Director: Akarsh Khurana
Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Priyanshu Painyuli, Abhishek Banerjee
Akarsh Khurana’s sports-drama film Rashmi Rocket starring Taapsee Pannu as the protagonist is filled with ambition and promise. However, it seems to gloss over Rashmi’s gifted physical ability to sprint, leaving the audience slightly disconnected from her character.
Ultimately, it turns into a textbook courtroom drama with victory at the end of the race.
The story begins by showcasing Taapseen aka Rashmi’s impressive running skills which she possessed ever since she was a child growing up in a small town in Kutch, Bhuj.
Years later, we meet a grown-up Rashmi who is free-spirited, bold and rebellious by nature.
However, she carries the trauma of her doting father’s death – an issue that arises when Captain Gagan Thakur played by Priyanshu Painyuli asks her to run a race after witnessing her running prowess.
Everybody around Rashmi accuses her of ‘running away from the truth’ or being a ‘bhagodi’ but when she does embrace her running ability, albeit depicted with a cringe fast-forward in the film, she really takes off like a rocket.
Although the first half of the film is overly melodramatic with filmy, unrealistic dialogues, the second half manages to incite interest in the viewer.
The main question the film tackles is gender testing and questions of whether a level playing field is truly possible in the realm of sports.
Since the science is quite complex, we’re again presented with an overview of the vast debate.
In terms of acting, Taapsee captivates audiences with her emotion and grit throughout the film.
Actor Abhishek Banerjee, who plays the prosecutor fighting for Taapsee Pannu’s character Rashmi, adds a comical element to the film, balancing out the, at times, grim circumstances.
One must also give credit to Priyanshu Painyuli for playing the loving partner who stood beside Rashmi through thick and thin.
Despite him simply playing a supportive husband, his character is quite impactful and anchors you into the story. Similarly, Supriya Pathak as Rashmi’s mother is also a delight to watch.
On the whole, when you overlook the melodrama and rushed first-half, Akarsh Khurana’s Rashmi Rocket has an unconventional storyline that can greatly contribute to conversations around gender equality.