R Madhavan’s ‘Rocketry: The Nambi Effect’ tries to do too much, resulting in very little insight into its protagonist

Posted on July 1, 2022


Spoilers ahead…

The generic and conventional nature of the writing never lets you forge a deep and true emotional connection with Nambi Narayanan.


Biopics are notoriously hard to crack because you are trying to reduce the grand span of a person’s life into a two-and-a-half hour movie. And that’s why the best biopics are those that give us a sense of the person through a limited set of events, in a limited timeframe: a great example being Danny Boyle’s 2015 biopic of Steve Jobs. In Rocketry: The Nambi Effect, R Madhavan makes his writing and directing debut, while also (quite effectively) playing Nambi Narayanan, the scientist who accomplished great things for ISRO, and then fought to clear his name after being falsely accused of espionage. Unlike Steve Jobs, this film is overstuffed. Let’s take the first half. It wants to show us how this out-of-the-box thinker developed a rocket engine. We seem to get every single step of this journey, which gives the impression of sitting through an extended, jargon-filled Physics lesson delivered by a superstar who did everything single-handedly despite having a large team behind him. Maybe that is what happened in real life. But on screen, this results in a loss of nuance, with everyone else reduced to a simplistic sidekick.

You can read the rest of the review here:


And you can watch the video review here:

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