Sunday, November 13, 2011

Rockstar - Movie Review

Watched 'Rockstar' at the Cinemax theatre today. The movie is about Janardhan Jakhar (Ranbir Kapoor) from Pithampura in Delhi who loves music and goes to any extremes to play music. He has an idol in Jim Morrison though I don't see him listening to any Doors kind of stuff. JJ does not get too much support for his music but gets a lot of unnecessary advise including one that gets his attention - you need to have experienced pain to become a great singer. JJ does a backcheck on his life, realises that there has been no pain and goes in search of pain. He finds the heartbreaker of the college Heer Kaul (Nargis Fakhri) and throws himself at her so she can reject him.

Good so far. But then he stops the quest for heartbreak, nor does he fall in love with her. He is happy behaving like she does not affect him at all and they seem to share a relationship like two guy friends who hit it off well! They get to be good pals and then she gets married and goes off to Prague. JJ becomes a rising star in the music scene, goes to Prague for a music concert, meets, adds to his pain and makes fine music and so on.

Its certainly different form most Hindi movies. Ranbir Kapoor is fantastic as he lives and breathes the role of the tormented JJ. He remains true to his character doggedly and carries the film on his shoulders pretty much. Nargis makes a fine debut and steps into the mould of the Katrina kind of ethereal beauty. All else fade in the background. His love for her is very convincing but I could not get a grip on her character really. Is she a heartbreaker or a naive young lady looking for Prince Charming in small town JJ whom she can control?

I would have loved a little tightening of the screenplay to fill in some gaps that I felt were left unaddressed. Is JJ for music or for the love of the girl finally? Where does the pain begin for him really because he acts so naive all through to the end about all matters concerning love? Is he a superstar or a Casanova or not because he is cancelling more shows than doing them, sending more women away than getting them and getting beaten up by cops? Does he want the pain or the music finally? What is her husband about and her family? More than anything, why does he have Jim Morrison as his idol when he does not appear to be the rock music listening types? And all the Prague and back and forth in the movie in time kind of left me dazed about what is now and what is in the past.

But where 'Rockstar' succeeds is in capturing the torment and pain that the young JJ undergoes as he tries to come to grips with music, love, fame, money. He is seized by something much bigger than what he bargains for and seems set to be consumed by it as Morrison was. In my story JJ would have perished, alcohol, drugs, and any kind of pain that he fights with, that is on par with the pain of separation. He is the gambler who gambles for the love of music and he finds the stakes too big - both music and love are much bigger than he can control. It would have been the other way around in the end. But I liked the premise of pain and his search for it - it is a subtle theme and difficult to control when one is balancing a lot. But all in all I think Imtiaz Ali does a decent job of it. Worth a watch certainly because it is like no other you'd have seen. And the music is good and cinematography is a visual treat.

1 comment:

Anand Kumar said...

We must congratulate Rockstar team for excellent handling of press and media. All the reviews which I have seen have given 4 stars for this superlatively mediocre movie.
Some real reasons why Rockstar doesnt work.
1) Too long and predictable
2) Illogical back and forth flashbacks and flashforwards and events
3) Absolutely stale story. Imtiaz needs a break
4) Rockstar as a culture is hard to connect. We, indians have habit to make gods out of celebrities. Wont be comfortable with celebrity showing middle finger to masses
5) No matter how good Ranbir acts, his personality doesnt suit the rockstar image. He tries hard but simply speaking his looks and body language is bit too a 'softy' kind
6) New gal is terrible. Dont knw why bollywood is so obssesed with someone from west. Even Ekta Kapoor TV serial actor would do a better justice to her role. When she speaks on the screen....we all YAWN big time
7) Had high hopes from Imtiaz but now started beliveing that he peaked during 'jab we met' and will survive in the industry for 25 years because of one super sucess.
Some highpoints of the movie:
1) AR Rahman.....Sir, u rock. What a background score. Reminds of Roja when camera takes a long shot of snow ladden trees in kashmir and czec republic. And Faya Kun is so soothing..Dunno how u manage to deliver winners one after other..keep it up sir
2) Mohit success so late but gems glitter no matter what. For some it takes few more years than the rest.