Some films absorb you instantly, from the very outset. But it takes time to get into the world of a salesman who thinks from his heart. Come to think of it, ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR is about a simpleton, but the story of his struggle and accomplishment isn’t the kind that would charge you or make you charter a similar path in life. Also, the story of an underdog who comes up the hard way should make you feel euphoric in the end, right? But ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR doesn’t. Frankly, ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR is more of a documentary on the life of a salesman. It’s a decent film, no two opinions on that, but the question is, [a] Is the story powerful enough to excite you and [b] Does it grab your attention in entirety? Sadly, the answer to both the questions is in the negative. There’s another problem and this is strictly from the point of those seeking entertainment. A Yash Raj film with Ranbir Kapoor [after AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI] essaying the title role, coupled with fun-filled promos [‘Pocket Mein Rocket Hain’] might make you assume that it would offer loads of entertainment, but this has barely a song or two, as good as no romance and hardly any comic moments – the recipe for most Hindi movies. In a nutshell, ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR is a dull and dry experience. Harpreet Singh Bedi [Ranbir Kapoor] has just graduated and his marks are, well, let’s say a little embarrassing. But marks never stopped him from dreaming of an exciting and adventurous career, and they never will. He takes a deep, positive breath and dives into the world of sales, rumoured to be an ultra cool career. It’s everything he dreamt of, with its smooth dressing, smoother talking men and women who can sell ice to an Eskimo, dreams to an insomniac and a lifetime mobile connection to a dying man. But soon, his idea of success begins clashing with the strange ways of these ‘professionals’ and ‘bosses’ he looked up to. ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR may be based on a simpleton’s life, but the viewer gets a hang of things only towards the second hour. The entire first hour is devoted to establishing the characters and also getting used to the way sales persons go about their business.
There’s not much excitement in the first hour, barring a few attention-grabbing scenes that pop up intermittently. The story just flows, with the viewer not reacting much to the proceedings. But things change for better towards the post-interval portions when the protagonist and his colleagues’ lives get complicated. At least two sequences deserve a mention here. The first, when Ranbir and his boss have a lengthy telephonic conversation. The second, when the boss realises his folly and apologises to Ranbir. But, unfortunately, the culmination to the story doesn’t give the feeling of euphoria or victory. Ideally speaking, it should have. That’s one of the reasons why the impact is missing. Shimit Amin is an efficient storyteller and he has been most faithful to the plot, but if the plot itself has its limitations, there’s not much he can do to boost the proceedings. Jaideep Sahni has had the courage to narrate a new story, but the story is one-dimensional. Also, there screenplay is devoid of songs, romance and entertainment, which will go against the film completely. Salim-Sulaiman’s background score is effectual. Vikash Nowlakha’s cinematography is alright. Ranbir Kapoor is an exceptional actor and ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR mirrors this fact. The actor underplays his part beautifully, which only goes to prove that he’s equally at ease essaying straight-out-of-life roles. Prem Chopra is exceptional. A number of new faces enact pivotal roles here, but the ones who stand out are Ranbir’s boss Puri and colleague Nitin. Both are fantastic. D. Santosh is first-rate. Gauhar Khan leaves a strong impression. Shazahn Padamsee doesn’t get any scope.
On the whole, ROCKET SINGH – SALESMAN OF THE YEAR is more of a documentary on the life of a salesman. Lack of music, romance and entertainment, coupled with zilch hype, will go against the film. A colossal disappointment!