Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘boss

By Subhash K. Jha, December 31, 2009 – 11:35 IST

Abbas Tyrewala Abbas Tyrewala who directed one of 2008’s biggest successes is also a writer of great repute, having written among other things, the prophetic dialogues of Munnabhai MBBS and the screenplay of Maqbool.

Abbas went to see the latest Yashraj production Rocket Singh Salesman Of The Year not only as a writer and director but also as an eager fan of the films that the banner comes out of.

“I love Jaideep Sahni’s writing and Shimit Amin’s direction. But what were they thinking while doing Rocket Singh? Where is the payoff in the screenplay? Where is the hero? Ranbir plays a timid Sardar who steals phone lines and computer hardware from his work-place to start his own business. And we are supposed to accept him as a man of integrity! Would he be able to start his own business if it wasn’t for the nefarious support he gets from his work-place? In other words the ‘hero’ resorts to those very underhand tactics that he claims to abhor and takes the help of that very organization which has disgraced him!”

Most damaging of all, Abbas couldn’t see a hero in Ranbir’s character. “The boss (Manish Chowdhary) is so over-the-top he belongs to another sensibility altogether, calls Ranbir a ‘bastard’ several times, humiliates and disgraces him publicly. We wait for our hero to have his revenge on the boorish boss. I completely believe in the old-fashioned Hindi film formula where the hero gives his tormentor tit for tat. But Boss, where’s the comeuppance for the villain? In fact the story comes across more as the boss’ redemption story as the hero’s.”

Abbas is now more than sure what he wants to do with his own hero John Abraham in 1-800-Love at the end. “I want my hero to either win or die at the end. Not a hero whose fight for the right simply peters out to a dead-end.”

In fact Abbas’s disappointment with Rocket Singh Salesman Of The Year has given him a renewed creative strength. “I now know exactly how my hero’s journey to end. I’m an old-fashioned storyteller. And we’ve at heart a very traditional audience. They want to see the hero triumph at the end, not walk away from the villain as he makes an apology speech.”


It’s always a pleasure to see a meaningful flick which entertains as well enlightens. Rajkumar Hirani is the master of such flicks (his forthcoming 3 Idiots is also expected to be the same). Rocket Singh also falls in this category. Although it is laden with some glitches, overall it gives you a great time and also teaches you some valuable lessons which we may have forgotten or ignored because of living in this fast-paced urban ‘corporatized’ life!

The story of the movie: Harpreet Singh Bedi (Ranbir Kapoor) has just graduated with low marks but is determined to enter into the world of sales. He justified himself as ‘number kam hai dimaag nahi’! With his confidence and ‘never quit’ attitude, he lands as a trainee in the reputed company, AYS. But he soon realizes that in this professional field, the people worked with the most unprofessional attitude! He always believed in working honestly and caring for the customers. He even attempted to apply his principles which received a sharp reaction from his seniors. Harpreet was then denounced and humiliated. And this is when he realized that instead of merely being an observer, he’ll be the change he wants to see! From here begins the journey of Harpreet aka Rocket Singh!

One won’t take to Rocket Singh instantly, esp in the first hour. This hour focuses more on establishing characters. Also the film hasn’t applied sync sound system well due to which one has difficulty in deciphering some of the dialogues. But after some time in the film, we get ‘accustomed’ to it!

But there are some sequences in the first hour that deserve a mention. The ‘complaint’ scene was great and the boss’ (Manish Choudhari) angry reaction looked quite real. Also watch out when Ranbir is humiliated by the boss with his ‘zero-value’ theory. It was a bit over the top but made an impact.

But the second hour is when the film rocks big time! Ranbir creating a company within a company and popularizing it with his honest ways and making partners was damn interesting. The pre-climax wonderfully built up tension but the climax was dragged a bit. Maybe, the lengthy dialogue should have been a bit crisp. It would have made a better impact.

But nonetheless, the film manages to put its message across in a cool manner. It’s a must for all in the sales field or anyone dealing with customers…maybe it will inspire them to adopt more ‘human’ and honest ways of working!

Without a doubt, it’s Ranbir Kapoor who carried the film fabulously on his shoulders and came up with a great performance. He looked charming even in his sardar look and managed to do a great job-as great as he did in Wake Up Sid and Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. The film may unfortunately not work at the BO but Ranbir will surely be appreciated and Rocket Singh will be remembered as one of his best performances!

Prem Chopra as Ranbir’s paa played his part well. D. Santosh (famous for his Rajguru act in The Legend of Bhagat Singh) was outstanding! In fact, he delivers better performance than Ranbir in many of the scenes involving both of them! Watch out for him!

Besides these, the rest of actors were all newbies but leave a mark. Gauhar Khan as Koyna looks stunning and gives a top-class performance. Her career in Bollywood is on the right track with this film! Shazahn Padamsee gets very little scope but manages to impress. Mukesh Bhatt as Chotelal was just brilliant! And finally, the other two actors who leave a maximum impact as Ranbir and Santosh are Naveen Kaushik (as Nitin) and Manish Choudhari. Both were wonderful and if the film impresses, then they are also to be credited!

Salim-Sulaiman’s music doesn’t make a mark as song-and-dance isn’t part of this film. Pocket Mein Rocket is missing from the film. But their background score like everytime was fabulous.

Vikash Nowlakha’s cinematography was flawless. Manas Choudhury, the sync sound recordist, could have done a better job.

Jaideep Sahni has written the story, screenplay, dialogues and lyrics. His work was exceptional in all four. Only the screenplay could have been a tighter in the climax and easy in the initial portions. But the best part is-his Khosla Ka Ghosla magic is wonderfully seen in some of the scenes which really makes the film impressive.

This is Shimit Amin’s weakest directorial venture, simply because his last two flicks, Ab Tak Chappan and Chak De! India are considered as classics. But still even in his weak performance, he impresses! Watch out for how he has paid attention to little details to make the film look as realistic and closer to real life as possible. Watch out for the beginning portions when the credits appear-observe how the simple articles found in every household are impressively highlighted. Overall, a good job, could have been better and best wishes for the next project!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.     Harpreet’s first interview
2.     Harpreet’s complaint box ‘kaarnama
3.     Boss reacts to Harpreet’s kaarnama!
4.     Colleagues scold Harpreet
5.     The intermission point
6.     Koyna joins Harpreet
7.     Harpreet and his boss’ telephonic conversation (best scene of the film!)
8.     Boss finds out the truth (amazing!)
9.     The final scene

On the whole, Rocket Singh is a feel-good film and should be seen by all sales professionals and corporates. A must watch for Ranbir too. Go for it to have a different kinda experience!

My rating-*** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Rocket_Singh-181580-1.html

By Taran Adarsh, December 11, 2009 – 17:13 IST

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!


We all plan a lot in life. We all have our own set of desires and decide that we’ll fulfill our wishes in future for sure. What’s the hurry-after all, zindagi kahaan bhaag jaane waali hai! But what if one day you realize that you life is gonna end sooner than you thought? Dasvidaniya tells a story of such a person whose end is near and has to decide how he will spend the last few days of his life.

The story of the movie: 37 year old Amar Kaul (Vinay Pathak) works in a pharmaceutical company. He is unmarried and lives with his mother (Sarita Joshi). He is shy and lives an uninteresting life. The constant pain in his stomach takes him to a doctor (Ikhlaq Khan) who gives him a shocking news-he has stomach cancer and that he is not going to live for more than 3 months. Amar feels devastated. He doesn’t understand what to do next. He had two other options-first, to spend the three months cringing and thinking that he lived a worthless life. And second, to fulfill all his wishes and desires, which include buying a new car, foreign trip, teaching a lesson to his stupid boss (Saurabh Shukla), learning guitar under Savio Sir (Joy Fernandes), confessing his love to Neha (Neha Dhupia) etc. Amar thankfully chooses the second option and sets on a journey of ‘things to do before death’. By fulfilling his each desire, Amar feels more satisfied, more content and happier too. In short, the news of death taught him to live!

Dasvidaniya comprises of 4 S-simple, sweet, soulful and sincere. The movie doesn’t get emotional or melodramatic even at a single point and paces ahead wonderfully. The day to day life of Amar Kaul engrosses you from the beginning itself. The first turning point of the film-Amar diagnosed with cancer shakes you and the director has wonderfully captured this moment. The second turning point-Amar preparing a list of ‘things to do before death’ is truly exciting and the background score at this point adds to the effect. His interaction with Savio, Neha, his boss, Jagtap (Ranvir Shorey), Svitlana Manoylo (Tatanya), Rajiv (Rajat Kapoor), Garima (Purbi Joshi) and Vivek (Gaurav Gera) was fabulous and well executed. Full marks here to the director and screenwriter. One of the best scenes of the film undoubtedly was the way he gives a befitting reply to his insane boss-it was one of the funniest scenes of 2008! And not to forget, Amar confessing to Neha-most touching scene of the film! Brilliant!

The film ends in a very sweet manner, without getting overboard. As for the flaws, there is not any significant one. What didn’t work is the way the mother’s trauma was shown-maybe they could have done a better job at this part. But this is a very tiny flaw and the long list of plus points cover it up. And finally, watching Dasvidaniya has lots of advantages. To begin with, you won’t regret spending two hours on this film. Secondly, it comes like a wake-up call and teaches some valuable lessons, which we unfortunately don’t remember in our fast-paced lifestyle. And thirdly and most important, it removes the fear of death from us, although temporarily!

A film produced by a person like Vinay Pathak is bound to have excellent performances! Vinay gives an outstanding performance-in fact, one of the best of his career, after Bheja Fry and Manorama Six Feet Under. How he didn’t secure a nomination for Best Actor is shocking. The actor has tremendous potential and it’s really great to see that he’s well-utilizing it. And now with Dasvidaniya, he has turned producer too! Let’s hope his production company (Lemon Tea Productions) churns out such nice meaningful films in future too!

Neha Dhupia creates a great impact, even though she was there only in one scene. Rajat Kapoor as usual rocks- One of the best actors that we have today. Sarita Joshi was very impressive. So was her daughter Purbi Joshi. Joy Fernandes (‘Jamunda’ of Jajantaram Mamantaram) was too sweet! Saurabh Shukla brings the house down. Gaurav Gera was amazing. He deserves to be seen more in films. Watch out for the scene where he breaks down in front of Vinay Pathak. Svitlana Manoylo was great as the hooker. Ranvir Shorey and Suchitra Pillai were great in their miniscule roles. Others were good.

Kailash, Naresh and Paresh composed the music and background score which was excellent. Background score added to the impact in some major scenes. All the three songs-‘Alvida’, ‘Mumma’ and ‘Muskura’ were fantastic. Special mention should be made of the lyrics of Alvida penned by Kailash Kher. The simple and sweet lyrics instantly touch you.

Arun Verma’s cinematography was normal. The font used for the title was too good and unique!

Arshad Ali Syed is one of the big winners! He penned the story, screenplay and dialogues. Although the story isn’t original (inspired from Kal Ho Naa Ho, Anand and The Bucket List), it impresses because of its sweetness and simplicity. Screenplay was marvelous and Arshad really did a great job by not turning the film an emotional saga. However, as mentioned earlier, some scenes could have been scripted better. And lastly, his dialogues were applaudable! One of my fav dialogue from the film-“Isse pehle ki life aapko khaa jaaye, tum zindagi ko pi jao!”

Shashant Shah, the director, definitely deserves brownie points for handling such a script with utmost care and delivering a fabulous product. Thank you for giving us such a sweet film!

Some of the best scenes in the film:
1.   Amar informed that he has cancer
2.   Amar’s conversation with Jagtap
3.   All scenes of Amar with his boss (amazing!)
4.   Amar at Neha’s house
5.   All scenes of Amar and Savio
6.   Amar with Garima in his car
7.   Amar with Rajiv
8.   Amar meeting Vivek after years
9.   The song ‘Alvida’ and ‘Mumma’
10. The final 10 minutes

On the whole, Dasvidaniya is sweet, simple and funny film that will surely bring a smile on your face, even though it deals with death. The film was unfortunately missed in theatres by many (including me!) since it was released with a biggie, Dostana. But now the VCDs/DVDs are out. Get your copy and I guarantee that there will not be a single person who won’t like this film!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com:http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Dasvidaniya-167036-1.html