3.5 / 5
Sexual athletes are said to be the cause of acute trauma among female athletes. In 2001, swimmer Pratima Gaonkar reportedly committed suicide after revealing her failed gender verification test and making public comments. Saundarajan, who won a silver medal in the 800 meters at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Kantar, reportedly failed a sex test and was stripped of his medal. The Athletic Federation of India has said that hyperandrogenism disqualified her from competing as a female athlete, after which two other athletes were dropped from the 2014 Commonwealth Games at the last minute. He appealed to the arbitral tribunal for the sport and won an interim ruling in mid-2015. In February 2011, it was announced that the IOC would not impose maximum testosterone levels for the 2016 Summer Olympics. In this dark chapter of Indian sports history, the victory of Duti Chand is the only silver lining. Rashmi Rocket can be said to be inspired by the story of Duti Chand in the sense that the central character here also sues the Indian sports body for allegedly violating his human rights.
Rashmi (Tapsi Pannu) is a natural athlete who has been running faster than anyone else in her village since childhood. He left the race due to a personal tragedy but an Indian Army athletics coach took it again in the example of his favorite Captain Thakur (Priyanshu Painuli). He won every competition at the district and state level and was later given the opportunity to prove his worth at the international level by the Indian selectors. Although he is not classically trained and finds it difficult to follow the rules at first, he later quickly learned the ropes to get a place in the Indian team. He has won medals for India at both individual and team levels but his victory has proved short-lived as he has undergone a random sex test and found higher testosterone levels than allowed. He is humiliated and completely heartbroken by a biased press. His girlfriend proposes marriage, which he accepts and wants to disappear into the comfort of home. Eshit (Abhishek Banerjee), a human rights lawyer, enters her life at the moment and forces her to sue, saying that she will do it not only for herself, but for hundreds of female athletes who have agreed to fight the laws made by the elders. And as the case progresses, corruption and conspiracy come out of the woodwork …
The film takes a position that sports committees should take a more humane approach in such cases rather than go witch hunting against their own athletes. Athletes should be supported in their fight for justice not only in India but also in the international arena. Branding a woman as a man is bound to damage her mental health, tarnish her reputation and even snatch approval agreements with her. The film should be commended for explicitly mentioning that such tests are completely unfair to female athletes and should be scrapped. Rashmi was harassed by the police, was found guilty by the authorities and therefore began to question her existence. The film further shows that the family needs strong support at this moment. Despite the admirable support of her husband, her mother, friends and relatives, Rashmi still feels weak at times. He is not guilty at all and yet feels like an outcast. The pain and suffering that he is actually experiencing and thanks to Tapasi for bringing it out through his energy-packed performance. The actress is the lifeblood of the film. He went through an incredible physical transformation to look like a top level athlete. But more than physicality, it is merely an image of mental harassment, mental exhaustion, which must be appreciated. It gets as real as it gets and then something. Bravo, Tapasi! Another actor who must be mentioned is Abhishek Banerjee. His Eeshit is the spirit of honesty who fills the lack of courtroom etiquette with his displayed passion. He is fighting the case because he sees the injustice of everything and keeps his head down like a prize-warrior and shakes his fist until the bell rings. Priyangshu Pinuli provides strong support as a pillar of ray power, who goes out of his way to encourage him and lets him run again. The cameos of the ever-reliable Varun Badola, the beloved reader and Manoj Joshi add to the appeal of the film.
The court case is too dramatic, although the writers of the film are awake enough to pay attention to it. The sub-plot consisting of a corrupt officer using underhand antiques quickly feels like a sketch. And we don’t know why the original color of Tapasi was not captured in the picture because the false tension does not seem normal. But these are minor flaws in a film that raises important points. Women athletes should be treated more humanely and provided with better facilities and salary grades. Gender identity is a big issue that raises. It depends on a person being identified with a particular gender and no one should question it. We as a society are slowly becoming more inclusive and the ray rocket will certainly add a positive feeling to that debate.
Trailer: Ray Rocket
Ronak Kotecha, October 14, 2021, 9:30 PM IST
4.0 / 5
Story: Inspired by true events, the Ray Rocket is the story of a fiery race, the top of which is damaged by a secret sex test. Will she resign to fate or will she fight against superstition and conspiracy for the greater good of Indian women athletes?
Revaluation: Growing up in a small town in Kutch Bhuj, Rashmi (Tapsi Pannu) is a firebrand from the word go. She gets into fights with the boys and rebels at heart. Her dark skin and childish demeanor immediately set her apart from other girls her age, but one thing that makes her special is the ability to fall off like a cheetah. By family members, especially her equal-headed mother Vanu Ben (dear reader), Rashmi continues to represent India at the Asian Games. Everything is fine, until a gender test suddenly ends her career, breaking her spirit and morale, questioning her identity as a woman.
Unlike other sports dramas, ‘Ray Rocket’ is not just a game made in climax or break. But still, Nanda Periyasamy’s Rising Story, the sharp screenplay of Aniruddha Guhar and the competent direction of Arkash Khurana hold your attention from beginning to end, where the race for justice in the court begins. ‘Ray Rocket’ is a courtroom drama that is a very important and relevant topic for debate and induces a dialogue. Yet, the film’s execution never became propaganda or outright patriotic. It sometimes becomes convenient and surprises you that female athletes, who have actually faced prejudice and identity crisis due to their genetic makeup, have got privileges like heroes here. Because in reality their life is very dark. Of course, this is an ideal scene and the film creates an event about how such women deserve a normal life and the opportunity to listen. In particular, the mere examination not only ends their careers but also makes them the subject of ridicule and discrimination.
Tapasi Pannu has once again proved her worth, embodying the personality of Ray physically and mentally. Celebrating Rashmi’s victory and her efforts to endure her pain, it is as real as it gets and the actress doesn’t lose when it comes to making our roots for her character. Her makeup could have been more believable than showing her some more shade.
There are many character actors here who each perform their roles perfectly. Priyanshu Painuli is adored as a supportive husband, who stands by the love of her life when adversity is firmly against her. Abhishek Banerjee did well as a slightly stupid but determined advocate of Rashmi. Supriya Pilgaonkar is credible as the judge and Mantra has been well selected as the tough coach of Rashmi’s team.
Amit Trivedi’s music and Kausar Munir’s songs go from inspirational to emotional, but the background score of the courtroom scene sounds a bit out of place. The scale of the film, though not very large, does justice to the demands of the screenplay. All the important racetrack scenes, depicting the stadium filled with jubilant crowds in long shots, came alive with excitement.
With a powerful performance the ‘Ray Rocket’ ignites fire in all cylinders and informs, entertains and educates its listeners about an ancient practice that should lag far behind in the competition against discrimination and prejudice.