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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Rockstar - A much-delayed review.

Pure cinematic brilliance.

Three words to sum up this movie for me. And I know I am months late. It's already been discarded as a waste by the masses and applauded by a few critics. I read somewhere that you'll leave the movie after having fallen in love with Mohit Chauhan's voice or in awe of Ranbir Kapoor's acting. For me both were just a start to what all stumped me about this motion picture.

It's a love story with the backdrop of someone associated with the music industry. But more than the music, it's his association with art or as we learn early on in the movie, pain; for one is synonymous with the other. It's so simply told that the sheer simplicity of it is intriguing and yet, there is the underthought of what goes on beneath. It runs so much deeper than the surface.

It's not just a very well written script topped with slight slapstick humour, it is also a gleaming example of good editing, fine photography and exemplary screenplay. Sure if you go in expecting the life story of a musician, you might be in for a surprise but for me it was a pleasant one. It's not a story of how he rises and falls with the much cliche drugs but how he reaches fame when he least yearns it and aches to give it all up just in exchange of the purest drug of them all - love. It's about his fanbase and media which can never understand him because he doesn't even understand himself. It's a quest for his search for what lies within, his pursuit to feel and how he seethes from within once he does begin to feel.

The aforementioned underthought is the society and it's perception - the rules, norms and regulations which bind us all in chains. Chains, we refuse to shed even as we "progress" for we're too scared of the instability that might follow if we dare to come to terms with real emotions. It ends, too soon, with one of my favourite quotes by Rumi, "Away... Beyond all concepts of wrong-doing and right-doing. There is a field. I'll meet you there."

Never before did I truly understand the depth of these words, never before did I yearn to break free as much and never before did I ache for the notes of the last song to last a little longer.. Just to be able to see a happy end. It left me wanting more, so much more, from the story and myself. To have to accept an abstract ending took a lot, but I guess herein lies the beauty of the movie - it doesn't show you any false dreams. It merely projects what Indian directors seem to have forgotten long back - an honest story with a real ending. No added dreams, no unrealistic hopes.

The only weak link of the movie was Nargis Fakhri, who is beautiful - yes, elegant - surely, but not much of an actress. Why they did not choose someone seasoned who could've done justice to the role beats me but I guess it gives you room to focus on the real hero of the movie - Ranbir Kapoor who single-handedly carried the movie forward with such ease and poise. It never registers that it's Rehman's music or Irshad Kamil's words. It all seems to be coming straight from the heart - his heart. His charisma adds charm even to Nargis and paves way for a chemistry which she kind of made difficult. His disinterest in everything but her, his passion for music which she fuels and his rigid, stubborn attitude when it comes to her; his inner resolve to refuse to let her go despite all his mental faculties and physical circumstances telling him otherwise. Ranbir has shown growth and potential which nobody thought possible.

As for the soundtrack, I reserved my comments for the last as it's the icing of the cake. Not 'on' it since it's not an addition but the very soul of the movie. Rehman has proved beyond a doubt that he's totally worth the Academy Award that he owns and continues to be the only musician from the Indian Film Industry to actually "know" music and create beats that linger long after the track's over. Kudos for one of his life's best albums.

Imtiaz Ali, it's glad to have you around. From the chirpy Geet that left an imprint on all of us through Jab We Met to Rockstar Janardan Jhakad (aka Jordon), you've shown range and degrees of an individual, the audience had forgotten to be possible. It's true, a director is the unsaluted hero of a movie. You, sir, have attempted at a masterpiece and even though it falls short, you need to be applauded for the effort.

Rockstar is definitely my pick for movie of the year. I feel sorry for you if you disagree. 


  1. It was an OK movie. The whole concept of "success and getting laid = being a rockstar" is getting boring, and isn't that realistic.

    Acting of ranbir was good. Nargis was okay-okay.. she seemed weird.. like on drugs.. she phased out when ranbir was talking.. it was like she was actually recalling her next dialogue for the sake of delivering it.

    Don't feel sorry for me for not agreeing with you completely, though you may feel sorry for me for watching coriolanus. =/

  2. How was it at all about success being equal to getting laid? It's anything BUT that is what I liked about the movie. She would've slept with him regardless of his rockstar status for by then she knew and realized her feelings for him.

    Nargis was bla, yes. Also, corio-whaaat?