Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Rocket Singh: Underdog does win but barely
We all know that feeling. When you are just out of college and fresh into a new job with no experience whatsoever, just a burning desire to do well.
Ranbir Kapoor captures a bit of all of us in Harpreet Singh Bedi, the protagonist of “Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year”.
He is wide-eyed, eager and flabbergasted, all at the same time, as he tries to negotiate his way around the snake pit that a corporate office can sometimes turn into.
Not for him the ambitions of joining an IIM or working in a high-profile firm. He is happy with a salesman’s job in a computer firm that pays him 15,000 rupees a month.
Director Shimit Amin builds a loving portrait of his protagonist and Kapoor brings such honesty to his performance that you are rooting for Harpreet within the first 15 minutes of the film.
We follow him on his first field visit with his boss and urge him on as he learns the tricks of the trade. We sympathise with him when he gets the worst seat in the office and is generally ignored by the rest of the office. We’ve all been there.
But this is where Harpreet Singh Bedi stops being ordinary. When he complains against a client who tried asking him for a bribe, Harpreet is reprimanded by his boss, who asks him “not to spoil his relations with clients”.
Our hero is put on notice, barred from making client calls and humiliated by colleagues.
The story is compelling at first, largely due to Ranbir Kapoor’s brilliant act (it’s a hat trick for him this year) and Jaideep Sahni’s quirky writing. D Santosh as Harpreet’s wise-cracking technician, sparkles. The introduction of a romance angle (newcomer Shazahn Padamsee) seems forced and totally unnecessary, but the plot moves along at a fast pace in spite of that.
It is in the last half-an-hour, just as the story is about to reach a climax that the plot goes haywire. The ending felt a little forced and the intentions of the parties involved aren’t really clear. Harpreet’s success is presented in such a simplified manner that it rankles. I don’t think sales and marketing is as simple as is shown in the film.
The second half tends to drag a little and like I mentioned, the romance angle wasn’t really needed. As it stands though, “Rocket Singh” is a heart-warming film that does manage to charm you, so do buy a ticket this weekend.