RASHMI ROCKET tells the story of a young woman who’s accused of being a guy. Rashmi Vira (Taapsee Pannu) is a tour guide from Bhuj, Gujarat. She used to be a superb runner, but she stopped after her father, Ramnik (Manoj Joshi), died in the 2001 earthquake. She was competing in a running tournament at the time when the earthquake happened. She was so engrossed in the chase that she didn’t notice the chaos all around her. Bhanuben (Supriya Pathak), her mother, raised her and began to fight for the rights of women in her area. She is excellent friends with an army doctor, Dr. Ejaz Qureshi (Akash Khurana), because she lives in an army neighbourhood.
Captain Gagan Thakur (Priyanshu Painyuli) is introduced to her by him. She dashes like a rocket and saves the life of a soldier who was about to walk on a landmine while on tour with Gagan and his colleagues. Gagan motivates her to start running. She agrees this time. She succeeds in winning the state tournament. The Indian Athletics Association spots her and invites her to join them so she can train and possibly represent India in the Asia Games in 2014. Rashmi has a difficult time in the beginning because, although being a gifted runner, she lacks basic knowledge of the sport’s rules and practises. She improves at the games under the guidance of head coach Tejas Mukherjee (Mantra) and the story takes a U turn when Rashmi’s colleagues call her a ‘man’ as they believe that she has masculine qualities and then she’s taken under procedures to prove herself a woman.
Taapsee Pannu is a force to be reckoned with as Rashmi. For starters, she looks the part, sauntering confidently to the finish line, the rigour and physical toil having paid off. Rashmi is never the bechari or the underdog; she is the centre of attention in every frame. Priyanshu Painyuli shines in his restrained performance.
Supriya Pilgaonker and Abhishek Banerjee deserve special recognition for maintaining a sense of balance and keeping the humour quotient just high enough to avoid jeopardising the severity of the matter at hand. There’s also a great ensemble that keeps things moving along. Supriya Pathak as Rashmi’s mother and Mantra as the team’s coach are both nice additions.
Although this film does not dive into such dark areas, it does it well. The film’s director, Akarsh Khurana, and script writer, Aniruddha Guha, appear to have made a purposeful decision to keep the tone upbeat, which benefits the film. The direction of Akarsh Khurana is excellent. One of his greatest achievements is how delicately he handles the film’s central conflict.
While the court scenes raise the film’s stakes, the intermediate sequences don’t have the same effect, despite the fact that there is a lot going on. Despite being classified as a suspense track, a crucial story aspect revealed towards the conclusion is predictable.
The dialogues of Kanika Dhillon (with additional dialogues by Akarsh Khurana, Anirrudha Guha, and Lisha Bajaj) are among the best aspects of the production. A few one-liners add to the impact.
The music of Amit Trivedi is average. To some extent, ‘Ghani Cool Chori’ satisfies the album’s desire for a chartbuster song. ‘Zidd’ lacks the impact of other sports films’ adrenaline-pumping tunes. ‘Rann Ma Kutchh’ is a lovely tribute to the film’s Kutchh locale. ‘Zindagi Tere Naam’ is a one-hit wonder. The background score by Amit Trivedi is significantly superior.
Rashmi Rocket’s heart is in the right place, it might have been a winner if the execution was on top notch too. Watch it for the lead performance and the punches it throws on behalf of all female champions who must fight much harder than their male counterparts to keep their position in the spotlight.