Sunday, November 13, 2011

Movie Review: 'Rockstar' - It's Ranbir, Rahman All the Way

If you are looking for realism, better go somewhere else. 'Rockstar' tries to be real, but doesn't quite succeed. In the course of those few hours in the theatre, you get to witness the rising of a wannabe college bloke to a mega international rockstar, and believe me, the journey will have you scratching your head over how it all happened.

The rockstar's life is chaotic, to say the least, and the same could be said of the movie as well. In fact, it is more of a troubled love story with the rockstar part of it as a filler to keep the movie going forward. Or rather, backward-forward, backward-forward.


In a nutshell, it is the story of a boy-next-door Janardhan Jhakar (Ranbir Kapoor) who wants to become an international rockstar ala Jim Morrison. He is told that an artiste finds his real self only when he experiences pain and tragedy, and Janardhan lands at the feet of Heer (Nargis Fakhri), described as the 'dil todne ki (heart-breaking) machine' of the college. After a jarring bit of comedy and a screaming-at-the-top-of-her-voice Heer, the two strike a chord. You wonder how a girl who is known to have been with many guys before suddenly opens up to our simple lad, to show a side of herself 'never known before'. You just sigh to yourself and go on.

Heer marries off and goes to Prague, while Janardhan, who is by now Jordon, suffers all kinds of tragedies and ends up travelling to Europe and becoming a rockstar with a single performance in, guess where - Prague. What follows is a stormy love story, interspersed with rock concerts, stints in jail, screaming teens running after Jordon and media hounds thrusting their mikes into his face.

The kind of relationship the two share, you can't help but be reminded of Heathcliff and Catherine of Wuthering Heights. They are not childhood friends nor is the story the same, but the chemistry is similar. Heer's illness, Jordon's agony, his attempts at meeting her, all are reminiscent of the love that transcends ordinary limits that Catherine and Heathcliff depict so well.

Nevertheless, the movie fails in that it doesn't really touch you. You will not find yourself pitying either Heer or Jordon. Your heart will not weep for them, nor will you rejoice in their joy. The movie goes on and on, and the ending stretches for forever. And then it suddenly ends.


The cinematography is superb, and deserves full marks. Kashmir to Europe the scenery is captured beautifully, and the songs too are picturised well. The real winner, however, is A R Rahman. His music keeps you awake and alive, and there are times when you just want to get up and dance along. The second half is more about the music than the first, and more engaging as well. The screen play could have been better, as the story moves back and forth in a chaotic manner. One instant he is performing at a concert, next moment he's being roughed by police, and then you see him romancing Heer, all repeatedly and in no particular order.


Watch the movie for Ranbir Kapoor. That's the best reason to watch it, if not the only one. He is amazing in his roles, be it the wannabe buffoon or the angry rockstar, but personally, I felt the rockstar image does not go well with Ranbir, who is best when he's lovable and giggly. At times you tend to even mistake him for Arjun Rampal.

Nargis Fakhri looks breathtaking, but that's about it. Her acting skills need some fine-tuning, and in those scenes where she's supposed to be angry, all you get are expressionless screams.

Shammi Kapoor's cameo is the only thing that really touches you, and needless to say, the scenes he appears in make you want to watch him on and on.

Piyush Mishra as music agent Dhingra stands out with his perfect comic timing. He has you laughing heartily, especially in the 'maalish' scene.


The movie is, at best, a one-time watch. Director Imtiaz Ali doesn't quite hit it off, and you can't help but wish for a flow and rhythm that his 'Jab We Met' had.

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