Rocket Boys ( SonyLiv Series)
Director- Abhay Pannu
Creator- Nikhil Advani
Cast – Jim Sarbh, Ishwak Singh, Regina Cassendra, Saba Azad, Rajat Kapoor, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Namit Das, KC Shankar
RocketBoys is one of the finest Hindi series that I have seen in a long time, probably my top second after Scam 92.
It is the story of two great men who paved the way and shaped the future for oncoming generations.
We owe to their perseverance and passion, where we stand today in the field of space research or nuclear armament or the benefits that a nation reaps from the two aspects.
The show is a fictionalised account that revolves around two geniuses who were close friends but often found themselves at cross roads with each other. They had vastly different ideologies and different fields that they were passionate about but had one thing in common ,that is , love and ambition for the nation.They most often disagreed with each other and yet were each other’s closest support.
We have all studied briefs about Dr. Homi Jahangir Bhabha( Father of Indian Nuclear Programme) and Dr.Vikram Sarabhai ( Father of Indian Space Research Programme) but such interesting is the narrative style of the show and so beautifully have they etched the characters that you fall in love with them and your heart overflows with reverence.
The show focuses on Dr. Sarabhai’s personal life along with his professional life and passion for the space research while Dr. Bhabha’s personal life has been briefly touched upon in reference to a close friend. I am quite impressed by the fact that these personal tracks do not slacken the story and blend well with the narrative.
But what makes the story absolutely engrossing is their struggles owing to India’s economic and political scenario of that era. The story sheds light on how Jawahar Lal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, after personal bouts of doubts, ifs and buts, supported the nuclear programme despite stiff opposition from many quarters.The show introduces a young and enthusiastic Dr.Kalam and also tells us how Dr. Raja Ramanna took to fruition the efforts of Dr. Bhabha and Dr. Sarabhai and spearheaded India’s nuclear tests.
What lends the series a thriller like quality is the international geo-politics and conspiracies at play.
The Cold War, the role of CIA , the international politics around nuclear armament and non proliferation, the volatile political scene after Nehru ji’s death, Lal Bahadur Shastri’s mysterious death and and Dr. Bhabha’s assassination ( an event that I knew was inevitable but that managed to give me quite a many tense moments , racing heartbeats and a great deal of heart ache)
I am surprised at how the makers have been able to pull off and ace so many aspects admirably.
The writers deserve a credit for designing the entire show in a way that it tells us an inspiring story that needed to be told ,it adds a human and emotional touch, throws in some fictional elements without effecting the real and important events, lends it an almost edge-of-the-seat kind of thrills and gives us a culmination that bestows overwhelming joy and pride.
The second admirable aspect is the cast. The actors not only have great resemblance in terms of looks and get up, but also deliver superb performances.
I do not have enough words to praise Jim Sarbh’s delivery of Dr. Bhabha. I am yet to read and find out what kind of personality was he in real but Jim’s Homi is razor sharp, vibrant, dynamic and his chutzpah is most adorable.He has a“ Mai Hoon Na “ air about him, one who could make everything possible, one who could steer the ship no matter how bad the storms. With his assassination, you feel an intense painful loss .
Ishwak Singh lends a sober, idealistic and grounded hue to Dr. Sarabhai’s portrayal.There’s a quiet charm about Ishwak’s Sarabhai.
Regina Cassendra looks superb as Mrinalini Sarabhai. Her elegance, poise and most importantly her stoicism as Mrinalini is amazing.
Saba Azad , Dibyendu Bhattarachya ,Namit Das,Rajat Kapoor, KC Shankar deliver good performances and lend great support.The only actor who I feel did not fit well was the one who played Indira Gandhi. She couldn’t exude the aura that was required.
The series evokes so many emotions in you for the two men, who, we would forever be indebted to. Their journey and the road blocks they steered through makes us realise how difficult it must have been for them to accomplish what they did. We owe so much to Dr.Bhabha’s stubborn streak and passion for what he believed in.Had they not persevered, had they not dug their heels in, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
I highly recommend the series for not only the real story it conveys but also for how well they convey it.Those who are yet to watch are lucky that the two seasons are available now. We had to last through a painful wait of few months for the S2 to drop in.
It is worth every moment of your time.