Rocket Boys 2 Review: The story of veteran scientists embroiled in political maelstrom, the effect landed as soon as Mrs. Indira came into focus
The creator: Siddharth Roy Kapur, Monisha Advani and Madhu Bhojwani
Director: Abhay Pannu
Author: Abhay Pannu and Kausar Munir
Artist: Jim Sarbh, Ishwak Singh, Regina Cassandra, Saba Azad, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Rajit Kapoor, TM Karthik, Arjun Radhakrishnan, Namit Das and Charu Shankar etc.
Release: 16 March 2023
Rocket Boys 2: Trailer
The second season of the online series ‘Rocket Boys’ continues the previous season’s tale of space and nuclear research in the country. There are two scientists present. Homi Jehangir Bhabha feels that if India is to advance as a major country, it must pursue its atomic weapon development aggressively. Vikram Sarabhai, on the other hand, wishes to transform the fate of the average man in the country by launching satellites into space. Both have issues in their personal lives. There are US machinations, coercion, and espionage, and India, encircled by Pakistan on one side and China on the other, begins to regard Russia as an ally. CV Raman and APJ Abdul Kalam also appear in the novel. The 1974 Pokhran test marks the season’s high point. The story’s undercurrent is Indian politics, and the layers of Morarji Desai’s incapacity to become Prime Minister following the death of the country’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, have been revealed.
Politics of scientific achievements
While the first season of the Sony Liv online series focused on pure scientific achievements, the second season appears to be delving into the sugary syrup of politics. The creators of the series attempted to portray aspects of the country’s politics to the viewers under the pretence of scientific difficulties, about which the current generation, and perhaps prior generations, knew little. The moment in which Homi Jehangir Bhabha, who referred to the country’s Prime Minister as his brother, takes Indira Gandhi away at a condolence gathering after her death and discusses future politics in her office shows the true aim of this series. The plot shifts back and forth until Pokhran’s Operation Happy Krishna becomes Smiling Buddha. The series begins with an eight-hour run time and gradually progresses for eight episodes until its heat begins to fade after the third episode.
The second season was weak in writing
The second season of the online series ‘Rocket Boys’ has several flaws at the level of the plot. The series’ intention appears to shift away from scientific study and towards familism in Indian politics as the series’ goal shifts. Director Abhay Pannu accomplished an outstanding job with the series’ first season. He made a series that was similar to Doordarshan’s ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’. When Rajit Kapoor came on film as Nehru, there was a direct connection between the audience and him. But, with China’s loss and Nehru’s death, the tale of the series takes a new turn. It no longer focuses solely on ISRO’s aspirations to make India a nuclear power or to build the country’s presence in space. Because of the story’s derailment, possibly the second season was released so late, since Abhay Pannu himself stated after the first season that the following season will show on August 15, 2022.
Ishwak and Jim Sarbh’s spell broken
The creators are unsure whether this narrative from the 1960s and 1970s will be included in the third season. The second season of the online series ‘Rocket Boys’ veered off course. Although Ishwak Singh and Jim Sarbh are thoroughly immersed in their characters, unlike previous season, their characters are not magical. The freshness of both actors’ acting this season could not be the season’s major appeal. Dibyendu Bhattacharya, as scientist Raza, portrays the restlessness and longing of a suspect once more. Arjun Radhakrishnan, played by Kalam, and Raman, played by TM Karthik, performed an excellent job as the story’s spark.
The second season was illuminated by Regina
In terms of performing, Regina Cassandra was the true winner of ‘Rocket Boys’ season 2. Her depiction of Mrinalini Sarabhai is one of the series’ most fascinating features. Regina has also displayed her true acting skills in this role that changes hue at every time. Yet Saba Azad has failed once more. The part of Pipsi, a Parsi woman, does not provide much support to the second season of the online series ‘Rocket Boys’. They didn’t know anything about him before last season. His identity as Hrithik Roshan’s friend has now gotten so ingrained in him that when seeing him on film, Hrithik’s image kept spinning in his head. That also does not augur good for his future as a talented artist.
Excessive focus on Indira Gandhi
The casting of Charu Shankar in the part of Indira Gandhi is the web series’ weakest link. Charu Shankar’s casting appears to be as terrible as that of the other performers in the series. Presenting this character as a caricature from the start, repeatedly keeping her side profile in focus to show Indira Gandhi’s long nose, and the politically charged scenes shown throughout the development of this character until the final episode not only highlight the series’ flaws but also undermine efforts to take the second season of a strong series beyond the challenges.
Author: Sangeeta Verma
Occupation: Indian film critic and reviewer
Education: Bachelor’s degree in English Literature, Masters in Mass Communication
Career: Sangeeta Verma started her career as a freelance writer and film critic and continuing it.