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Posted: 11 December 2009 at 12:52pm | IP Logged

Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year

Nikhat Kazmi, TNN 11 December 2009, 11:20pm IST
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Ranbir Kapoor in Rocket Singh - Salesman Of The Year Check more pics
Film: Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Shazahn Padamsee, Gauhar Khan
Genre: Drama
Director: Shimit Amin
Music Director: Salim and Sulaiman Merchant
Producer: Aditya Chopra
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Critic's Rating:
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Story: Ranbir Kapoor may have been dubbed a failure in school and college, but he is determined to make a success of his life. He wants to become an ace salesman simply because he has the power of persuasion, negotiation and conversation. It doesn't take long before he realises the corporate world is truly cut-throat, cruel and completely devoid of ethics. Well, almost...

Movie Review: Somewhere down the film, deep in the midst of his downward slide into ignominy and despair, his friends try to console oddball salesman Harpreet Singh Bedi (Ranbir Kapoor) by telling him he's a nice guy, unfit for the unethical corporate jungle out there. But, mice are nice, scoffs HP, hating his own niceness and mousy inconsequence.

Poor HP. Doesn't he know nice guys always do finish first. Specially in a new world which has cried Yes, we can to a post-Lehman world order; and a new India that has embraced a similar mantra of change in both governance and the level of public tolerance. Indeed, Rocket Singh, scripted brilliantly by Jaideep Sahni, documents the new India we are currently seeing emerging before our eyes. One, where the common man is increasingly voicing his condemnation for both political and corporate corruption. Also, one where the consumer (read aam aadmi ) is truly king and vfm (value for money) is the only usp (unique selling proposition).

So, don't be bogged down by the slow pace and the docu-feature feel of the first half of Rocket Singh. Be patient and you'll end up realising this could be well be one of the most intelligent films of the year, showcasing the changing pulse of a nation that is learning to sift the grain from the chaff, the rubble from the concrete, the diamonds from the ashes. The film does take long -- laboriously long -- to introduce its characters and build up the plot which focuses on the travails of an honest-to-god, stars-in-my-eyes salesman who joins a computer firm, only to be taken aback at the first bribe that's demanded of him. Aap mazaq kar rahen hai , (you're joking) he tells the company manager who wants a kickback and files a complaint against him in the suggestions & complaints box. End result? He becomes a mazak in his own company, having been sent to the dog house and given his marching orders at the end of his training period. But there's an important lesson failure Harpreet has learnt from him wily manager, Nitin-with-the-natty-sideburns (excellent act) during is first sales demo. Even Spiderman
has to take a risk, and you're just a puny salesman, his smart alec boss tells him as he pockets a fresh contract by hook or by crook.

Hence, it's Spiderman to the rescue....The second half just sky rockets onto another plane as Harpreet sheds a bit of his honesty for some hard-nosed business. No, his business isn't to make money. All he wants to do is avenge his humiliation and tell his boss he isn't a zero, a failure, a fool, a joker sardar...He teams up with the 'item girl' (the intelligent, yet hot, Gauhar Khan), the peon (super), the po*n king (D Santosh, brilliant) and forms his own company, offering partnerships to all. Naturally, the company rocks, the sales zoom, the rivals fume and the film crackles with a newfound energy. Because, as we said, HP loses just a bit of goodness, not all. At the core, he still remains the god-fearing, good soul, brought up on his dadaji's (Prem Chopra, also excellent) middle class morals and conducts his business on the basis of the current corporate ethics which put people before numbers, laugh lines (customer satisfaction) before bottomlines. So what's the difference between you and me, his defeated and disjointed boss asks him in the climax speech. You see numbers, I see people, Harpreet explains, before walking off with another promise. See you in the field!

Yup! HP is just another one amongst those few good men who we believe will charter a new course for the world in general. He's a brave little fella who doesn't balk before taking on the high and mighty and is just a wee bit wily -- of course, he plans to pay back all dues at an appropriate time. So that doesn't really make him dishonest. More importantly, he doesn't think a moment before making his peon his partner and ends up stealing your heart with his boy-next-door simplicity and non-heroic charms.

The winning duo of Shimit Amin and Jaideep Sahni may not be offering you a Chak De India this time round, but they do sculpt some rare moments on celluloid that end up redefining the pusuit of happiness as something more than mainu chaida, chaida, chaida! (I want, want, want!) After Ajab Prem ki Ghazab Kahani, Ranbir Kapoor once again proves he's amongst the top GenNow contenders for the Bollywood throne. His delineation of Harpreet Singh Bedi is completely the opposite of Prem: low key, restrained and recongnisable, with a slice-of-life realism. But he has a host of other brilliant actors supporting him in this unusual film which might have been India's answer to Wall Street, if it had kept it's editing tighter and more taut. Sadly, debutant Shazahn Padamsee has little to do, but Gauhar Khan more than makes up for the female cast with her power-packed act of a balsy receptionist. But the high point of the film are the punchy dialogues and the handful of scenes which touch your heart with their had-enough-of-dishonesty, let's-be-good-now India, feel.

A word about:

Performances: Watch out for another winsome performance by Ranbir Kapoor. He's definitely getting better with each new film. As Harpreet Singh Bedi, a pesky salesman you might have shoed away several times, he seems to have done his homework well. But he isn't alone in this film which works through its ensemble cast. Everyone seems to have been hell bent on redefining realism in their own modest way. And they do succeed.

Music: Nothing to boast about. An eminently forgettable score by Salim-Suleiman.

Cinematography: Vikash Nowlakha captures the corporate jungle and the cube farms aptly with his camera. Harpreet's decrepit corner, next to the store room is warm despite being an eyesore.

Story: Jaideep Sahni begins his story like a docu-feature on the life of a salesman and then enters a totally different realm, trying to create Bollywood's first contemporary feature on corporate greed.

Dialogues: Jaideep Sahni scores again. His lines are witty and vibrant, often bringing a smile to your face. And his climax scene is a knock-out, without being didactic.

Styling: Visually speaking, Harpreet is both one of the most authentic sardars of Indian cinema as well as being a perfect corporate fuchcha, with his commonplace striped shirts and banal ties.

Inspiration: Pursuit of Happyness, anyone?

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Posted: 11 December 2009 at 12:55pm | IP Logged

REVIEW: Rocket Singh...

Exceptionally well written, this Ranbir-starrer is simply superb
By Anand Vaishnav . Buzz18 Dec 11, 2009
 
 
Remember that feeling of joy and pride when you held your first visiting card? Rocket Singh Salesman Of The Year is bound to bring back those memories of your first day in office.

Harpreet Singh Bedi (Ranbir Kapoor) just about scrapes through college with no clue of what he is going to do next. Unable to do an MBA due to poor scores and lack of funds, he chooses to be a salesman. A job where he feels he can put his strong persuasion skills to use. After an assuring start he soon discovers the dark side of the big bad corporate world. His integrity and commitment become his greatest undoing. How he takes on these challenges and makes the big bosses sit up and take notice of him, forms the crux of the plot. Revealing anything more would be gross injustice to this neatly weaved screenplay.

From the Chak De India team of Aditya Chopra-Shimit Amin-Jaideep Sahni, here is another positive movie about the triumph of the human spirit. In terms of structure and writing Rocket Singh Salesman Of The Year is a worthy successor to Munnabhai MBBS and Khosla Ka Ghosla. The characters are straight out-of-life, consisting of a bunch of normal people faced with an extraordinary situation. Rocket Singh Salesman Of The Year has a cheerfully identifiable middle class setting. Even the office space is not a colourful, exaggerated party zone as most Bollywood offices are. This one brings alive the clutter and noise levels of your and my cubicles.

Ranbir Kapoor gets the most complex role of his life and is exceptional as the Sardar. From being an anxious trainee to a confident salesman, Ranbir's character graph progresses smoothly with the film. Few minutes into the film, you totally forget the Ranbir as Prem or Sid. Kapoor's comfort level with the camera is once again his biggest ace.

But this movie is not just about Ranbir. Every actor has been carefully cast. Be it the arrogant MD, bullying VP, wise friend, attractive receptionist, resourceful peon or the slimy technician all the relatively unknown faces have been presented in an authentic manner. They also react like everyday people, without being overtly nice or negative.

Prem Chopra is credible as the protective grandfather. Shazahn Padamsee oozes freshness in her look and dialogue. Thankfully the makers don't overplay Ranbir-Shahzahn's romantic angle. Without losing focus, the movie sticks to the core story about challenging the mighty corporations.

And finally the dialogues. This film has some of the finest writing you will come across in recent years. Laced with a mix of humour, witty sarcasm and an underlying message about honesty, this is a master script. Which is why you don't mind the somewhat lengthy narrative. Salim-Suleiman's background score makes up for the absence of songs.

Rocket Singh Salesman Of The Year is eventually a feel good watch that talks about ethics, without sounding like a moral science lecture. All that mundane management talk about 'service over sales' and 'people over numbers' never sounded cooler.

Verdict: The most well written and genuinely unique film of the year. This one's a superb product.

Rating: 4/5

 

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Posted: 11 December 2009 at 1:01pm | IP Logged
Ranbir is sure rocking the b-wood...Just four film old, he is simply churning out superb acting and some well made films...Congo Ranbir! Party

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Posted: 11 December 2009 at 1:18pm | IP Logged
Hmm...the reviews look alot better now, lol...but yeah, some of the common points include a documentary feel, and a slow pace...might work against the movie, or have no effect at all if other factors make up for shortfalls...the supporting cast is garnering alot of appreciation, I see...and of course, Ranbir too...
 
Hope I can catch the movie myself, in good time...Smile
 

zaara.khan

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Posted: 11 December 2009 at 9:28pm | IP Logged
Hey saw d movie loved it
rk rocks
he was just brilliant his best performance
d remaining cast was good too
d story was very gripping
direction was good too
though d first half was a lil slow
overall awesome simple yet amazing
it's a thumbs up for dis one
and i would give it 4/5

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Posted: 11 December 2009 at 11:40pm | IP Logged

Rocket Singh Movie Review

Posted by: Indicine Team | December 11th, 2009 |
 
After Chak De India, the expectations are high from the men behind the classic - Shimit Amin (director) and Jaideep Sahni (writer) - who return with Rocket Singh - Salesman of the year, stars Ranbir Kapoor, Gauhar Khan, Shazahn Padamsee, D Santosh, Mukesh Bhatt, Prem Chopra and others.

The movie is about Harpreet Singh Bedi (Ranbir Kapoor), a below average student in school and college, who takes up marketing as his career. He joins a computer sales company, AYS, as a trainee. Under a corrupt senior, the job soon turns into one of his worst nightmares. Rocket Singh in short is Harpreet Singh Bedi's journey from a zero to a hero. 

Rocket Singh Review

What works in Rocket Singh - Salesman of the year

  • Shimit Amin, the director of Ab Tak Chappan and Chak De India, is in top form. The feel of the corporate world has been captured very realistically. The writing (Jaideep Sahni) is top notch too, with several scenes making great impact - the first job interview, conversations between Harpreet and his senior manager Nitin, the scene in the club where Harpreet is insulted by his boss, when his boss gets to know about his secret company, his confrontations and many more.
  • The second half is better paced (compared to the first) and much more entertaining.
  • Like Chak De, Rocket Singh too has some fantastically written characters. The one that stands out though, is Nitin's. We have no clue about the name of the actor, Yashraj hasn't revealed it just yet. Nitin as Ranbir's senior, is fantastic and easily the deserves the top acting honors.
  • For probably the first time in his career, Ranbir Kapoor is not the pick of actors. While he does a good job as a Sardar, mingling with the others and completely looking the character, the others steal the scene.
  • The romance too works largely due to Shazahn Padamsee's sweetness, charm and fantastic screen presence.
  • Its nice to finally see a Sardar, who are usually seen as clowns, presented realistically.
  • Background music by Salim - Suleiman was good.

Performances, in no particular order, since all were good!

  • The guy who played the character of Nitin, is by far the best of the lot.
  • Ranbir Kapoor - As usual natural, perfect for the character and proves yet again why he's considered, by many, as the next superstar.
  • Shazahn Padamsee - Sweet, sexy and does very well in the acting department too.
  • D Santosh - Was brilliant as Rajguru in the Legend of Bhagat Singh. In Rocket Singh, playing a sex-obsessed character, he does very well.
  • Prem Chopra after a long long time is good as Harpreet's father.
  • Suri as the owner of AYS, is good.
  • Gauhar Khan is as good as the others.
  • Mukesh Bhatt too was fantastic.

Coming to the negatives

  • Rocket Singh is too long, exceeding 3 hours (including intermission)
  • The pace isn't too great. The first half was slow and at times boring.
  • Music is average.

Don't go in expecting a comedy, Rocket Singh is a realistic film that deals with serious issues. Perfect casting, fabulous performances, good direction and writing make Rocket Singh a good one-time watch.

All said and done though, without taking any credit away from Shimit Amin, Rajkumar Hirani was probably the best man to direct a film like Rocket Singh.

Rating: ???? With a bit of patience, you should enjoy this.

http://www.indicine.com/movies/bollywood/rocket-singh-movie-review/

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Posted: 11 December 2009 at 11:42pm | IP Logged
^^The first review that gives Shazahn any credit in tha acting department...the rest are mostly common points though...slow pace, good supporting cast, decent performance by Ranbir, good writing, etc...
 
 

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Posted: 11 December 2009 at 11:51pm | IP Logged
Rocket Singh
 
Producer: Aditya Chopra
Director: Shimit Amin
Starring: Ranbir Kapoor, Shazahn Padamsee, Sharon Prabhakar, Prem Chopra, Mukesh Bhatt, D. Santosh, Gauahar Khan, Naveen Kaushik and Manish Choudhari
Music: Salim Merchant, Sulaiman Merchant
Lyrics: Jaideep Sahni
Genre: Comedy
Recommended Audience: Parental Guidance
Film Released on: 11 December 2009
Reviewed by: Ankit Ojha  - Rating: 8.0 / 10
 
 
The time has finally arrived. And the acid test has come out for all to see. Oh well, if you're wondering what I'm talking about, or puzzled about what you're reading, I'm basically referring to Ranbir Kapoor and Shimit Amin, who collaborate as actor and director respectively for the movie ROCKET SINGH SALESMAN OF THE YEAR, which might not have gone on an all-out promotion strategy like Yash Raj has usually done for big-budget movies like New York, the Dhoom franchise, Bachna Ae Haseeno, and the likes BUT has still generated a whole lot of curiosity value due to two main reasons. Firstly, Ranbir Kapoor's newly-acquired superstar status post the release and response of Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani has sent his fans into a frenzy and as a result, people have been eagerly awaiting this movie. Secondly, Shimit Amin's Chak De India being a critical success and a commercial sleeper hit has set the stakes high for him to make an equally, if not more, fantastic movie.
Considering all the above points, does ROCKET SINGH dazzle? Does it impress? Or does it disappoint? Read on to know more. Harpreet Singh Bedi (Ranbir Kapoor), a young Sikh, has just graduated, and his grades are nothing to brag about. But it doesn't stop him from launching himself into joining the ambitious, optimistic, burgeoning urban Indian workforce armed with a belief in himself and the great urban Indian career dream. He enthusiastically takes up a job of a salesman, one of the few career options for those unable to make it to a business or engineering school. But soon, his traditional value system inherited from his grandfather who raised him begins clashing with the aggressive ways of the 'professionals' he aspired to join all his life. The script and screenplay are usually considered king in Bollywood most of the time. And where the trailers click big-time, the movie always does well only with a good script, no matter what. For Hollywood freaks, it might be a different scenario, where the viewers are in for the special effects (a la the recent Transformers Revenge of the Fallen and 2012), but in Bollywood, it is the way the story is told that attracts (or detracts, for that matter) the viewer. Coming back to the topic in question, ROCKET SINGH has a rock-solid script that doesn't waver into dumb, enticing-looking subplots that usually spoil the show and the redundant romantic angle that gets slightly irritating for a film that has a genre that should basically not include romance if not handled well, that is. But it seems the writer-director combo of Jaideep Sahni and Shimit Amin respectively were quite clear on what they wanted to present to the audience, and they were clear on how they wanted to present it as well the latter of which is something a lot of writers and directors fail to achieve. Which is why they adopted the "Chak De India" promotion strategy i.e. almost-no-promotion strategy, to increase the curiosity level. And while the music of ROCKET SINGH didn't have much time to impact the listeners to get curious- it being released only one week before the movie release, that again reminds us of the music of Chak De Indiawhich was also low key before the movie release. As for the characters of ROCKET SINGH, they have been well-etched and each of the main characters of the movie revolve upon the plot very closely. Even the romance angle of Shazahn Padamse has an important thing to do for some part romance is only a fleeting subplot that doesn't hold a lot of importance (except for you have a huge grin when you see them together). It is Ranbir Kapoor's character sketch, though, that completely awes you subtle, understated and relatable. His character of a Sikh Sardar based in Mumbai totally blows you off your rocker the nuances and habits that the character has doesn't go over-the-top at all. No excessive Punjabi (the subtle half-Gurmukhi, half-Hindi based Punjabi is left to Prem Chopra), no excessive Bhangra dance and nothing larger-than-life at all. In fact, just like his previous Wake Up Sid, you can relate yourself to him and his character, so much so that you literally feel for his character. I'm not really aware of the world of salesmen, but I do know enough to understand the jargon and the atmosphere (sales targets to be achieved, enticing promotions, et al). So I can safely say that Jaideep has actually written a well researched story and script, which doesn't falter at the main atmosphere's technicalities. Speaking about technicalities, let's move on with the technical aspects of the movie, which are at best, too raw and basic for a film from the banner of the illustrious Yash Raj Films. Yet they work for those exact reasons because this film isn't shot in exotic locations places, hasn't covered the glitziest locales, doesn't have picture-perfect cinematography, doesn't have fast cars, hot babes, fast editing, eclectic motion graphics et al. In fact, the title sequence at the start of the movie is so simple you wonder if this really is a Yash Raj film! But then again for a film brimming with reality, why bother to make the technicalities dramatic? So although it may look ordinary, the movie really is technically perfect and impactful. Sound-wise, the duo of Salim Merchant and Sulaiman Merchant has given both the music and the background score of the movie, and they have done pretty decently, considering the situation of the film. The song "Gadbadi Hadbadi" might not work as a standalone audible track, but surely sets the screen on fire (and no, it's not a lip-synced track either!) with the situation that it completely gels with. And whilst "Pocket Mein Rocket" was sorely missing as part of the end credits, one doesn't mind. It is "Pankhon Ko" that impacts the viewer. While the song has been used twice in the movie, it doesn't bother the viewer, because the situations are perfect for it! And the sensitivity that the scenes exude with the song playing (one at the title credits, which sets base for the movie), especially in the penultimate moments, will have you feeling half-happy, and half-sad. Telling you more will yet again divulge too much of the story so you will have to go and see it for yourself. I cannot continue with the performances before talking about Ranbir Kapoor, who keeps improving in each movie, and how! Just like Saawariya and Bachna Ae Haseeno had him acting his most amazing first lead acts ever, Wake Up Sid gave him worldwide recognition for playing a slacker before his Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani that gave him the status of a superstar! So what is ROCKET SINGH for him you ask? It is a stepping stone for him to elevate his status even further. He totally slips into the title character of Harpreet Singh Bedi with utmost ease in fact, he lives the character. Shazahn Padamsee actually impresses with her short but sweet role. She is a natural, and has the potential to make it big, THOUGH it would be her decision to choose her own path in the future. Others in the cast have done amazingly well too. Mukesh Bhatt (not the producer) has done amazingly well as the peon, Chotelal "Cup-Plate" Mishra. Gauhar Khan as the receptionist is efficient and plays her role to the hilt. The bold and brash attitude in the role she plays comes alive with her performance. D. Santosh as the po*n-hogging computer genius is amazingly hilarious and has played his part really well. Naveen Kaushik, who plays Nitin, is realistically efficient. Any weaknesses you ask? Well predictability never goes out of fashion in Bollywood, does it? But although the situations are predictable in this movie, the point is, such situations keep repeating themselves in real life and that's why we can predict them on-screen. Consequently for ROCKET SINGH, predictability doesn't hamper the motive and the execution of the film overall it only makes the movie increase its 'raw' quotient, thus increasing the charm. So while some people might accusingly point fingers at the slow pace in the first half of the film and it's sheer predictability in some situations, this movie is all about life, so predictability cannot be ignored!

Overall, ROCKET SINGH is a very well written, well-scripted and well-executed movie, the strength of which lies in its extreme understatement, simplicity and subtle attitude; coupled with that addictive charm that was also present in Chak De India. This one has already proved it's worth by being part of the Dubai International Film Festival now whether it gets to prove itself at the box-office will be seen in the days to come. So empty the rockets (money) in your pocket and go watch it right now!

http://www.planetbollywood.com/displayReview.php?id=f121109042103

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