If you watch web series or films to get to know some History, take this as a disclaimer:
Every web series or film that states that it has been based on a real story also says that it has been modified for entertainment purposes.
So, my dear friend, watch every ‘based on real events’ show/film with a pinch of salt (and some chaat masala, of course).
Let’s get back to SonyLIV’s new web series, Rocket Boys. I loved it, I liked it, and then the curve neither went up nor went down. It remained constant. The high points of this web series is Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai’s friendship. Their scenes, especially in the first two episodes, lay the strong foundation for the story that is yet to unfold. And these scenes, the ones where the mischievous side of both the serious personalities have been put under the spotlight, are my favourite in the entire series.
Before I move ahead, I would like to pause to appreciate the dialogue writers here. They have done a fantabulous job. May it be the dialogue between Crenshaw and Homi Bhabha at the dinner party in the very first episode or agreements and disagreements between Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai or the initial discussion during the job interview between Vikram Sarabhai and A.P.J. Abdul Kalam – all the dialogues are equally engrossing and entertaining. These dialogues not just involve you in the ongoing scene but also bring a smile to your face. Apart from demanding your involvement, these conversations also make you think, not just mindlessly watch a show. It makes you see both sides of the same coin – not once or twice, but repeatedly till the series ends.
Poorly written dialogues have killed many good shows. Fortunately, this show lived up to the expectations and delivered some really good dialogues. So, here’s a virtual big round of applause for Kausar Munir and Abhay Pannu.
Moving on, the next highlight of the show is Jim Sarbh. Our generation will never know what kind of a person Homi Bhabha was. But I assure you, once you watch Rocket Boys, whenever you hear Homi Bhabha, you would think of Jim Sarbh. His depiction of Homi Bhabha is flawless and most importantly, convincing. Whenever he behaves funny, he brings a smile on your face but when he looks into another person’s eyes and tries to intimidate, that one stare is enough to make anyone bow down to his demands. To cut it short, Jim Sarbh is the life of this show.
If you haven’t watched Ishwak Singh in Paatal Lok prior to this show, you might feel that this guy is just the way you are seeing him on screen. He has shaped this character, Vikram Sarabhai, more with the help of body language than words. And it’s commendable!
I won’t talk much about the story here because honestly, it is not easy to cover even half of it here. But as you know, it is about India’s first rocket launch. Though it has been positioned that way, for me, rocket launch is just a small part of it. Rocket Boys covers everything from science to politics – events unfolding from the pre-independence era to after independence. It’s only fun to watch, not read.
And last but not the least, the direction that keeps everything together. I liked the fictional character, Raza Mehdi, that the show introduced for interesting twists and turns. The way both his presence and character was shaped and ‘handled with care’ is note-worthy. The credit goes to the writers as well as the director. But yes, when fictional characters come in to build some tension and add entertainment to it, things tend to get filmy which happened here as well. That was slightly disappointing as it was unwanted and unnecessary.
If the revenge part in the last episode where a friend turns into a foe and vice-versa is not a part of real events, then I think this dramatic twist to a story of India’s pride should have been avoided.
B.U.T! The show has not ended yet. Rocket Boys season 2 has been confirmed. It would be interesting to see what happens next – more discoveries or bloodbath?
Streaming On: SonyLIV