the trajectory of this Rocket did not dip in the second half; and how the final message (that people are more important than numbers) did not feel shoved down our throats.

'Rocket Singh' is good, but it could have been much better.

Rating: 6/10
 

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