3.5 / 5
Verification of sex is said to be the cause of acute mental trauma among female athletes. In 2001, swimmer Pratima Gaonkar allegedly committed suicide after the revelation and public comments about her failed sexual verification test. Santhi Soundarajan, who won the silver medal in the 800m at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, failed the sex verification test and was reportedly stripped of her medal. Another athlete, Dutee Chand, was eliminated from the 2014 Commonwealth Games in the last minute after the Indian Athletic Federation declared that hyperandrogenism made her ineligible to compete as a female athlete. He appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and won a provisional ruling in mid-2015. In February 2016, it was announced that the IOC would not impose a maximum testosterone level for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Dutee Chand’s victory is the only silver lining in this dark chapter in the history of Indian sport. It can be said that Rashmi Rocket was inspired by the Dutee Chand story in the sense that the central character here is also fighting a case against the Indian sports body citing the violation of his human rights.
Rashmi (Taapsee Pannu) is a natural athlete who has been running faster than anyone in her village since her childhood. She stopped running due to a personal tragedy, but took it up again at the urging of her boyfriend Captain Thakur (Priyanshu Painyuli), an athletics coach in the Indian Army. She wins all the races at the district and state level and then the Indian selectors give her a chance to prove her worth internationally. Although he has no classical training and finds it difficult to adhere to the rules at first, then he learns fast enough to qualify for a spot on the Indian team. She wins both individual and team medals for India, but her victory is short-lived as she undergoes a random gender test and is found to have higher than allowed testosterone levels. She is humiliated by a partisan press and is totally heartbroken. Her boyfriend proposes to her, which she accepts and wants to fade into the comfort of domestic life. Eeshit (Abhishek Banerjee), a human rights lawyer, enters her life at this point and convinces her to bring a case, stating that he will not do it just for her, but for hundreds of athletes who have been killed by archaics. laws. She accepts the fight, and as the case progresses, the corruption and conspiracy stumbles out of the wood …
The film takes a stance that sports committees, rather than going on witch hunts against their own athletes, should take a more humane approach in these cases. They must support female athletes in their fight for justice not only in India but also internationally. Labeling a woman a man is bound to damage her mental well-being, tarnish her reputation, and would also strip her of endorsement deals. The film is to be commended for clearly stating that such tests are totally unfair to female athletes and should be repealed. Rashmi is mistreated by the police, is treated as a criminal by the authorities and begins to question her existence because of it. The movie also shows that strong family support is needed at this time. Despite the admirable support of her husband, mother, friends and relatives, Rashmi still feels vulnerable at times. She is not at all to blame and yet she feels like an outcast. The pain and suffering he’s enduring is real and congratulations to Taapsee for bringing it out through his powerful performance. The actress is the soul of the film. She went through an incredible physical transformation to look like a top-tier athlete. But more than the physical, it is the representation of sheer mental harassment, mental exhaustion, that is to be commended. It is as real as it seems and something more. Bravo, Taapsee! The other actor to be mentioned is Abhishek Banerjee. His Eeshit is the soul of integrity who makes up for his lack of etiquette in court with the passion he displays. He is fighting the case because he sees the injustice of it all and, like a boxer, he keeps his head down and keeps swinging his fists until the bell rings. Priyanshu Painyuli offers solid support as Rashmi’s pillar of strength who does his best to cheer her up and make her run again. The cameos of the ever-trusted Varun Badola, Supriya Pathak, and Manoj Joshi add to the film’s charm.
The court case is far too dramatic, although the film’s writers are awake enough to investigate that as well. The subplot consisting of a corrupt official using clandestine antics feels hastily sketched. And we don’t know why Taapsee’s original complexion wasn’t kept in the movie, as the fake tan doesn’t feel natural. But these are small flaws in a movie that raise crucial points. Female athletes must be treated more humanely and provided with better facilities and wages. Gender identity is the most important problem it raises. It is up to an individual to identify with a certain gender and no one should question that. We are slowly becoming more inclusive as a society and Rashmi Rocket is sure to add positive vibes to that debate.
Trailer: Rashmi Rocket
Ronak Kotecha, Oct 14, 2021, 9:30 pm IST
4.0 / 5
HISTORY: Inspired by true events, Rashmi Rocket is the story of a speedy sprinter, whose rise to the top is clouded by a covert gender test. Will he resign himself to fate or will he fight prejudice and conspiracy against him for the sake of Indian female athletes?
REVISION: Growing up in a small town in Kutch Bhuj, Rashmi (Taapsee Pannu) is a brand of fire right from the start. She gets into fights with boys and is a rebel at heart. Her dark skin and boyish mannerisms instantly set her apart from other girls her age, but beyond all that, the only thing that makes her special is her ability to run like a cheetah. Encouraged by family members, especially her equally headstrong mother Bhanu Ben (Supriya Pathak), Rashmi goes on to represent India at the Asian Games. Everything is going well, until a gender test abruptly ends her career, breaking her spirit and morals, questioning her own identity as a woman.
Unlike other sports dramas, ‘Rashmi Rocket’ isn’t just about that decisive game at climax. But still, the fascinating story of Nanda Periyasamy, the sharp script by Aniruddha Guha and the skillful direction of Akarsh Khurana, catch your eye from start to finish, where the race for justice unfolds in court. ‘Rashmi Rocket’ is more of a courtroom drama with an intensely important and relevant topic that is debated and that prompts dialogue. However, the film’s execution never becomes preachy or overtly patriotic. Sometimes it becomes convenient and makes one wonder if female athletes, who have actually faced prejudice and identity crises due to their genetic makeup, are privileged as protagonists here. Because in reality, their lives are much darker. Of course, that is an ideal setting and the film defends how these women deserve a normal course of life and a chance to be heard. Above all, after a mere test not only ends their career but also makes them the object of ridicule and discrimination.
Taapsee Pannu once again proves his mettle, embodying Rashmi’s personality, physically and mentally. Her effort to celebrate Rashmi’s victory and endure her pain is as real as it sounds and the actress doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to getting us to support her character. Her makeup could have been more believable instead of showing her some darker shades.
There are a myriad of character actors, each performing their role to perfection. Priyanshu Painyuli is lovable as the supportive husband, standing up for the love of his life when the odds are firmly against him. Abhishek Banerjee is doing well as Rashmi’s somewhat goofy but determined defender. Supriya Pilgaonkar is credible as a judge and Mantra is well chosen as the strict coach of Rashmi’s team.
The music by Amit Trivedi and the lyrics by Kausar Munir go seamlessly from inspiring to emotional, but the background score in the courtroom scenes sounds a bit out of place. The scale of the film, although not very large, does justice to the demands of the script. Major race track scenes depicting a stadium full of cheering crowds in wide shots, come to life with excitement.
With powerful performances, ‘Rashmi Rocket’ shoots into full blast and stays on course to inform, entertain and educate its audience on an archaic practice that should be left far behind in the race against inequality and prejudice.