Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year


Employing a recognizably Bollywood aesthetic (punchy colors, rhetorical camera flourishes, wall-to-wall soundtrack) but eschewing the dance numbers and (largely) comic bits that often enliven the less inspired entries from India’s national film industry, Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year is a flat morality play that attempts to take the pulse of the country’s business world. Alternating a knowing cynicism with a strained hopefulness, Rocket Singh is mostly just a dreary sludge of a film, its plot elongated to fit the expected running time (two and a half hours), but without any interest-sustaining tangents. The film takes an ungodly amount of time getting started, devoting a full hour to situate Harpreet Singh Bedi in his shit first job, a sales gig for a computer company in which corruption is endemic and co-workers delight in each other’s humiliation. Things pick up when our hero launches a competing business under his bosses’ noses, substituting fair dealings for tainted trade—and the film swaps its miserablist tone for a few punchy montages—but in the end, it’s all just an extended lead up to the easy-to-digest moral that honest business means good business.

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