Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal had this to say about Rock On Movie “It is a new age emotional film which has the youth as the target audience but has universal emotions which everyone can relate to”. He is bang on target. Rock on is a rocking movie, a flick that can attain cult status which Dil Chahta Hai has achieved since many years. It is a welcome sight to see two good movies(whatever be the box office status): Mumbai Meri Jaan and Rock On!! in quick successions.
The screenplay and treatment of Rock On is similar to Dil Chahta Hai(will have a post about the similarities between the two flicks shortly). The story zooms between the past and present quite like Dil Chahta Hai, about how four friends were one part of an energetic, enterprising rock group Magic, and how the band split due to a bitter experience. The four, Aditya Shroff (Farhan Akhtar), Joe Mascarenhas (Arjun Rampal), Rob Nancy (Luke Kenny), and Killer Drumer(Purab Kohli) are now in their respective fields, not too happy with whatever they are doing.
Farhan Akhtar is an investment banker, Purab is in his father’s jewelry business, Luke Kenny playing keyboard for Anu Malik(yes.. Anu Malik in a cameo sportingly saying that Luke plays ‘original’ music) and Arjun Ramphal is broke, looking for jobs where he could strum his ol’ guitar. His wife Debbie who used to do costumes for the group is not taking care of their fish business.
Aditya’ wife in the movie Sakshi(played by Prachi Desai) feels that her husband is not happy within and there is something amiss in his life. She comes across some photographs and a video in which she sees Farhan and his friends chilling out and practicing rock music. She confronts her now workaholic husband about why he is running away from his real happiness. Coincidentally, Prachi also meets Purab Kohli and comes to know more about the rocking past they had as they spend hours playing music till the wee hours . Prachi arranges for Purab and Luke Kenny to come at Farhan’s birthday party, but seeing that her husband is not exactly happy on seeing old buddies, gives up hope. Prachi leaves home to meet her mother, and Farhan experiences a sense of loss. He meets up with his friends. The four meet, old memories get refreshed and they decide to rock on again. All the four take time to create MAGIK once again; Magik incidentally was the name of their group. We cannot reveal more but the fact is it is not easy for them to be perform once again on stage again, because the priorities and circumstances of each of the four members of the rock group has changed; with pressures and tensions of different sorts. Still they see to it that they give up a terrific rock performance and create history for one last time.
Full marks to Abhishek Kapoor for coming up with India’s first true blue film on rock music. There have been movies of four-five people bonding together to make a band, like Tere Liye and Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhie in the past, but they were cradles that would rock enough to put you to sleep. But Abhishek Kapoor has come up with superlative stuff in Rock On. He seems to have his mind and heart, at the right place while making the film. He will definitely give competition to Abbas Tyrewala, who directed Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na at the awards next year.
The script does not have the depth of Dil Chahta Hai, but the story is well told. The dialogues are zingy and realistic. The screenplay of the movie makes Rock On quite interesting as the movie swings interestingly between past and present. The music of Shankar Ehsaan Loy is very catch and elevates Rock On to a whole new high.
The movie literally looks like a rock concert when it breaks into music. The choreographer deserves full marks and so does the music. You could actually sense the audience clapping along with the tempo of the rock music. Tumhari Meri Baatein, Sindbad The Sailor, Rock On(title song) , Tum Ho Toh and Pichle Saath Dino Mein are excellently picturized. Superior stuff!
Best scenes of Rock On:
1. The rockification of the Aashiqui number
2. The rock show sequences of Rock On
Minus points of Rock On:
1. The relatively slow pace in the beginning (we can forgive that)
2. The break up between Farhan Akhtar and his girlfriend is not convincing enough(we cannot forgive this)
Best performances of Rock On:
All the four, Farhan Akhtar, Luke Kenny, Purab Kohli and Arjun Ramphal have almost equal roles. Farhan has acted like a veteran though he has just debuted in Rock On. But since he is such a good student of cinema, Farhan has proved his mettle in all the three roles of Rock On: as an actor, as a director and as a singer. Farhan Akhtar looks very convincing as a rock vocalist while Arjun Rampal is apt as a guitarist. Arjun has given his finest and most probably his most popular performance in Rock On; he is so apt that no one else could have fitted the role, though Saif Ali Khan was offered his role in the movie which he had declined. Arjun may be nominated for the awards next year. Luke Kenny is interesting and Purab Kohli is quite convincing. Another debutante, Prachi Kohli underplays herself but looks as pretty as a picture in the film. Sahani Goswami suits and plays her part exceedingly well.