Rockstar - A review

Monday, November 14, 2011

Watching the overstretched love saga unfold in three hours confirms one thing - Rockstar is literally Imtiaz Ali’s “labour of love” that everyone will not enjoy. Creative film-makers who want to make money spinners walk a tight rope. On one side is their creative thirst that they have to satify and on the other there are market compulsions that need to be addressed. After watching Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar, I believe the product became a victim of walking on this tight rope. The marketing hype gave a wrong impression of what the film was about.

To begin with, Rockstar is not a story of a rock star and the characteristics associated with it (like drug overdose, booze, babes and stuff like that). It’s a love story that’s not new. Neither does it offer anything that could give it cult status. If you have watched all of Imtiaz’s earlier films, here too you will see the commonality – “they love, they separate, they meet again and then they unite..forever!” The only difference is that the “forever” in Rockstar transcends physical boundaries.

Ranbir has delivered a credible performance. His histrionics as Janardan Jakhar and later as Jordan are worthy to watch but I sensed a problem with the character. If the director’s intent was to show Jordan as a rebel like Jim Morrison, the attempt failed miserably. In fact Jordan, the rockstar, was tamer than Janardan Jakhar, the no one. Janardan had the guts to go and propose to the most beautiful girl on campus in a snug fit jeans and desi hair cut but the rockstar Jordan could do nothing to make his girl leave her husband and come with him. Jordan was tame and blew his top only in front of the press and no one else (if you discount one contract burning scene).  There is a middle finger act inside a court’s premises but I wasn’t convinced watching Jordan do it. This was not because Ranbir couldn’t carry it off but because the character of Jordan wasn’t sketched that way.

Nargis Fakhri is beautiful and has a pout but I don’t know why she spoils it all with a stooped posture? All the foreign imports have a problem speaking the alien language Hindi and Nargis is no different. She struggles with her dialogues and ends up killing it most of the times. Coming to the other important question of whether she is better, worse or at par with Katrina, I must say with a bias that Katrina is better looking than Nargis. Acting wise, for her first film, she is better than Katrina in her 5th film. Nargis will possibly catch up with her in the days to come if she gets a few lucky breaks.

The rest of the cast (which is like minimal) – Piyush Mishra, Aditi Rao and Kumud Mishra is okay. Nothing or no one that stands out.

The film looks abrupt at places. I don’t know whether it was an effect that Imtiaz wanted to create or was it unintentional. I say I am doubtful because I think Imtiaz Ali is intelligent enough to not allow that to happen. The film was a bit too long and the story moved at a snail’s pace and I think there was a reason behind it. There is a place in the film where Kumud Mishra or Khatana Bhai tells Jordan that music comes from within when you feel the pain of heartbreak in love (shiddat honi chahiye mohabbat mein). Imtiaz set out to bring out that “shiddat” on screen and I must say that he was successful in doing that. When the end credits rolled, I could empathize with Jordan’s pain and the emptiness around despite the world cheering for him. The side effect was that it stretched the film a bit too much for the liking of people who went there to get entertained. Despite an entertaining first half, Rockstar falls way behind Imtiaz’s earlier films - Jab We Met and Love Aaj Kal on the entertainment quotient.

The music of the film is good. Sadda Haq has been well accepted by the youth today and looks set to become a youth anthem in the days to come. The other tracks are very well interwoven in the story. However, the music which is of rock genre and is youth centric may not appeal universally. This does not take away anything from the music that A.R.Rehman has composed. Mohit Chauhan’s voice suits Ranbir to the T.

If you are prepared to watch an the same old love story of “boy loving girl and the girl dying” retold with good music and good acting and are an Imtiaz Ali fan, the film is worth a watch. I give three stars out of five - one for the music, one for Ranbir and the third because I am an Imtiaz Ali fan!


Anand Kumar said...

most of the movies are prdctble....
this is an epic love story. the way the story unfolds was awsum.but ppl dnt say its a waste of money and time.this is a very good movie.miss it at ur own risk

PunkSoul said...

Kaash Imitiaz Ali Dilli mein bitaiye huey Chand saalon se Upar soch sakein. Its not a skeptical thought but rather a deep contemplation on how all the Imtiaz Movies relate to each other.

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