Director: Akarsh Khurana
Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Priyanshu Painyuli, Abhishek Banerjee, Shweta Tripathi, Supriya Pathak, Manoj Joshi
We have seen numerous sports biopic that influences people mentally and emotionally but there are a few flicks that leave our minds with some thought-provoking messages. Have to say that Rashmi Rocket is among them. With its trailer, the film hinted at its subject on gender testing in sports but after watching the film, it is crystal clear that Akarsh Khurana take a step further to elaborate the theme briefly by adding the courtroom drama sequence in his directorial.
Taking a commercial glint, there are several scenes where Abhishek Banerjee adapts Sunny Deol’s style by becoming dramatic in the courtroom on which the judge says, ‘Itna Drama Nhi Hota Hai Court Mein’. Well, that’s a perfect laugh-out-loud scene for moviegoers, for sure.
Moving ahead to the storyline, then the film revolves around Rashmi played by Taapsee Pannu, the daughter of a tourist guide. Born and brought up in a Gujarati family where daughters are not less than any son, Rashmi is a tomboy kind of girl who rides bullets and runs like a roadrunner. After meeting Captain Gagan Thakur aka Priyanshu Painyuli, she decides to become athletic. Although her life changes completely when she fails in a covert gender test. The rest of the story is about her quest for justice that transforms the sports drama into a courtroom drama.
With the screenplay of Aniruddha Guha and Kanika Dhillon, Akarsh Khurana has directed the film amid the COVID pandemic. He has firmly executed and delivered a film that hasn’t been seen before in Bollywood although, still the screenplay lacks its soul. While watching the film you may feel present but somewhere you wouldn’t feel connected with it, Who to blame, don’t know but one thing for sure, that the film theme is the major aspect that holds the film till the end.
More about the performances then Taapsee Pannu looks promising as Rashmi Rocket though, she hasn’t adapted the Gujarati accent. Priyanshu Painyuli is calm and steals your heart with his character’s brilliant trait of being a supportive husband. Abhishek Banerjee as Dr. Ejaz Qureshi is like a cherry on the top. Supriya Pathak as Bhanuben recreates her magic and will regenerate your memories of her character of Dhankor from Ram-Leela. The rest of the star cast has done justice with their respective roles.
Overall, the film is based on true events, well just for the fact check while watching the film, the theme reminds me of the New York Times Magazine article on, ‘The Humiliating Practice of Sex- Testing Female Athletes’ which was based on the trial and tribunal case of Dutee Chand and other female athletes who were failed in Gender testing. Dutee Chand case was the first-ever in sports history where the IAAF policy on hyperandrogenism, or high natural levels of testosterone in women, was suspended. Similarly, Rashmi Rocket is also based on a similar case where a brilliant sport athletic demands for valid justice although, the makers wrapped the plotline with the disparities of the high and poor class. We are going with three and a half stars just for its distinctive subject and actors’ performances.