Rocket Boys Review: Jim Sarbh and Ishwak Singh bring alive Homi Bhabha & Vikram Sarabhai to retell the extraordinary lost moments of history

Web Show: Rocket Boys

Cast: Jim Sarbh, Ishwak Singh, Regina Cassandra, Rajit Kapur, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Saba Azad, Arjun Radhakrishnan, Namit Das

Director: Abhay Pannu


Episodes: 8

Release Date: February 4, 2022

Rating: 3.5 Moons

As students, we all must have read books and chapters on Dr Homi J Bhabha and Dr Vikram Sarabhai. Known as the Father of the Indian nuclear program and the Father of the Indian Space Program, the two men changed the course of the country with their scientific revolutions. But, their journey to dreams and goals was not easy. Mapping their success journey, Abhay Pannu directed an eight-episode series titled Rocket Boys and paid an ode to the extraordinary men who inspired generations. 

Rocket Boys, created by Nikkhil Advani, Roy Kapur Films, and Emmay Entertainment, and produced by Siddharth Roy Kapur, Monisha Advani, Madhu Bhojwani, and Nikkhil Advani, is about Homi Bhabha (Jim Sarbh), a young, passionate and goal-driven Parsi lad, who comes from an affluent family. Due to World War II, he returned to India and decided to stay back as circumstances didn't permit him to travel back. 

During his tenure at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, Bhabha met Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai, a Cambridge student. Vikram, due to the war, had to return to India and decides to meet C. V. Raman, the Director of IISc. From hereon, Bhabha and Sarabhai's association begins. Inside the Cosmic Ray Research Unit set up by Bhabha, they see dreams of an independent and indigenous India. Under the British Raj, Bhabha and Sarabhai's only goal is to work towards making India self-sufficient, scientifically. As their journey progresses, one gets to see how they helped each other in their personal lives, hitting the rock bottom together and individually and picking shattered pieces to achieve all the targets that they dreamt of.

Rocket Boys is a simple, straightforward and no-nonsense story about how two ordinary men became India's extraordinary figures. While books are written on Bhabha and Sarabhai, it is a different and enriching experience in watching the story unfold, gradually, on the screen. That's where is true victory lies. As we witness the lost moments of history, the events, subconsciously stay back with us, making us believe that if they can achieve their goals despite obstacles, we can too. Right from the first frame, Abhay transports us to a completely different era. Be it the production design, sound, colour grading, special effects or the look of all the characters, the team of the web series get close to reality. The politics that happened behind closed doors, personal rivalries, religious rivalries, ideology clashes and greed are highlighted too. 

Leading the show are Jim and Ishwak. As the opulent Parsi genius with a great sense of humour, Jim transforms into Bhabha. His goals are set and there can be no one who can deter his spirit and goals. While working on scientific trials, all he can think about is the freedom of India from the custody of the British. Jim lives and breathes throughout the series as Bhabha and his brilliance is reflected in every single frame. Matching up to Jim's brilliance is Ishwak who plays the 'Amdavadi' Vikram Sarabhai. If Bhabha is fire, Sarabhai is ice. In such conditions, explosions are bound to happen but for the benefit of India. Ishwak breathes life into the role with uncanny ease. With his own set of beliefs, he steps out to conquer the world with hard work and kindness. Jim and Ishwak's scenes together work wonders and leave a lasting impression on the audience. Though Bhabha and Sarabhai come from different schools of thought, what binds them together is their love for India. 

Regina Cassandra as Vikram Sarabhai's wife Mrinalini gets a strong role to play. In a male-dominant society where women were expected to take care of their families over making a career, Mrinalini breaks shackles, steps out to establish her own identity by setting up her own Bharatnatyam dance academy. A symbol of empowerment, Regina shines as the strong-headed and independent Mrinalini. Arjun Radhakrishnan manages to draw the limelight towards himself with his spellbinding performance as APJ Abdul Kalam. His body language, accent and earnest act will surely put a smile on your face. He is truly a scene-stealer. Saba Azad as Parwana Irani is lovely to watch. Dibyendu Bhattacharya puts up a lovely act as Mehdi Raza. 

Rocket Boys, immortalising Bhabha and Sarabhai, is an experience that is different from the shows we get to watch these days. It is a story that inspires, motivates, and gives you the much-needed hope to survive tough times like these men did. Rocket Boys is an unmissable watch. gives 3.5 Moons to Rocket Boys