On Friday, movie critic Anupama Chopra reviewed R Madhavan’s newly released movie named ‘Rocketry: The Nambi Effect’ to report a problem with the subject’s Hindu religion and his patriotism. Writing a review of the movie based on the life of Padma Bhushan Nambi Narayanan, Chopra said that the movie repeatedly highlighted Nambi’s patriotism and also leaned pointedly into his religion.
“It’s admirable that the film has brought Narayanan’s many accomplishments into the spotlight, but the screenplay repeatedly underlines his patriotism and also leans pointedly into his religion”, she said in the review that was published on July 1.
FC Review: #RocketryTheNambiEffect‘s ambitious juggling act has resulted in a film that is well-intentioned, moving in parts, but also clumsy — in content and craft — and overly simplistic, writes @anupamachopra.https://t.co/4OdJ936h4U— Film Companion (@FilmCompanion) July 1, 2022
She also added that the movie written, directed, and played by actor R Madhavan showed the ISRO scientist as a ‘true-blue Hindu patriot’. “Our first visual of Narayanan is in the puja room at his home. At crucial moments, he prays. Narayanan is a true-blue Hindu patriot”, Chopra was quoted. She also highlighted that Narayanan was so patriotic that he had refused a fat-paying job offered by NASA.
Chopra, meanwhile, called the multi-tasking of actor R Madhavan who wrote, directed, and produced the film an act of ‘ambitious juggling’ which she said resulted in an over-simplistic result. “The ambitious juggling act has resulted in a film that is well-intentioned, moving in parts, but also clumsy — in content and craft — and overly simplistic”, the review noted.
Declining a prestigious job in the United States, a 28-year-old prodigy graduating from one of the Ivy Leagues, Princeton, had chosen to return to the motherland at a time when his future prospects looked bleak. Two decades later, Nambi Narayanan had not only pioneered the science of building India’s most celebrated space vehicles PSLV and GSLV but also raised to be the country’s topmost cryogenic scientist.
The movie ‘Rocketry: The Nambi Effect’ is the story of one of India’s greatest space scientists, Nambi Narayanan. An exemplary achiever, instrumental in India’s space accomplishments only to be falsely implicated by a political-bureaucratic nexus in a bid to not only prevent the country’s technological progress but also to use it to further an evil political outcome. The CBI in the year 2021 stated that the false implication of former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan had impacted the technological development of cryogenic in the country. It added that the scientist was falsely implicated by two former Kerala Police officers in a ‘concocted case’ that led to a delay in the development of India’s cryogenic technology.
Had earlier criticized ‘The Kashmir Files’, SS Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’
To note, this is not the first time that Anupama Chopra has criticised a movie for factually highlighting the Hindu flexure. Earlier, this year, the ‘flim critic’, while reviewing the Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri-directed film ‘the Kashmir Files’, had blatantly denied that genocide of Hindus ever happened in Kashmir. The review had called the movie a bad attempt at propaganda or worse, a “revisionist drama” saying that the “film reimagines the exodus as a full-scale genocide – where every Hindu is a tragic Jew, every Muslim is a murderous Nazi”.
The review that was written by Chopra’s sidekick further read, “Even if I were to buy into the film’s dodgy worldview, the film-making is exploitative – geared towards riding the current wave of Hindu nationalism rather than empathizing with the displaced victims of history. None of it stems from a genuine space of understanding or curiosity, with the writing operating on only two extreme levels: verbose discussions and all-out torture porn”.
The author also noted that the movie ended up reducing the Kashmiri Hindus to cultural corpses and that he was not sure whether the Muslims (who were villainized) should be more offended or the Hindus who were reduced to cultural corpses. Also, Chopra had published a piece decrying the popularity of SS Rajamouli’s recent release RRR in the USA, complaining that Americans are celebrating a toxic Hindutva movie that upheld Caste hierarchy and Kshatriya pride.
R Madhavan starrer ‘Rocketry: The Nambi Effect’, the actor’s maiden directorial venture was released on July 1. The movie is based on the life of former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan, who was falsely charged with espionage in 1994. Later, Nambi Narayanan was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2019 on the occasion of the 70th Republic Day. Also, the Kerala government approved providing compensation of Rs 1.3 crore for his wrongful arrest and harassment by the Kerala Police in the 1994 spying case.