Success for Taapsee Pannu means that people believe in her films, are invested in them. “I shouldn’t be so irrelevant that nobody bothers with what I say or do,” she insists. Taapsee, who is ready for release Rashmi Rocket, adds that everything she does “should be worth the audience’s time and attention.”
Taapsee has carved a niche in cinema over time and is known for high content, issue driven cinema. He feels that going back to typical commercial cinema might be a bit difficult for him. “If I do films that do not revolve around an issue, some people will raise an eyebrow. Now you see my position, if my film raises an issue, a section claims that I only do ‘Mudda’ films, and even if there is none, that is a problem. That’s why I am stuck in a situation where ‘Na Chitta Meri, Na Patta Meri’. I have understood that I cannot please everyone with my choices. Instead, I want to please myself and build a filmography where I can look back and feel proud.” indianexpress.com.
In Rashmi Rocket, Taapsee plays a sprinter who is banned from the sport due to high testosterone levels after being forced to take a gender test. She challenges the Athletics Federation of India and takes the legal route to regain her lost honor and recognition.
Taapsee was shooting for Game Over (2019) when Rashmi Rocket came to her. “I was shocked that, despite personally loving sports, I was clueless about gender testing. I did Google Searched and found that this actually happens. So many female athletes get banned and endanger their lives in so many ways. There is a lot of social shaming. I realized that this is a story that has not been told in the mainstream and I knew it would hit hard. “
After the trailer was released, many said that Rashmi Rocket reminded them of the real story of Dutee Chand in 2014. In fact, the film is also set in the same year. However, Taapsee says that it is not a biopic. She shared that they intentionally didn’t make it about one person’s journey. “We gathered a lot of incidents and put them together in one story. I stayed away from going in full context of one person. I saw interviews of different athletes from across the world. Rashmi Veera is an amalgamation of all these female athletes, Those who have gone through it. It was very important to be validated with scientific facts and not emotionally,” she said.
Taapsee worked with director Akarsh Khurana and actors Priyanshu Painyuli and Abhishek Banerjee for the first time in Rashmi Rocket. Although she laughed at the irony of directing a film in which fitness was an integral part, she said that because it wasn’t just a sports film, but a human story, that was the best bet.
“The game is just in the background. We needed someone who could tell a strong story with heart and soul instead of making it appear larger than life. Clapping and whistling becomes a part of it,” Taapsee said. She said that she was also with Priyanshu for the first time, although she had heard a lot of good things about her work from Akarsh and Anurag Kashyap. “Abhishek had the urge to give it his best, as he was doing such a role for the first time. My lure is to collaborate with good actors as my acting improves around them. “
Taapsee undergoes rigorous training to get an athletic body and muscles. Race and track sequences are also among the high points of the film. “Every muscle I ran!” he said with a laugh.
Further calling it one of the rare films that easily “has the potential to be a fully fledged commercial film along with an issue at heart,” Taapsee said that it was heartbreaking when the makers decided to cast Rashami Rocket. Decided to go for an OTT release. “You can enjoy the song and dance, the grandeur, that adrenaline pump of the race, but you’ll also cry at the end of it. Rarely do you find a script with so much range.”
She said, “All the female-oriented films I have done so far are about a girl who is a Dalit girl and then she becomes the hero of her life. Here, Rashmi is the hero from the first frame. For me She was a heroic big screen character,” she said.
However, a few days before the release of its trailer, Taapsee came under criticism for appearing “masculine” in a still from the film, with trolls calling her “not good enough for a woman”. But Taapsee claims that she took everything in her stride, as it was her conspiracy Rashmi Rocket.
“Those trolls gave me promotional strategy in a plate. He had no idea what had hurt him. It was like you struck gold, I was jumping with excitement seeing that reaction on my picture. Then when the trailer came, I reacted that if you throw lemon at me, I will make lemonade out of it,” she said.
Taapsee gets into controversies every now and then, including the IT raids against her a few months back. The actor smiled and said, “They are like speed-breakers, and my vehicle is not so weak that it falls so easily. And if we don’t have such things then life will get very boring (laughs).
“Obviously when such a problem comes, it is not just IT raids, but whenever such a problem comes, he feels himself a little trapped. It will either break you or make you a better person. I would rather be a stronger person. That’s the only constant and that’s fine. I have no complaints about these constraints. I just want my audience to trust me,” she concluded.