Nov 6, 2011

Movie Review and Interpretation: "Rocket Singh" - A flick we can all learn from




Well, I don't want people to get the wrong idea with this blogpost. It has nothing to do with my previous one, which was an open letter to Ranbir. The previous one was only a blogpost that was meant to praise Ranbir Kapoor for his short-but-impressive career in Bollywood.

This blogpost's main topic is ROCKET SINGH - SALESMAN OF THE YEAR.

It will be divided in two parts - a short and general review of the film, and then comes the detailed analysis and interpretation. The former will be for those who are to lazy and don't have time, to read this long blogpost, and the latter, will be for those who really want to see how deep I went in my thoughts, with the movie on my mind.

Short Review

Rocket Singh is mainly the story of a young man called Harpreet Singh, who has just finished college with low marks, and wants to become a salesman. Honest, hard working and straightforward, as he is depicted to be, isn't enough to become a good employee. Sometimes you have to take a different turn in life, but this movie shows that even while taking that different turn, you can continue to be honest and straightforward, and STILL succeed in life. And in the case of Harpreet Singh - you can succeed, BIG TIME.

Ranbir Kapoor has excelled in this role, as the lovable and endearing Sikh, Harpreet Singh. Infact the movie doesn't only belong to him, but equally to all the others who played his partners and nemesis. Especially Manish Chowdary who played the role of the antagonist Mr Puri.

And technically speaking, the movie is almost flawless. Art direction, casting, cinematography, background score, the crisp screenplay and my favorite - DIALOGS. Brilliant film-making, one witnesses through this movie. Shimit Amin was once famous for Chak De India, and now he dons the director's cap one more time for Rocket Singh. Hats off to you and Jaideep Sahni, the writer of the movie!

Only probable flaw in the movie is its running time, and its lack of pace at certain times. 2 hours 34 minutes could have easily been 2 hours only, had it been for good editing.

And there are many messages hidden in the movie, which, if you think about it, can help you succeed in life. Very powerful messages, infact. But that shall be discussed in the second part of my blogspot.

To conclude this short review, here's my rating:

**** (4 stars out of 5)

Detailed analysis and interpretation

To start with, here's an enumeration of few scenes which really come across as very well-written scenes, personally speaking.

NOTE: SPOILER ALERT. THESE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPHS MAY CONTAIN CERTAIN PARTS OF THE MOVIE PLOT. FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE YET, AND WHO WANT TO SEE IT, PLEASE READ THIS ONLY AFTER WATCHING THE MOVIE.

Super moments in the movie:


- Harpreet Singh Bedi's interview at AYS - trying his level best to impress his boss Nitin, who is cold... and literally puts him to the test, by asking him to pretend he is selling a broken pencil.

(Note: Spiderman poster is focused on at a certain point. We'll come back to it later)

The desperate way Harpreet tries to sell the "detachable pencil and rubber", is note-worthy.

- At the one-hour mark, the most interesting part of the movie appears. The "Birth" of the Rocket Sales Corporation.

Harpreet gets ridiculed by his colleagues, and paper planes are thrown at him, by them. While calling his first customer, he grabs hold of one of the flying projectiles. And says "Rocket. Rocket Sales Corporation." Amazing stuff!

And then, the way he literally earns the trust of Lalwani, the computer-parts-seller, is really inspiring. Harpreet is even ready to lend his scooter as a guarantee, to compensate for the parts. But Lalwani realizes that he is trustworthy, and also says that he has never seen a Sardar conning anybody.

Then, after having got the parts, Harpreet approaches Giri, the computer technician, and makes him his partner, for the assembling of the parts. (Giri is shown as this perverted adult-websites-surfer)

- "Zero"-value : Yet again, Harpreet gets ridiculed by his boss Puri, in front of a client (whom Harpreet had complained against, for bribery), and is called a "zero" many times.

Ironically, Harpreet wanted to confess for his misdeed, and reveal about his ghost-company Rocket Sales Corporation to Puri. But then Puri ridicules him and even says "It's thanks to this zero that I am sitting on my most profitable quarter of my career" and forces Harpreet to apologize to the client, for having complained against him.

- The Rocket is thrown by Harpreet this time : Right after the above-mentioned scene, Singh discusses with his friends, and is very angry. And he is determined that, despite the way he is treated at his office, he will teach Puri a lesson. And there comes my favorite dialog: "Even Spiderman has to take risks - but atleast i'm only a salesman" and he throws away the rocket away from his building's terrace, and appears the word INTERMISSION. Powerful scene!

- Koena joins in: Seeing the way Koena is treated (people considering her as a beauty-without-brains type of person), Harpreet makes her join the team, despite Giri's frustration over his decision.

A moment I adored - Harpreet warns Giri, that "if Giri stares at Koena the way he stares at his websites, he will kill him". This shows the values that Harpreet has in him, despite the way people treat him.

- Chotelal the peon, and Nitin, joins in Rocket Sales:

Harpreet never ill-treated Chotelal Mishra despite his "lower status", and just because he called him "Mishra ji", Chotelal felt emotional and hugged him. Goes to show how Harpreet doesn't believe in inferiority or superiority - all are equal. A lesson we should all learn.

And Nitin joins in, and changes his ways, from bribery to honesty, since those are the ghost-company's rules, laid by Harpreet.

- Harpreet's clash with Puri.. on the phone: This probably falls under the category of one of the best scenes of the movie.

Puri learns about a company called Rocket Sales Corporation, and also knows that most of his sales are going to this company, thus creating a loss for him. So he decides that he wants to speak to the MD of Rocket Sales.

And thus, Harpreet calls Puri (as the anonymous MD of Rocket Sales Corp), and gives him the conversation of his life. He mocks Puri, and even asks him if he is a Phone card seller. But during this entire scene, Harpreet still keeps himself very grounded.

Patterns and themes shown in the movie:

Spiderman and his "risks": they even focus on a Spiderman poster during the movie. "Even Spiderman has to take risks - but atleast i'm only a salesman" is a very famous line from the movie, and people usually link it to Harpreet Singh. But surprisingly, it's not Harpreet Singh who told this line first, it's Nitin. And this line is very comical, yet very true, since one has to take risks in life at a certain point.

Paper plane or "Rocket": the whole idea behind the movie title, and the company's name. What becomes the thing that is thrown the most at Harpreet by his colleagues in AYS, becomes the name of his company. And the pre-interval scene, where he throws the rocket for a change, is inspiring. This is a very nice message: Take your weakness into you, and turn it into your strength.

Things to learn from Rocket Singh - Salesman Of The Year:

  • It doesn't take a genius to become successful in life. Work hard, be honest, be dedicated, and be ready to take risks, and then you can reap in the benefits.
  • Treat all as your equal. Whether they work under you, or are in a higher position, at the end of it all, they all are human beings, and deserve equal amount of respect.
  • Be dedicated to your work. Money is only the end result you get, but to reach there you should provide good work without thinking of the money. As ironic as it sounds, the less you think of money, the more you will get of it.
  • Always have a plan B. Life is unpredictable, it will always take wild turns without your consent, so always think in terms of alternatives. And be strategic in your approach, always think of an alternative situation where you should be ready to put aside your needs, for the sake of others who will help you, and push you closer to your goal.
  • Be clear in your mind. Know what you want exactly. No point in just doing everything for the goal (whether it's money for workers or good marks for students), instead, try putting your mind on the process, rather than the goal. Plan your objectives very carefully, weighing all the pros and cons, the entire motivation and the entire drawbacks.
So yes, I loved this movie, I loved the entire story and every small element that completes it, and I loved Ranbir's acting (again). Shimit Amin, give us more of such movies!!

Thanking you in advance,
Santhosh

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