This Rocket is a Sales Pitch Worth Taking
By MovieTalkies.com, 24 December 2009
Rocket Singh Salesman of the Year is a film with a unique idea at its core, looking at the business of salesmanship, and all its pifalls. Its eponymous character is Harpreet Singh Bedi, an aspiring salesman who relaizes that in the dog eat dog world, honesty has a price, and he decides to pay the prize through a unique enterprise. While engrossing in structure, the film does have a slow pace that oft disengages the viewer, and its main drawback is that in an attempt to be as realistic as possible, the film becomes more of a documentary on what the world of sales entails, while it is never able to achieve any level of entertainment or emotional connect, nor does it have a gripping narrative and more so it lacks the one thing that would have made this film a classic: a heart. However, what makes the film watchable in spite of a very linear, flat story and treatment is Ranbir Kapoor's extremely convincing performance.
The film is about a young twenty something boy fresh out of college, just barely passing with 35%. Harpreet is realistic enough to know that he has no chance of studying further by trying for an MBA and so he instead decides to make a career in Sales. He lands up in an organization which to a certain extent represents exactly how the sales culture in any organization is; driven by maddening targets and monthly pressures of achieving those targets or finding yourself without a job. However, none of the individual characters in this company are fleshed out enough to understand any of their motives or why they behave the way they do. Harpreet quickly realizes that his honesty and ethics do not fit into the organization and he sets out to start his own company, slowly roping in people from his existing employer while continuing to work there as well.
Director Shimit Amin takes an extremely realistic approach to the storytelling; there is no melodrama or highs and lows in terms of emotions or even comedy; the climax scene is too long drawn and preachy and most of the characters while being real, end up being too boring and what you miss the most is the lack of emotions in the film. Alas, there is nothing in the film which holds you or engages you enough to allow yourself to be engrossed. While Shimit has been as honest as possible to the subject he has chosen, the problem is that the subject is not interesting to the regular movie goer, the conflict is too simple and mundane and hence you are left watching a film which often tries your patience with its dull pace.
But Ranbir once again proves why he is one of the finest actors around today and probably the biggest star of his generation. He easily slips into the character of Harpreet, not just in terms of his sardar look, but with the support of his body language and expressions, he makes Harpreet seem real and believable. Gauhar Khan makes a confident debut as Koena while Shazahn Padamsee suffers at the hand of a poorly written character and hence her existence in the film adds absolutely nothing to the film and gives her no scope for performance. The rest of the cast, especially Prem Chopra, do a good job in delivering solid performances but unfortunately most of the characters are never explored enough or fleshed out to register an impact.
The setting of the film is very real the office where most of the scenes have been shot has not been glamorized for the sake of the film and many will find the office looking similar to their own. One must applaud the authenticity of the film's locations and sets. The cinematography is in line with the treatment of the film and the film has no songs except for Pankhon Ko which is treated as a montage number.
The writer – director team of Jaideep and Shimit delivered a surprise blockbuster in Chak De India and hence the expectations from Rocket Singh Salesman of the Year was immense. This is the film's only drawback, as the expectations built by the predecessor are not lived up to. a very good film that falls a bit short on the entertainment quotient.