Rocketry: The Nambi Effect is a biopic based on the life of ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan, who was falsely accused of espionage. The film marks Madhavan’s directorial debut. He is also playing the role of the man himself, Nambi Narayanan. The movie also hosts actors like Simran, Misha Ghoshal, Rajit Kapur and Karthik Kumar in supporting roles. The supporting actors are a little underwhelming but this aspect is easily overshadowed by the story.

The movie begins with a wide shot of outer space and landing into Nambi Narayanan’s house in Trivandrum where we are introduced to his family. While everyone is having a good laugh over lunch, their world comes crashing down after Nambi gets arrested on espionage charges. Years later, we are shown an elderly Nambi in an interview with actor Shah Rukh Khan (playing himself). This interview takes us through his hardships through a series of flashback sequences beginning from Nambi’s young days at Princeton chronicled through ISRO, his days with Dr Abdul Kalam, his international work and also the nerve-wracking part when he was accused of espionage and later exonerated.

The film was made in Tamil and Hindi both. While Shah Rukh Khan was a part of the Hindi version, Suriya played the same role in Tamil. Dubbing is a little scruffy at parts but still takes the movie a full circle. Sam C. S. seems sure of his work as the music director and rightly so. The music like other biopics isn’t too much or too less. It is precise and very subtle.

The film’s first-half throws away too much technical and scientific jargon while the second half moves its audience entirely. Rocketry is a story worth knowing and this is backed by fabulous direction, cinematography and storytelling.

This movie employs Madhavan’s finest performance. He is not only very mirthful but also candid. Even in the scenes with debilitating humiliation, Madhavan radiates the confidence of an honest man. Madhavan’s smile lights up the frame while the torture he goes through as Nambi breaks the viewer’s heart. Rocketry speaks about how even at the darkest of times, Nambi trusted in the goodness of the people, and the judiciary. Simran, playing the role of Meena, has proved to be immensely talented within the few frames she was a part of.

There is significant beauty to the film, almost like it was in a movie like A beautiful Mind. It is indeed a raw saga of an underdog’s patriotism, a man who puts his nation and science before everything else, but is made to suffer on a personal and professional level due to some corrupt officials.

It is a movie about how a man of utter excellence and patriotism was wronged by the very nation. It is a story that will leave you moved, tearful and overwhelmed. What makes it a worthwhile watch is the story of this man. Padma Bhushan Nambi Narayanan’s story could not be better portrayed than in this film. A must-watch, Rocketry: The Nambi Effect is a masterpiece in its league and utterly enjoyable.


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