Rocketry: The Nambi Effect Review – R Madhavan shines in this story of an unsung hero, Nambi Narayanan | Rocketry: The Nambi Effect Movie Review – It’s not rocket science to say that R Madhavan’s movie is the best


The film Rocketry is based on the life of former Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) scientist and space engineer Nambi Narayanan. The story moves in a flashback where Nambi Narayanan tells his story to superstar Shah Rukh Khan during a channel interview. Without hesitation, the director shows us that in 1969, Narayanan won a NASA scholarship and went to Princeton University. There he completed his graduate work in liquid propellant rocket technology under Professor Luigi Crocco in a record ten months. Although he was offered a job at NASA, Narayanan returned to India as he wanted to advance his country to the best of his ability. At ISRO, he worked closely with Vikram Sarabhai, Satish Dhawan and APJ Abdul Kalam. In 1970, Nambi pioneered liquid-propellant rocket technology that ISRO used for many of its rockets. He went from France to Russia to understand the techniques involved in rocketry and bring them to his country. But in 1994 he was falsely accused of espionage and sedition, sabotaging all his achievements.

a story of lost honor

He was accused of giving information related to the missile program to two Maldivian spies who sold it to Pakistan. He was then arrested by the Kerala Police and tortured in jail for 50 days. Nambi and his family went through all the torture. In 1996, the CBI gave a clean chit to Nambi Narayanan in this case. Then in 1998, the Supreme Court also found him not guilty. In 2019, Nambi Narayanan was also awarded the prestigious Padma Bhushan Award by the Government of India. The film does not fail to show the ugly face of our system with the story of Nambi Narayanan.


R Madhavan makes his directorial debut with this film. But it won’t be wrong to say that Madhavan has been very honest with his debut film and Nambi Narayanan’s story. He has tried to cover every aspect of the scientist’s journey which has been quite exciting and challenging. Some scenes surprise you, some make you cry, while others make you feel guilty for being a mute spectator. However, the first half of the film uses a lot of technical terminology due to which the story loses a bit of traction. But the second half is very strong… and grips your emotions so tightly that your eyes water.


R Madhavan has lived the character of Nambi Narayanan wholeheartedly. From his make-up to dialogues and gestures, Madhavan has done a lot of work due to which he looks comfortable on screen. Madhavan maintains stoicism, dignity and sensitivity in his character. No doubt he gave 6 years to this movie. In a 10-12 minute cameo, Shah Rukh Khan, as always, charms with his confidence and emotions. Simran fully committed to her character as Meena Narayanan, Nambi Narayanan’s wife. Supporting actors Sam Mohan and Rajit Kapoor grab attention.

technical side

Not only the acting and direction but also R Madhavan has taken the responsibility of writing this movie. The dialogues of the movie are good especially in the second half, it keeps you hooked. But the repeated use of technical terms in the first hour is a bit confusing. Editing and VFX of the film are strong. The film was shot in 8 countries. Cameraman Sirsa Ray has captured the beauty of all countries along with rockets, engines and other equipment in his camera. The background score of the movie is given by Sam CS which is pretty awesome. Talking about the songs, they go along with the story which is a very good step taken by Madhavan.

see or not see

The truth and courage with which R. Madhavan has attempted to portray the story of scholar Nambi Narayanan on the big screen is to be commended. At the same time, this film makes one wonder if we give our scientists as much respect as they deserve! Rocketry is an important story that needs to be told and heard. Rocketry is a must watch to learn about Nambi Narayanan’s achievements and see R Madhavan’s stellar performance. 3.5 stars for the movie from Filmybeat.

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