Joined: 07 October 2005
Joined: 07 October 2005
If cinema to you is just a vehicle to indulge in mindless diversion, then "Rocket Singh - Salesman Of The Year" is not your cup of tea.If cinema as a popular work of art is meant to make viewers reconsider the quality of their lives, then plunge into the mundane world of Punjabi munda Harpreet Singh.Like in "Wake Up Sid", Ranbir Kapoor plays a somewhat aimless guy who's just out of college wondering what to do next. That's the moment when we jump into the lives of Sid and Harpreet, so similar in their soporific world-view and yet so different in their journey from premature jadedness to premature wisdom.
Film: "Rocket Singh - Salesman Of The Year";
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Manish Chaudhary, Shazahn Padamsee, Gauhar Khan, Mukesh Bhatt, Prem Chopra;
Director: Shimit Amin;
Shimit Amin's earlier inspirational work "Chak De! India" was far more aggressive in its aspirations. "Rocket Singh" is a more gentle and non-cynical work. Its opinion on contemporary corruption is tinged with warmth, humour and a subtle regard for office politics seldom seen in our films.Some may perceive "Rocket Singh" as a niche film on the politics of computer hardware. This is as shallow a reading of Shimit's cinema as looking at "Chak De!" as a hockey film.
People habituated to being spoon-fed emotions by filmmakers who think masala is what makes entertainment palatable, may find Shimit's approach to Harpreet's tale almost arrogant in its self regard and disdain for the qualities that make socially-purposeful cinema engaging to the man in the backseat.Outwardly Shimit and his brilliant writer Jaideep Sahni, whose words move effortlessly from stinging social comment to conversational candour, don't seem to care whether the audience joins them in their scathing often frustrating sometimes humorous search for a centre to Rocket Singh's life.
But make no mistake. This film really cares about the environment of indolent debauchery that has crept into the working-class lifestyle. The office details are so dead-on in recreating the deceptive dynamism of an office-going entourage, you wonder if Ranbir, the writer and director spent quality time in a slothful hierarchy-motivated office.Ranbir's journey from professional disgrace to redemption echoes Shah Rukh Khan's voyage from the damned to the extolled in "Chak De". Except that Ranbir's playing field is more in his mind and soul.As the protagonist gathers together his dignity to pursue a path of honesty in his business transactions, we witness the portrait of a detoxicated working-class hero.
Ranbir brings to his part a lot of earnestness and heart. His natural and utterly contagious exuberance seen in "Wake Up Sid" and "Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani" is effortlessly curbed here. What we see on screen is a Sardar not quite like any of our movies have shown so far.Harpreet, who later becomes Rocket Singh because his colleagues throw paper rockets at him, doesn't become a larger-than-life figure of aggressive sales-pitch. Ranbir plays the loser who turns the zero on his life's calling-card to his own advantage with the kind of unspoken wisdom that actors acquire after decades of experience.The supporting cast of Mukesh Bhatt as the office peon, P. Santoshi as the lazy po*n-addicted colleague, Gauhar Khan as the commodified office receptionist and Naveen Kaushik as the crucial link in Harpreet's work place, boost Ranbir's central presence with their ingrained sense of belonging to the world Shimit and Sahni have created.
"Rocket Singh" works on many levels beyond Ranbir's astonishing performance. It is a momentous piece of cinema for its writing and its indifference to the dynamics of conventional storytelling.Sahni's words are often so laconic that they make their point without our being conscious of their importance to the given context of working-class inertia.While urging the sexy office receptionist to join him in his audacious entrepreneurship, Harpreet warns Gauhar: "Otherwise I'll remain the joker Sardarji and you the item girl."
The film's main conflict is between Harpreet and his unscrupulous boss played by the aptly over-the-top Manish Choudhary. The two finest sequences are written as muted acidic confrontations between Ranbir and Choudhary. The final encounter in a supermarket where the boss surrenders to Harpreet's integrity is the trickiest part of the narration."Rocket Singh" stands tall despite its flaws. On the surface it has a uni-focussed sameness to its narration, as though the story was being told in one breath.
The lack of drama in a situation simmering with emotional dips and curves gets the audience fidgety. But soon we realise the absence of expendable energy is the narrative's primary virtue.You can't miss the writer and director's concern for a growing middle-class that worships wealth and success at the cost of more valuable assets. Most of all you can't miss Ranbir as the understated Sardar riding his cherry-red scooter gifted by his grandfather (Prem Chopra) cringing at the red light when a swanky motorbike rides up alongside.But Ranbir's portrayal of the loser's rise from shame to name is a journey we'd any day undertake even on a cherry-red scooter.
Joined: 07 October 2005
Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year
Director: Shimit Amin
Starring: Ranbir Kapoor
Very rarely is a film based on life. Most are based on other films, which are sometimes based on yet other films. But then along comes Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year, which transports you to the world of Harpreet Singh Bedi, 38.72 per cent graduate in BCom from University of Mumbai, capable of doing nothing else than being a salesman. He has a sweet old grandfather, played by Prem Chopra, who's taught him everything right-how to brush his teeth before going to sleep, how to watch the Ramayana, and how to work hard. Everything except "chori karna". And that's the lesson life expects Harpreet Singh Bedi to learn.
It's a movie which can be epitomized by its aphorisms. The slogan at the college get together says: "We passed, college failed". Another says "risk to Spiderman bhi leta hai, main to sirf salesman hoon". And my favourite, "ande se bahar nikle nahin, butter chicken banne ki soch rahe ho". The movie is exceptionally well written, by Jaideep Sahni, who has mastered the art of writing reality. He gets under the skin of his characters, creating the typical boss, Sunil Puri (Manish Choudhary), who undermines to motivate; the typical colleague, Nitin Rathore (Naveen Kaushik), who insults to feel superior; and the typical helpmate, Giri (DSantosh) who is generous with his time but skittish with his emotions.
It's tightly directed as well, by Shimit Amin, who is probably now one of the best directors in India, with Ab Tak Chhapan and Chak De! India under his belt. He has created a wonderful office space in the film, with its targets that are not given but fall on the head, its small crushes, its po*n watchers, its voucher fudgers and its men and women who get ahead by stamping on the heads of other people who bite back the minute they can. The physical office space, especially the area that Harpreet occupies, which is right next to the loo and the kitchen, is beautifully captured, as is the dynamics of the office party, with its drinks in plastic cups and music from the computers. As lovely is the life of the salesman, its travels on the bike, with jacket, clip for the trousers and helmet as eternal accessories.
Rocket Singh is not a showy film, not one that says "look at me, I am making a statement to change the world". But a quiet and subtle appreciation of the life we've been given and what we can do with it. "Ek bar bik gaye to log samajhte hain har bar bikao hai," says Nitin. Indeed. But the film is about how you can be successful without selling yourself in a world where so much is surface glitter. Harpreet ends up teaching his boss how business is not only about "schemes" and "chalaki". It can also be about good service and sheer commitment. That you can be a mahatma in the jungle and still be a winner.
And all this with a wonderful lightness of spirit that everyone who has a job or will end up with a job will love.
Go watch it to see why even zero has a value. And why Ranbir Kapoor is the future of Mumbai films. An effortless actor, he's just the perfect embodiment of the times we live in. Confident without being cocky, spirited without being arrogant, hard working if not always gifted, he is the Young Indian we all want to see.
Plus, girls, he's cute.http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/Story/74647/Cinema/Review:+Rocket+Singh.html
Joined: 15 May 2007
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Joined: 07 October 2005
Ranbir Kapoor plays the role of Harpreet Singh Bedi who is a salesman. Harpreet has just graduated from university with grades which are not so impressive. This does not put a damper on Harpreet's mentality as he is still up for challenges and ready to kick off a successful career.
In school Harpreet had heard that a cool professional field was sales. This was a market for those who are smart, but did not get into business, engineering, or medical programs. This was enough to sell the job to Harpreet as he becomes a salesman. The job was all he hoped it would be. From the slick sense of style to the ability to talk your way through any situation, being a salesman was a dream. Unfortunately, nothing is as it seems and Harpreet became unhappy with the way his advisors and bosses went about their business.
Through all the twists and turns in his career and personal life, somehow Harpreet gets himself a soaring career. For this role Ranbir Kapoor had grown and beard and wears a turban truly embracing the Sikh culture he is trying to portray.
Ranbir Kapooras Harpreet Singh Bedi: an ambitious salesman
Mukesh Bhatt as the chai-wala (the one who provides tea) with some impressive skills repairing computers
D. Santosh as the maintenance guy
Producer: Aditya Chopra
Director: Shimit Amin
Lyricist: Jaldeep Sahni
Music Director: Salim-Sulaiman
Cinematography: Vikash Nowlakha Anshum
Story: Jaldeep Sahni
Despite the controversy that had surrounded Ranbir Kapoor and his new look, the authentic wardrobe helped him bring this character to life. Ranbir has grown up and does an impressive job in this movie as Harpreet. Also the simple story and its moving message, to live simply and question authority, are portrayed greatly through the story.
Having complemented the story, the movie seems long. Had there been a few less scenes or a cut on monologues, the movie would have been better.
The soundtrack is nothing special for 'Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year.' The songs have some fun lyrics, but no great, chart topping songs.
'Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year' is a funny movie with some great one-liners. Ranbir Kapoor does a great job and therefore we recommend this movie. Nothing to emotionally draining and not the longest drag ever, this movie is worth catching.
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