ZEE5 Original film Rashmi Rocket aptly summarizes the struggles of women athletes across the globe

Photo: Zee5

Rashmi Rocket highlights one of the most heinous practices several women athletes have been subjected to previously

A study conducted by ESPNW revealed that 68% of female athletes felt pressurized to be pretty and 30% have the fear of being “too muscular”. While often good looks are equated to excellence and caliber of an individual, several female athletes encounter an unrealistic battle between beauty and success in sports. Not just that, female athletes at times must undergo several unjust tests and heaps of mental pressure, just to be in the sport. Notable international sports personalities across nationalities – Caster Semenya, Simon Biles, Elena Shklyar, Dutee Chand and several others, stand testimony to the same.

South African athlete, Caster Semenya, winner of two Olympic Gold Medals and three World Championships, is one of many women around the world targeted by regulations that require women with naturally higher-than-typical levels of testosterone to submit to so-called sex testing and undergo unnecessary medical interventions to reduce hormone levels in order to keep competing. Indian professional sprinter and current national champion in women’s 100 meters event, Dutee Chand was dropped from an international competition back in 2014 due to similar reasons.

American volleyball player, Elena Shklyar suffered from body image issues in her career. The young athlete was expected to not have any cellulite on her legs for that might act as a setback for the coaches during selection. Four-time Olympic champion and one of the most famous figures in world sports today, Simone Biles shocked the world with her withdrawal from the major events of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, citing mental health concerns post medical evaluations. Considered one of the greatest gymnasts of all time, Biles has struggled with discrimination based on body image and is a survivor of  sexual abuse.

From being shunned away for voicing the unjust practices, to facing discrimination in some form, female athletes across the world have miles to go before they can step onto the track. Several United Nations bodies have condemned such harmful, non-consensual medical procedures as a violation of human rights under coercive circumstances.

While media debates around women’s biological characteristics, highlighting and exemplifying public misconceptions and stigmas, new-age cinema with genre defying content and powerful narratives harbor immense potential to roll out the dice in favor of the female athletes and spread awareness far and wide in an enticing format.

One such narrative is that of Rashmi Rocket, a ZEE5 Original sports drama, starring Bollywood actor Taapsee Pannu in the lead role. While being a fictional story, the film not only addresses these issues but also aims at liberating women athletes from the shackles of stigma-induced shame and initiate long due conversations. The film is a window into the harsh realities that women have to face in the world of athletics and narrates an inspiring story of a young, gifted athlete, who steps into a competition which eventually turns into a personal battle where she strives to safeguard her very identity, honor, and respect.

Ever since its release on 15th October, the highly anticipated film, Rashmi Rocket has been receiving amazing reviews. The film has garnered a 4 star review from renowned publications like The Times of India, NDTV, ABP and many more.

ZEE5 Original Rashmi Rocket is now streaming on ZEE5 Global



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