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RSVP and Mango People Media’s Rashmi Rocket (UA), based on a real-life story and incidents, is about a fast sprinter, Rashmi Vira (Taapsee Pannu), from Bhuj. Her childhood dream of becoming an athlete is crushed due to an incident which she has not been able to forget even after becoming an adult. Then, armyman Gagan Thakur (Priyanshu Painyuli) comes into her life and motivates her to fulfill her childhood dream. Reluctantly, she tries her hand at athletics once again. She is selected by the Indian Athletics Association and also trains at its Pune outfit. Soon, she is in the national team and holds a lot of promise for India. Why, she even wins three medals in one championship. But then, her life changes forever. Or so it seems. Why does her life change? What happens thereafter?
Nanda Periyasamy’s story is interesting, engaging and inspiring. The challenges which Rashmi Vira, also known as Rashmi Rocket because of the speed at which she runs, are big, and how she surmounts them makes for interesting viewing. The screenplay by Aniruddha Guha, with additional screenplay by Kanika Dhillon, makes the drama very humane. The interest level of the audience remains intact right through the film even though there are some low points in the screenplay, especially in the second half. Since the drama is about the struggles, trials, tribulations and victories of a human being, it offers a lot of scope for emotions. Several scenes are so sensitively written that they will draw tears from the eyes of the weak-hearted. The scene in which Rashmi’s brothers come running to reveal to the family the news of her finally going to court for justice, the scene in which judge Savita Deshpande (Supriya Pilgaonkar) almost turns down the request of Rashmi’s lawyer, Eeshit Mehta (Abhishek Banerjee), for fast-tracking the case and then agrees, the scene in which Rashmi wins her first gold medal, the scenes in which Rashmi’s mother, Bhanuben (Supriya Pathak), keeps telling Rashmi to leave her home whenever she doesn’t heed her advice, and several other scenes are very beautifully penned. Dialogues by Kanika Dhillon, with additional dialogues by Akarsh Khurana, Aniruddha Guha and Lisha Bajaj, are superb. Many of them touch the heart and several of them are even clap-worthy.
Taapsee Pannu lives the character of Rashmi Rocket. There isn’t a single scene in which she has over-performed or under-performed. She gives her all to the character and comes out a huge winner. Priyanshu Painyuli plays the supportive role of Rashmi’s mentor and emotional anchor with aplomb. Abhishek Banerjee is first-rate as advocate Eeshit Mehta. He does full justice to his character. Supriya Pilgaonkar performs beautifully in the role of no-nonsense judge Savita Deshpande. Supriya Pathak is endearing as Bhanuben. Manoj Joshi stands out in a brief role as Rashmi’s father, Ramnikbhai. Varun Badola is good as Dilip Chopra. Zafar Karachiwala looks handsome and acts ably as defence lawyer Mangesh Desai. Mantra has his moments as coach Mukherjee. Umesh Pratap Jagtap is natural as police inspector Sathe. Akshay Nil Tanksale is alright as sub-inspector Jagtap. Akash Khurana makes his presence beautifully felt in a brief role as Dr. Ejaz. Shweta Tripathi Sharma stands out in a special appearance as Maya Bhasin, the lady fighting for the cause of women. Namita Dubey (as Priyanka), Miloni Jhonsa (as Niharika), Kritika Bharadwaj (as Vaidehi), Chirag Vora (as Nileshbhai), Zarin S. (as Anushri), Aseem Jayadev Hattangady (as Praveen Sood), Fami Basumatary (as Fami), Swetha V. Gadad (as Shatabdi), Khem Kumari Paudel (as Trupti), Katyaani Pandey (as Arpita), Chahat Tewani and Namya Jain (both as young Rashmi), Dharak Dinesh Chhayad (as Kartik), Dhwanish Dinesh Chhayad (as Paresh), Vihaan Pathak (as young Kartik), Vrishin Pathak (as young Paresh), Kshiti Jog (as Dr. Mhatre) and the others lend fair support.
Akarsh Khurana’s direction is sensitive, as was essential for a subject like this. He has added the right dose of emotions in the narrative. Amit Trivedi’s music is decent. The songs in the first half are quite appealing. Of course, there is not a single hit number. Kausar Munir’s lyrics are appropriate. Kruti Mahesh’s choreography suits the mood of the songs. Amit Trivedi’s background music is nice. Neha Parti Matiyani’s cinematography is of a very good standard. Sunil Rodrigues’ action and stunt scenes are realistic. Durgaprasad Mahapatra’s production designing is decent. Editing (by Ajay Sharma and Shweta Venkat Mathew) is very sharp.
On the whole, Rashmi Rocket is an extremely interesting and entertaining fare for the family audience. Had the film released in the cinemas, it would have opened slow but collections would have definitely picked up by tremendously positive word of mouth. Of course, it has its limitations as it is devoid of ingredients like romance, dance, comedy, etc. but having said that, it must be added that it is a very enjoyable fare. It also has special appeal for the ladies audience.
The film will be released tomorrow (15-10-’21) on Zee5.