Now that SRK’s latest has fizzled out, the stage is set for RK to come and flaunt his box office power. Ranbir Kapoor has a healthy success rate and he does boast of a good opening weekend pull for his movies. Added to RK’s star status, director, Imtiaz Ali also has followers after giving hits like Jab we met and Love Aaj Kal. So the stage is set for this Rockstar to impress, only to add in Rahman and we expect nothing short of magic. And the director has fulfilled it, well – partly!
The movie is about Janardhan (Ranbir) a wannabe musician who just doesn’t know how to crack into the music field. Something is missing and he finally figures out that all great artists have one thing in common – pain. And he decides that if he had a heart break he can achieve greatness. He proposes to the most popular girl in college expecting her to turndown the offer and he can become big but things don’t go as planned. He does become a famous Rockstar when he is in love but is just not ready to let go. What happens next is for everyone to experience and enjoy and mere words cannot do justice to the magic Imitiaz has in store for the audience.
The movie is an experience one should not miss but at the same time this is not a movie for everyone. It will test your patience and some people might feel lost with the complicated non-linear way of storytelling. But if you can get through the pace ‘Rockstar’ is surely a treat to watch. Imitiaz Ali’s first movie was about the protagonist running away from responsibilities, the second is running away for love, the third being running away from love only to talk about the protagonist running toward his dream in his fourth venture. He keeps on impressing you and this movie seems quite away form his comfort zone and yet he has come out with a spectacular display of his talents as a master storyteller. The scenes in the dargha, just after Nargis says no to Ranbir when he first proposes and the scene in which Jordan (Janardhan changes his name to Jordan) sings with several prostitutes ‘Duniya ne humko diya kya’ and the scene after that proves again and again that we are seeing a master at work.
But Rockstar would not have been this impactful if not for Ranbir, he has proved his mettle in Wake up Sid, Rocket Singh but he encompasses to greater height in this movie. Future of Hindi cinema is indeed in good hands. Nargis Fakhri looks fresh and impresses at the start but once the story starts demanding emotions she is just not able to cope. Unfortunately the whole movie also depends on how Nargis carries off her role and that is one of the biggest drawbacks for Rockstar. But she does share scintillating chemistry with Ranbir. It was emotional to see Shammi Kapoor the last time on the big screen and it was also heartening to hear in a Chennai theatre several claps alongside mine when he first came on screen. A legend of the highest order. Aditi Rao Hydari suffers due to an undeveloped characterization but still impresses in the few scenes she gets. Kumud Mishra is splendid. Piyush Mishra just blows you away, as always, a rare gem indeed. Shernaz Patel enacts her part with conviction. The rest of the cast too has handled their role with complete understanding.
Technically the movie is superior, with spectacular cinematography by Anil Mehta – his work in the Dargha alone can stand testimony of his expertise. Editing by Aarti Bajaj, is haphazard mainly due to the complex screenplay but overall its a neat job. The movie could have done away with at least 15 minutes but that’s just me. Art direction is exceptional as well. But one man just out shines the rest and takes all the credit and its none other than Rahman who has provided with one of his best album. This can very well be in his top ten lists which is no mean achievement. ‘Naadan Parindey’ and ‘Jo bhi Mein’ will keep on echoing in your mind long after the show is over. It’s Magic! Pure Magic!!
Imitiaz Ali does try to make that lasting impact movie (eg. Ek Dhuuje Ke liye’ or ‘Tere Bin’) but Nargis just spoils the fun. But people who love music will love this extraordinary journey of a musician, and even if you don’t you will fall for Ranbir or Rahman or both.
Verdict: It’s slow, it’s complicated but its magical!!