Rocket Boys review: Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai's towering scientific careers come to life in a delightful series

    Rocket Boys review: Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai's towering scientific careers come to life in a delightful series

    4.5

    Rocket Boys

    Rocket Boys tells the inspiring tale of Indian scientists Homi J Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai who played an important role in laying the foundation of India's nuclear and space programs.

    Director :
    • Abhay Pannu
    Cast :
    • Jim Sarbh,
    • Ishwak Singh,
    • Rajit Kapoor,
    • Regina Cassandra,
    • Saba Azad,
    • Dibyendu Bhattacharya
    Genre :
    • Historical drama
    Language :
    • Hindi
    Platform :
    • Sony Liv
    Rocket Boys review: Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai's towering scientific careers come to life in a delightful series
    Updated : February 04, 2022 12:29 AM IST

    Sony Liv keeps up its knack for telling compelling stories through its select originals with Rocket Boys . The eight part web series based on the life of Dr. Homi J Bhabha and Dr. Vikram Sarabhai is a drama that has been subtly teased for long by the streamer and is not one you’d regret watching.

    Helmed by debut director Abhay Pannu who has previously been an assistant on films like Marjaavaan and Naam Shabana , Rocket Boys doesn’t waste any time in introducing us to the passionate and ambitious side of the two pioneering scientists of the Indian scientific community. Jim Sarbh plays a spirited Homi J Bhabha while Ishwak Singh takes on the role of Vikram Sarabhai.

    While hearing these names and the many achievements of these two scientists can leave you with assumptions of a series that would be full of scientific jargons and a rather nerdy affair, Rocket Boys takes a more intimate approach of introducing these two historic figures. At no point does this eight episode series get boring or heavy to watch.

    There’s friendship, love, patriotism and scientific discovery all packed together to make a show which paints a more personal picture of the Homi J Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai’s lives than what a Wikipedia page could ever give you. The two men often cross paths in their careers and form a deep friendship which makes for the most endearing and exiting parts of Rocket Boys.

    The show kicks off from Vikram Sarabhai’s days at the University of Cambridge and how the World War forces him to return to his country without completing his degree. While he harbours a dream of launching rocket in space one day, his hopes come to a standstill at home until he finds himself being mentored by Homi Bhabha at the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore. The duo form a friendship and there on are seen having each other’s back in all aspects of life despite their different views on politics and on atomic energy and its benefits to India’s progress.

    Apart from covering their friendship and the many milestones of their careers which often seem to take a backseat, Rocket Boys also sheds light on the romantic lives of the two scientists. Regina Cassandra plays Vikram Sarabhai’s wife Mrinalini while Saba Azad is Parvana Irani, who Homi Bhabha is shown to have a long relationship with.

    Rivalries, politics, and patriotism often take stage center stage in the series with many prominent names from history making an appearance like Nobel Prize winner C.V. Raman, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, J.R.D Tata, and A.P.J Abdul Kalam.

    Jim Sarbh is mesmerizing as Dr. Homi Bhabha looks effortlessly cool and confident while Ishwak Singh delivers an earnest act as the starry-eyed but idealistic Vikram Sarabhai. Regina Cassandra and Saba Azad’s performances are note-worthy apart from the two leading men while Dibyendu Bhattacharya plays Bhabha’s rival Raza Mehndi convincingly well. Rajit Kapoor , Arjun Radhakrishnan, Namit Das and K.C. Shankar pull off their supporting roles equally well making Rocket Boys score big on the performance meter.

    Jim Sarbh’s act makes you yearn to see him perform more often while Ishwak Singh brings the promise of many more trustworthy performances to come. The two actors are the stars of the series and share a chemistry that simply adds to the long list of attractions.

    Abhay Pannu particularly deserves a pat on his back for having put to together a series that makes science and scientific figures look fascinating. From recreating the independence era well to not getting jingoistic with patriotic sentiments that often come with Indian independence stories the director strikes the right notes with Rocket Boys.

    A complaint one might mostly have with some series could be their length, but the only complaint to have with this one is its rather hasty ending. Now, the series doesn’t dwell too much on the achievements of Bhabha and Sarabhai overall, after all the series is based at a point where they were still busy making history, but the final episodes seem to brush past the final few years in their journeys.

    Aside from the fact, Rocket Boys is a delightful drama that has it all that you could binge watch in one sitting and feel it was time well spent. Sarabhai’s space program initiation to Bhabha giving India its first nuclear reactor Rocket Boys has no dearth of thrilling moments but the beauty of the series lies in the fact that Pannu never tries to paint them as heroes or the perfect individuals but simply goes from event to event piecing together their story of success.