The description on DVD cover reads as “ROCKET SINGH – Salesman of the Year is the sometimes thoughtless, sometimes thoughtful story of a fresh graduate trying to find a balance between the maddening demands of the ‘professional’ way, and the way of his heart – and stumbling upon a crazy way which turned his world upside down, and his career right side up.”
This is a dilemma every young man faces when he steps into a world outside college. These situations are shown by the director through the following examples.
- Center framing
The movie has 24 scenes where the protagonist is shown center framed. In fact, the first and last frame of the character is center frame. This is in line with his strong core Sikh values, his clarity of what he wants in life and his steadiness of thoughts even in turbulent situations.
The other characters have also been framed in the center, to show their dominance over the values of the protagonist.
The only place where the protagonist is not in center frame is when he is entering a new world, learning new tricks of the trade or where he is willing getting adapted to the new values that he is using to mark his presence.
Even in the montage song where the growth of Rocket Sales Corporation is shown, there are no center framing shots.
2. Importance of Sikhism
It is very important for the protagonist to have a strong value system. It is a very conscious decision about giving him an identity as a Sikh, as Sikhs are the most honest and daring community of India. It is this core values that do not let the protagonist deviate from what is right and also fight back for what wrong has been done to him.
Apart from the turban of the protagonist, there are visuals of Sikhism at various points, all throughout the movie, including the first and end scene.
3. Half dark face at mid-point of the story
The lighting at the mid-point of the film where the protagonist is shown as half in dark is used to show the transition of the character from his own values to accepting and following the path that life as given him.
4. Set designing of office and home
Observing closely, there is a distinct color palette that is used for both the worlds of the protagonists, i.e. his home and his office. His home is small but spacious with bright colors and soft tone. This is shown beautifully in the opening credits of the movie. The primary color is pink which gives a cozy homely feeling.
In contrast, the office environment color is blue, brown and dark grey. This is cold, dull and feels almost lifeless. This is sharply focused and seems harsh and cruel. The office environment is mismanaged and claustrophobic.
While the colors and lighting used in the office of Rocket Sales Corporation is bright and friendly.
5. Faces of different characters
It is also to be noted that the characters surrounding the protagonist in the office are very carefully chosen. They are the typical bullies of the class; whose primary aim is to have fun even at the cost of harming others.
These are the typical characters one encounters in an office.
6. Lateral camera movement
Throughout the movie, the movement of the character is from Left to right direction of the frame. As our reading habits in India are from Left to Right, the character movement from Left to right is soothing for our eye. Here every time the protagonist is venturing into a new area, where he feels he is right, is shown through his movement from left to right.
The only time this path is reversed is when he is entering National Chemical Company where he is asked to give bribe and after which his life changes drastically. Had this part not happened, he might not have thought of starting Rocket Sales Corporation.
7. Shot designing
There are few particular shots that establish the character venturing into a deep jungle of heartless people. This is symbolized by showing the protagonist walking in between huge concrete buildings. This shot also adds to the feeling of what the protagonist is feeling.
These are the elements used by Rocket Singh – Salesman of the year which, I feel, are responsible for conveying an emotion that was within the lines of script pages, through the visual medium onto an audience and thus making a worth watching cinema experience.
Film-maker and Researcher