BENGALURU: It was a regular working day for actor Rajeev Ravindranathan, who also juggles a career as an advertising professional when the winners of 69th National Awards were announced. The actor played the role of Param, a scientist, in Rocketry: The Nambi Effect, which won the Best Feature Film.
“At work, I was following the results. All of us, including Maddy (R Madhavan), had our fingers crossed about picking up some awards,” says Ravindranathan.
To be honest, he says he had lost any sort of hope of winning. “It was the very last announcement to be made just as I was thinking, ‘Gosh! We missed it this time too.’ I didn’t even think there was a Best Feature Film category. I had forgotten that there was an overall category for all languages,” recalls Ravindranathan, who was also part of 3 Idiots (2009) which had also won a National Award.
Rocketry is based on ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan, who was accused of espionage. Ravindranathan feels the film and award are a deserving tribute to the scientist. “The awards were announced a day after the success of Chandrayaan-3, which was powered by the Vikas engine. Narayanan was one of the main persons to be involved in the engine’s development. So it’s a happy coincidence,” he says.
Recalling his conversations with Madhavan, who wrote, produced and directed the movie, Ravindranathan says, “It just takes me back to when I read the script. I told Maddy I don’t know why I didn’t know Nambi previously. Growing up, the information I consumed kept me away from what this man had done. The film was trying to set things right by narrating the story of Nambi. I wanted to be a part of the film in any capacity.”
Since Madhavan is out of the country for a shoot, there was a virtual meeting for the movie’s core team. However, their plan is to meet in person soon. “For now, I watched the English version of the movie with my family which is out on Apple TV. We made three versions of the movie in Hindi, English and Tamil. Not dubbed, but shot simultaneously. I am just catching up on that,” he concludes.