Taapsee Pannu takes the story and flies in 'Rashmi Rocket'
Taapsee Pannu's latest venture Rashmi Rocket dropped on ZEE5 today and the actress gives a solid lead to an important tale. Playing a gifted athlete who is made to go through gender testing, the Akarsh Khurana-directorial gives us the thrills of a sports drama, elements of dirty politics, sober romance, and quirky courtroom sequences. It's not without flaws but is memorable. Here's our review.
Rashmi grows up being taunted for her 'man-like' demeanor
Pannu plays the titular Rashmi, a tour guide from Gujarat, who has grown up with taunts about behaving "like a boy," for her interests and clothing choices. A terrific runner (nicknamed "Rocket") since childhood, Rashmi gets a chance to compete on the professional stage by the turn of fate but barbs about her being "man-like" are hard to let go of.
We get some solid performances from the supporting cast
Things get ugly when she is subjected to a gender test by the athletic association without her knowledge and later arrested by male police officers. How she takes on the archaic rule of gender testing and returns to the field is the rest of the tale. Pannu is ably supported by Supriya Pathak, Abhishek Banerjee, and Priyanshu Painyuli. Supriya Pilgaonkar justifies her short-yet-crisp appearance.
You might recall real-life incidents of Pinki Pramanik, Dutee Chand
Based on an original story by Nanda Periyasamy, Rashmi Rocket's strongest suit is its connection to real-life incidents. The movie will remind you of Dutee Chand (who was barred from competing in international track events against women for having high levels of testosterone) or Pinki Pramanik (who was arrested in 2012 based on her alleged partner's accusation that she was a male).
After 'Mimi', once again pregnancy is romanticized here
In fact, such examples of female athletes being unfairly treated for their gender identity being brought into question are abundant. Thus the film was much needed. However, elements like romanticization of pregnancy (also seen recently in Mimi) sour the experience. While a woman can choose to balance her career and kids, it's also okay to prioritize her career. Verdict: The movie gets 4/5 stars.