Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rocket Singh: Salesman Of The Year

This is yet another movie review. As you've probably noted by now - I've had some time on my hands to watch these movies. Because of a whole lot of changes in my personal life (and professional for that matter), haven't really had the chance to pen down thoughts. Until now - sort of

Rocket Singh... is about a rookie salesman Harpreet Singh played by Ranbir Kapoor who fresh after graduation joins a company that assembles and sells computers. Things seem good at first but trouble's ahead because Harpreet has been raised an idealist of sorts with a solid grounding in values by his grandfather. His value system is soon challenged the day he's sent out to visit a potential client to close a sales deal and the manager over there demands a bribe to ensure that Harpreet and his company are awarded the contract - as opposed to someone else. Harpreet, seriously offended by the bribery demand, walks out thinking he's done the right thing. He can't wait to tell his superiors about the sleazeball client manager.

However, instead of the pat on the back that he thought would be forthcoming for his honesty, his superiors are livid with him and berate him for having offended and walked out on a major client. Harpreet soon realizes that what he encountered at the client location was actually standard practice. What's more - he soon becomes the butt of ridicule in his company for being a naive loser with no idea how the world works. And this is only the beginning of his disillusionment. He also learns that another standard practice adopted by his company is to mark up the prices of their computers exorbitantly - far higher than the sum of the parts - and to never offer the promised offer sales support.

When things finally reach breaking point for him (by now his fellow sales staff toss paper rockets his way all day), he decides to turn on his company and clandestinely start his own computer sales company from inside his employers facilities. As he starts getting clients for his own secret company he also slowly starts recruiting disgruntled employees of the parent company to secretly work for him as equal partners. He also wants to do things differently by offering his clients lower prices and fantastic after sales service - all things that his original employers don't practice. Also, he will offer no bribes to get contracts. In short, he wants to maintain the highest standards and ethics for his nascent company. His company's name - Rocket Sales.

Little by little, Rocket Sales starts to steal away clients from Harpreet's original employers. It turns out that there is a market for an honest, upfront company that delivers what it promises at a reasonable price. Of course, this situation where Harpreet operates a company secretly within the premises of another cannot last. That of course forms the remainder of the movie. A lot of what happens next is predictable. But its done well.

Rocket Singh is about an idealist and his attempt at trying to do things his way. But it's also a simple story about ideals and ethics and whether those have any relevance in the real world. The movie has a very low-key, indie movie-like feel to it and that works really well for the subject matter at hand. Though it's a feel good story of sorts, melodrama is at a minimum. The story moves forward pretty evenly and all the actors do a pretty good job. Ranbir, especially, does a very convincing job as Harpreet Singh.

I really liked this movie as well. It's a good story thats well told, well acted and well directed (dir: Shimit Amin).

Definitely a must see.


Venky said...

loved the movie - got a chance to catch it when in India ... subtle and idealistically-simple like you put it - puts into perspective the humongous lack of customer service in India and how it hits a lot of us when we travel abroad - resonated with my frustrations a lot.
Shimit Amin all the way - loved the sales guy.

Sarat said...

@Venky - Agree with you. Overall, I liked this movie the most of the recent ones. Just a solid all-round job.

Someone Somewhere Out There said...

I really liked this movie. More than anything I'm totally impressed by the out-of-the-box movies being made in Bollywood now.

Remember the 80s? A lost offspring, a bad man with a bad mustache, love and obstacles, etc.

Sarat said...

@Aparna - I agree! I really like the Hindi movies being made these days. I probably have watched a handful of movies with the so-called A list stars - and I've still watched a whole lot! In fact, I've ended up watching really good ones that way.