Rocket Boys Season 2: A Worthy Follow-Up to The First Season

Jim Sarbh, Ishwak takes the centre stage

Rocket Boys Season 2

Cast: Jim Sarbh, Ishwak Singh, Regina Cassandra, Saba Azad etc.

Screenplay, Dialogues and Direction: Abhay Pannu

Story: Abhay Koranne

Additional dialogues: Kausar Munir

Genre: Biographical drama

Producers: Siddarth Roy Kapoor, Monisha Advani and Madhu Bhojwani

Number of episodes: 8

OTT: SonyLiv

Season 2 of Rocket Boys is a worthy follow-up to the first season. It mainly looks at the decisions that shaped the nation’s space and nuclear programmes under the leadership of Jim Sarbh’s Homi Bhabha and Ishwak Singh’s Vikram Sarabhai.

There is also a major subplot of how their decisions ended up creating geopolitical ripples across the subcontinent.

Strong women characters

Much like the first season, the new season also has strong women characters.

Mrinalini Sarabhai played by Regina Cassandra is one example of this. She is the wife of Vikram Sarabhai and also a classical dancer. Her presence is significant both at home and also in the outside world.

Saba Azad who played Pipsi, a close friend of Homi Bhabha, has less to do in comparison to the first season, but she also gets her moments at a critical juncture.

The biggest strength of Rocket Boys Season 2 is the humane touch that director Abhay Pannu brings to the table. One example of this is how the director deals with the political undertones of the plot.

For instance, there are scenes showcasing the struggle of Indira Gandhi (Charu Shankar) post the death of her father Jawaharlal Nehru.

The entire process of Indira Gandhi coming to terms with her father’s death has been portrayed with a lot of sensitivity. Charu Shankar is impressive in capturing the spirit of Indira Gandhi. She brings in the required authority.

Humane touch in characters

The arguments between Ishwak and Jim Sarbh, though fierce, never get into the shrill territory.

The turbulent interpersonal relationship between them has been brought out well by the director. In spite of their great scientific achievements, they don’t come across as superheroes at any point.

On certain occasions, we see them vulnerable to provocations and also not shying away from their weaknesses.

The scenes between Vikram and Mrinalini Sarabhai are another major highlight of the series.

Their marriage is under severe strain because of Sarabhai’s long absences from home and his other attractions.

Still, Mrinalini doesn’t come across as a nagging wife at any point. She has her own ambitions of becoming a classical dancer.

There is certain assertiveness to the character which is refreshing to watch. Regina does a fantastic job of capturing the feistiness of Mrinalini. She has effectively portrayed the vulnerable moments of the character.

Impressive technical team

Season 2 also benefits from a very impressive technical team.

The cinematography by Harshvir Oberoi is successful in transporting the viewers back to that era with the frames being perfectly in sync with the nature of the story without overriding the content.

The sound design by Subhash Sahoo is also top-notch. A special mention must also be made of the show’s theme music, which is an absolute winner.

Falters at some places

The positive being told, there are certain areas where the series falters.

Primarily, the characterisation of the young Dr APJ Abdul Kalam could have been better written.

Also, some of the supporting characters come across as more of TV serial villains which are not in sync with the tonality of the show.

Particularly those played by Namit Das and KC Shankar.

Jim Sarbh, Ishwak take centrestage

The performances by Jim Sarbh and Ishwak are simply terrific.

There is no dull moment whenever Jim is on screen. He gets ample opportunities to be a charmer which Jim pulls off with ease. He is equally good in the more intense bits.
The scene leading to the death of Homi Bhabha has an emotional poignancy that stays with the audience for a long time.

Ishwak Singh’s part is less colourful but the young actor makes his presence felt.

He is particularly good in the vulnerable bits with his wife. He is successful in bringing out the zen-like attitude of Vikram Sarabhai.

Saba Azad enters pretty late but she does hold her own in the few scenes that she has got.

A special mention must be made of the intense scene where she questions the futility of war.

Dibyendu Bhattacharya is also in form, as a misunderstood scientist who has to prove his innocence.

Verdict

In a nutshell Rocket Boys Season 2 is a worthy tribute to the two great scientists. What elevates this underdog story is the humane touch that the director brings.

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