Pick this Flick(5) Special-Rock On  

Posted by Praveen in , , ,


"Live your dream"-so screamed the catch phrase of the movie 'Rock On'. And the movie did match every word of the title and the catch phrase. If you are expecting the usual bollywood masala fare, you'll be disappointed. If you are expecting 'dhak dhak' beats of the dholak or copied and remixed music, please stay away from this. Because here's a refreshing whiff of fresh air that is blowing and it has broken all stereotypes of a typical bollywood film. Agreed, there are shades of 'Dil chahta hai' lying somewhere underneath its musically fertile surface. But that doesn't rob this movie of any piece of accolade that it deserves. Its a musical as well as an emotional drama rolled into one.

Just a short synopsis of the movie(no spoilers). Directed and written by Abhishek Kapoor, 'Rock On' chronicles the life of four guys Aditya Shroff(Farhan Akhtar),Joe Mascrenhas(Arjun Rampal),KD(Purab Kohli) and Rob(Luke Kenny) who set out to form India's greatest rock band 'magik'. But somewhere down the line, they falter. Personal and creative differences are the culprits here also. They all go their separate ways leaving behind their rock dreams to gather dust. Now they've all settled into their mundane lives. 10 years down the line, Aditya's wife Sakshi(Prachi Desai) stumbles upon a bunch of photographs and other materials of the band in the attic. This, and a chance meeting with KD paves the way for a reunion of the band. See the rest for yourself.

What strikes you at first is the uber-cool look of the movie. The styling guys deserve a warm round of applause for giving such perfect looks to almost all the characters. coupled with the styling is the cinematography which is just mind-blowing. For a minute, I wondered whether am watching a bollywood movie. The movie kicks off with the 'Socha Hai' song, which the band is shown performing live at a roadside concert. The way the concerts are filmed is just flawless. Right from this first one to the climatic big arena performance, the concerts oozes intensity. The instrument playing by the actors at most of the times were believable. This is a far cry from the days when you had to see the hero strumming his guitar as if he's playing some chord, while you are hearing some high speed leads being played. The live versions of 'Pichle Saat Dino Mein' and 'sindbad' is sure to make you jump from your seat. 'Zehreelay', the heaviest of the tracks is also picturised in a pretty aggressive manner(though its not shown continously) and its one real headbanger track. Without this soundtrack, the movie wouldn't have felt half as good. Shankar-Ehsan-Loy has really lent soul to the movie. More on the music here.

This movie is not just about the music or the band. More than that, it carries a high emotional quotient. And that exactly is what makes it connect with non-rokcers too. The four of them are so different in character and music is the one thing that unites them. Vocalist Aditya comes off as a pretty serious guy who's prepared to compromise on the content of their album for the sake of getting a contract. On the contrary, guitarist Joe is a true musician who loves his craft and no lure of money can make him do any compromises. To ease the tension, there's the joker and drummer of the band KD who provides comic relief with his blunders. And then there's the level headed keyboardist Rob who lives for the band. Farhan Akhtar shines as Aditya especially in scenes where he's required to emote. Prachi Desai is a picture perfect wife whose life revolves around her busy husband who doesn't have time even for himself. Arjun Rampal and the girl playing his wife(donnow her name) towers above the rest in the acting department. Purab Kohli as KD has done a world of good to his resume with his comical performance. Luke Kenny, Channel [V] India's all in all, does a role that reflects his real life persona.

'Rock on' has so many comical as well as thought provoking scenes. My favourite scene is the 'wedding rock' scene, where the band plays rock versions of old wedding songs so as to raise money to buy new equipments. Their attire and the expressions on their face at this concert will tickle your ribs. Then, there's the meeting with the recording company executive who insists on a 'remixed wedding song' on their album. He says this is what sells and this is what the youth wants. Indeed, a thought provoking comment on the rut that has settled into today's film music, the main selling point of which are remixes. One other scene is the one showing the transformation in Aditya's character. He used to be so engrossed in work as an investment banker. But after the band reunites and starts practising, he's shown grooving to music at work and then switching off the computer monitors early and running to practise. The scenes of the music video shoot where the band is made to wear some fancy clothing and bear with an idotic producer are also great. The only one thing I didn't like in the movie is the guest appearance by one of the musicians I hate most, Anu Malik. The copymalik looked out of place in the movie. Maybe, he was put there to show how Rob's life's going through a bad phase as he's working as a keyboard player to one of the most boring and unoriginal musicians of bollywood.

Watching this movie was a nostalgic as well as an emotional experience. It reminded me of the great days which I had with my band back home. And now am missing it all the more. There were so many scenes that can see parallels in the life of most of the bands in India. The lack of support at home, the perception of rock music in soceity as not a worthy career option and above all the compromises that bands in India have to make for them to forge ahead are all shown vividly. And the biggest message of the movie-'Never compromise with your dreams, Just live it and leave all the rest aside.' Sometimes the movie may seem cliched. But, who cares as long as it makes you let your hair down and enjoy. All in all, this is a must-watch movie for all the rockers as well as non-rockers of India. With its 'alchemist' like message, full scale rock concerts and underlying emotional drama, 'rock on' is one helluva journey.

At the end of the movie, there was a message to all of us-"Please don't download the music. Buy original CDs." Am happy that I brought one on the 1st day of its release.



PS-I heard some respected(I don't know who respects them) bollywood reviewers trashing this movie as lacking depth and having too much masala. Please don't listen to those jugheads and miss this movie.

PPS-I dedicate this movie review to all my band members back home. Missing them very much after watching this movie. Hope somewhere down the line a reunion happens.

your crusader Praveen

This entry was posted on Monday, September 01, 2008 at Monday, September 01, 2008 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

6 comments

Now I just have to watch this!

9:25 PM

etta! my comment as a true critic - I doubt that rating at the end was required. It doesn't really suit the blog. I agree you loved the movie but, your blog has to say that not the rating at the bottom.

4:59 PM

Hum toh tehere Pardesi!!
rotfl... I was rotfl ing on the floor for that shaadi scene..
Awesome movie..

10:10 PM

my friends went for it..i missed it:((

11:57 PM

@hari..done:D...

@rockus..and dont 4get your review

@divs
whole theatre was in splits at that scene

@kartoos
go for it..dont miss it

2:13 AM

Saw it. Loved it. "Reviewed" it!

12:37 AM

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