Rock On!! – Movie review
This is one of the most pleasant movies I have seen this year. Even though Rock On!! (directed by Abhishek Kapoor) is almost three hours long, I didn’t get bored at all. But I guess it helps if one is a rock music fan like I am. Music is what this movie is about.
The story (no spoilers)
The story is about the music band, Magic. And it’s about four guys who create some inspiring music and have dreams of making it big. But that is the past. The story takes place when these guys are in their thirties and the movie traces their relationship (and life) over the previous decade. We see them change as their life changes…from a free-spirited student existence to a life where earning a living and supporting their families becomes all-important…
Aditya (played by Farhan Akhtar) is the worldly wise one, willing to make compromises to become successful, even when it comes to his music. Joe (played by Arjun Rampal) is the idealistic one, unable to come to terms with the idea of changing his music to suit anyone else. Rob (Luke Kenny) is obsessed with their band Magic and KD (Purab Kohli) is the least serious of them all, and manages to ease tensions between the four.
This movie is essentially about two things…about relationships and about music. It shows us the strong bond that music creates between the four. Music is what brings them together and it is what almost breaks them apart.
There are two significant women characters – Sakshi, Aditya’s wife (Prachi Desai) and Debbie, Arjun’s wife (Shahana Goswami). Both are shown to be strong characters. It is interesting to see how one woman manages to play the catalyst in the relationship between the four friends even though she is a new entrant into their lives. And the other almost tears them apart even though she is the one who has been with the band ever since they began.
Characters and actors
I thought Farhan Akhtar as Aditya was great in the movie, and this is the first time I have seen the lead actor belt out his own numbers. I could see the veins in his neck literally stand out, it is so obvious that he is the singer! I think it makes a big difference to the songs. In a music movie like this one, it can be critical. I loved his voice, and his acting. Arjun Rampal as Joe looks perfect for his role and acted well too. However I felt that all these guys look too old in the flashback scenes where they were supposed to be in their early twenties.
Shahana’s performance is wonderful.
About the music (by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy)
It was a little odd to hear Hindi lyrics set to rock music, even though there is such a thing as Hindi rock today. Indi-rock however is not mainstream. The way the movie was shown I thought that they weren’t really talking about Hindi rock, but English rock. All the four friends are shown to be very westernized, in their dress, their attitude and their look. The Hindi lyrics are interspersed with a lot of English and I guess it was necessary to set the tunes to Hindi lyrics or the mass Indian audience will not be able to relate to it. In fact I wonder if they will be able to relate to rock music at all, something people of my generation grew up listening. There was no Indi-pop or Indi-rock during our time (it came with the advent of MTV) – just film music. For us bands like Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC were the gods of rock.
I do hope this movie is an inspiration to Indi-rock bands and I hope it brings about some popularisation of this genre of music in India.
I loved this movie and perhaps it is because I could identify with it instantly. For two reasons. The story is about going back into the past and reminiscing with old friends, it’s about bringing the magic back into one’s life, and it’s also about rock music. The movie tells us all something, that life is not worth living if it’s just about making money. Life has to be about passion.
(Photo taken by me of a hoarding near Juhu)
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