R Madhavan’s Rocketry: The Nambi Effect has hit the theatres. Madhavan makes his directorial debut with the movie based mostly on the lifetime of former rocket scientist at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Dr Nambi Narayanan and trials he confronted after he was tagged as a traitor.
In this interview with indianexpress.com, Madhavan opens up about why he was so impressed to make a movie on a scientist who was charged with espionage and arrested, and needed to combat an extended battle to show his innocence. Calling his debut movie as a director additionally his final, he phrases himself one of many first actors to set the “trend of pan India film” however was “never given credit for” it.
Rocketry is technically wealthy, and the actor- filmmaker emphasises on the significance of not dumbing it down regardless of the movie coping with rocket science. “People are upset with the film industry for thinking that they’re far more intelligent than their audience. Name one niche project which is actually so intellectually superior that the audience didn’t get us? We’ve actually fallen flat over and over again simply because our makers are not intelligent enough for our audience. When Tom Hanks does something or when James Cameron or Steven Spielberg say something, we want to believe what they say. Whereas none of our directors have managed to gain that kind of respect from our audiences. Then why are we ‘niche’?”
Talking about selecting up Nambi Narayan’s life as a topic, he says, “I think Nambi Narayanan is the most commercially cinematic life I’ve seen. I regret that I have only two-and-a-half hours to tell his story, I need 12 to do justice to it, there hasn’t been a minute of boredom in his life. I had to throw out so much from his story, from his biopic, that it almost feels criminal. Like, the whole case is not there in my film. How did a common man go and turn the Supreme Court around. How did he sleep on the staircase of the Supreme Court just to get the judge’s attention, how did he fight his own case without lawyers… I’ve dropped all that.”
Nambi Narayanan’s contribution to India’s house analysis was recognised lately when he was awarded the Padma Bhushan on the age of 80. He had led his workforce to develop the Vikas Engine and assist India dive into the period of PSLV rockets. But Madhavan says the movie isn’t a patriotic one. He says, “I don’t think it is as patriotic as people make it out to be. Nambi Narayanan was passionate about what he wanted to achieve and that happened to align with the interest of the country. So we are not jingoistic patriotic, it is like when you watch the film that you’ll feel, ‘haan yaar, isne desh ke liye itna kiya!’ It is more like, ‘isne kiya, aur bhayankar tarike se kiya!’ and it also happened to be good for the country.”
Rocketry marks Madhavan’s directorial debut, be he doesn’t wish to direct movies anymore. “I am not qualified to direct, I’ve never been anything when it comes to filming except as an actor. My respect for these directors, however valid their films are, has grown tremendously and I can understand the agony they go through. I’ve been an actor and I want to live that nice life, direction is something I’ll do when I stop getting acting jobs.”
In Hindi cinema, Madhavan began his profession in 1996 with Iss Raat Ki Subah Nahin, however gained recognition with Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein (2001). “When you think of of me, you think of ‘Sach Keh Raha Hai Deewana’. Let me reveal a scret. Everybody appreciated the fact that I was sitting in the bus and actually crying in this shot, but in reality, we didn’t have time and they (the makers) had not fed us one whole night. It was four in the morning, and I really cried because I wanted to go home. So, things kinda a materialised that way.”
Rocketry: The Nambi Effect has been shot concurrently in Hindi, English and Tamil and it’s dubbed in Telugu and Malayalam. When requested if he determined to take action as a result of pan-India movies are in development as we speak, he replies, “My films have always been pan India. I think the rest of the world is catching up to me, I already set the trend many years ago. Ramji Londonwaley or 13B, which was one of the first films to be shot simultaneously, Rocketry has the distinction of being shot in three languages, forget about two. So, people don’t give me credit but I am the one to set the trend multiple times.”