Rockstar Movie Review

Rockstar Movie Poster
Rockstar Movie Poster
Martin D'Souza By Martin D'Souza | 18 Mar 2017 15:38:02.5830000 IST


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ROCKSTAR...ROCK MUSIC, A.R RAHMAN and what more to expect! Post TAAL (1999), this is the first major musical endeavor from the maestro in the league of musical-oriented entertainer that also brings out many commercially bankable names in the credits. This time director Imtiaz Ali, who had tremendous musical success in his last two flicks (JAB WE MET and LOVE AAJ KAL, both composed by Pritam), changes his loyalty to the great A.R Rahman, with a promise to allure international audiences with his style of composing.

ROCKSTAR is also special in a big way as it brings out the finest of international musicians in its baggage and packs a solid 14 original soundtracks in its audio packaging. Fuelled, inspired and displayed with immense passion and zeal, the music of ROCKSTAR is already anticipated with baited breath, as promos of songs like 'Saadda Haq', 'Katiya Karoon' and 'Jo bhi main' have clicked well with listeners. Can this album be the desired ROCKSTAR among its contemporaries? Will Rahmaniacs be blessed again with a chartbusting hit album? Let's get straight into the arena of this rollicking rock-music mania and gets the musical facts...

It starts where...it ended! Mohit Chauhan's soulful hue that was mesmerizing in mild tones in 'Dooriyan' (LOVE AAJ KAL) makes an echoing reappearance with tender-feel arrangements in beautifully composed 'Phir se udd chala'. Rahman's composing picks up an earthen modest melodic feel, exhibited cohesively in expressions in Irshad Kamil's lyrics, that gets amalgamated with techno-generated orchestrations and creates a 'lounge' feel ambience. Mohit's sonorously somber voice is paced amiably with soft displays of delectable mandolin notes, guitar riffs, synchronized electronic fillers and lovable chorals with hook-line ('tu-tu-tu-ru') that works brilliantly to conceptualized a desired dreamy situational feel. Unlike its 'yuppie' friendly title (ROCKSTAR), Rahman prefers a motivational musical start to the album that also sets a melodramatic prelude to the journey of 'rags-to-riches' of the lead protagonist. Soothing!!!

Arena-rock and the following crowd-pulling entourage are all out there to entertain and the first major jolt of 'rollicking' happenings on concert-floors comes in the form of 'Jo bhi main'. Light-hearted guitar strums, cool-mentholated breezy vocals, infectious drumming and hook-line ('Oh-ya-ya-ya...') brings out the zeal of a lively concert show. Mohit Chauhan's experiments this time with singing sounds of guitars, followed with his varying soothing baritones that strikes chords with the groovy rock-feel and enlightening chorals in the backdrop. For all those who have cherished numbers like 'Rock On' (ROCK ON) and 'Alvida' (LIFE IN A METRO), it will be a delight to hear Rahman getting into the soul of archetypical rock music with flair. Go for it!

Imtiaz Ali's stringent and passionate Punjabi affixation that was instrumental in making 'Thoda Thoda Pyar' (LOVE AAJ KAL), a feisty musical happening makes a positive recurrence in cherubic sounding 'Katiya Karoon'. Rahman brings out the crazy madness of 'Ting-a-ling-ling' of 'Rang De Basanti' (RANG DE BASANTI) in chirpy folksy tones of impressive Harshdeep Kaur with effective support of Sapna Awasthi. It's playfully romantic in nature and moves sporadically with catchy ethnical Punjabi instrumentals, Gujarati folk-fusion feel and earthen voice of Harshdeep Kaur. Rahman's composition sticks to the cultural roots rather than trying too hard on improvisations and delivers out a potential solo feminine romantic number.

Whether it was intrinsically Sufi 'Khwaja mere Khwaja' (JODHAA AKBAR) or divine 'Arziyan' (DELHI-6), there was a marvelous divinity in Rahman's composing that worked big times in impressing purists, critics and classy listeners. 'Kun Faya Hun', an ode to the greatness of Nizammudin Auliya in form of devotional 'qawalli', adds to this beautiful collection that has intense spiritual significance with soulful interaction with God Almighty. Irshad Kamil delivers the performance of a lifetime this time and should be proud of delivering it with finesse in a track that is not only difficult to write but also desires loads of literature strength. For the first time maestro A.R. Rahman comes behind the mike along with Javed Ali and Mohit Chauhan and renders it with sheer piousness. In terms of arrangements and composing, Rahman prefers a subtle traditionalism in instrumentals and maintains the soulful decorum of the great Nizammudin Auliya with immense grace and appeal. Rhythm-divine!!!

The music of ROCKSTAR takes a chill-pill and relaxes to some extent in situational sounding 'Sheher Mein'. It's a thematically driven simple number that takes an introspective view of 'recording-room' where singer practices with his lines, passes remarks and finally picks the desired 'sur'. Mohit Chauhan along with Kartik sings this light-hearted number and adds few jovial moments to this intense emotional saga.

ROCKSTAR takes an international explore in fast-paced salsa number 'Hawaa Hawaa', an impulsively composed dance number that brings an arrays of peculiar sounding instrumentals, foot-tapping sounds and varied pitched voices. This time Rahman enters into least explored genre in Hindi filmdom that was last heard in 'Udi' (GUZAARISH) and comes out with a vibrant melodic 'swirling-twirling' dancing feel. Mohit Chauhan's versatility in impersonating many moods and styles shows his genius that gets embroidered well with snazzy sounding back-up supports of Viviane Chaix, Tanvi Shah, Suvi Suresh and Shalini. It's a visually spectacle soundtrack and a 'tailor-made' dancing feast number for all TV reality dancing shows that should also work positively for a promising big-screen feast.



view ROCKSTAR movie stills
view ROCKSTAR movie stills
Unlike JAB WE MET, where all central characters were well introduced, ROCKSTAR fails in this primary exercise. More importantly, a film cannot run with just one man driving the show. It has to have its other important characters forming an integral part of the plot with their performances. They are either overshadowed by the brilliance of Ranbir, or Imtiaz, has clearly ignored this one very vital aspect. SAHEB, BIWI AUR GANGSTER is one such film where no actor overshadows the other;where each character is used to join into the other. ROCK ON was another.

Ranbir's family is never properly introduced. So we don't know whose son in that large family he really is. Nargis Fakhri's character suffers the same fate. It's only towards the end, that Imtiaz conveniently gets her father and younger sister onto the screen which is actually an irritant.

Kumud Mishra, the college canteen manager, is also not well presented either. Initially you think he is Ranbir's dad. It's only later you realize who he actually is.

CHECK OUT: Rockstars of Bollywood

And the opening scene shows the concert being held in Europe and when the scenes rejoin in the last reel, Ranbir is in Mumbai! Most importantly you do not know what Heer is suffering from Leukemia or thalassemia or any other jaan leva bimari. Imtiaz doesn't feel the need to tell his audience. Finally, the 'Junglee Jawani' dialogue, actually bores you towards the end.

For her debut Nargis Fakhri is impressive. This girl has a long innings to play in the industry. The story is simply explosive; multi-layered, with love at its core and the ever-present confusion forming a major part. The scenes where Janardhan goes out in search of heartbreak to get soul into his music and where he actually stalks Nargis and then makes a complete volte-face are brilliant. Its moment like these that have you glued to the screen.

If only Imtiaz had curtailed his obsession and let some scenes go, ROCKSTAR could have achieved cult status like ROCK ON.

The ratings are strictly for Ranbir and A R Rahman's music.

Ratings : 3/5



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Imtiaz Ali does a MAUSAM with ROCKSTAR. Doing a Mausam simply means loving your work so much to the point of getting obsessed and losing objectivity. It happened with Pankaj Kapur.

This does not mean that ROCKSTAR will be a MAUSAM. Far from it.

If an actor can have you riveted to your seat for the entire length of the movie and you see nothing else but just sheer brilliance in every twist in his character; that's 'paisa vasool, time respected, audience is baap' approach.

Ranbir Kapoor is all that and much more as he metamorphoses from Janardhan Jhakar, a nerdy college student from Delhi, to Jordan, an iconic Rockstar. Everytime he is on screen, everything and everyone blurs into the background. It's Ranbir and only Ranbir you see. This guy is a genius. Period. As the nerdy college student, he brings in that freshness that is originally na?ve. He becomes the character. As a friend to Heer (debutante Nargis Fakhri), who plays the 'rich chick, hard-to-get diva', he is platonic to the core. As the Rockstar, guitar in hand, he resembles someone who has been born with the stringed instrument. He has worked hard on his handling of the fretboard, hitting the high notes with ease, something which was essential and central to the character. How many times have we not seen actors using the guitar like the coconut scraper? Rishi Kapoor for one in KARZ!

CHECK OUT: 'Sadda Haq' drags Imtiaz to controversy

Finally, as the one who understands he is actually in love with his 'best friend' who is now married, Ranbir is devastating. Demanding his pound of flesh from Heer, and she reciprocating, are actually the highpoint of the film which is sensitively handled by Imtiaz, who by now is becoming the badshaah of love stories. And this one is quite different from JAB WE MET and LOVE AAJ KAL.

Also, the concerts and picturisation of the songs with the mood and feel are almost real. Every ballad is well documented as the lyrics and music move you to the beat.

Here is where it all ends for Imtiaz, as he moves into the MAUSAM mould.
If the first half has you zapped, the second half slowly undoes the hard work. But one thing is constant. Ranbir. The movie drags, and goes into mellow drama, which is a huge black spot on the entire canvass. Why, O why had you do get into theatrics, Imtiaz?

Another sore point is that Imtiaz fails to establish his characters. He also fails to establish the motive for a classy chick who in an instant wants to go wild with the very boy she dislikes!



view ROCKSTAR movie stills
view ROCKSTAR movie stills
Unlike JAB WE MET, where all central characters were well introduced, ROCKSTAR fails in this primary exercise. More importantly, a film cannot run with just one man driving the show. It has to have its other important characters forming an integral part of the plot with their performances. They are either overshadowed by the brilliance of Ranbir, or Imtiaz, has clearly ignored this one very vital aspect. SAHEB, BIWI AUR GANGSTER is one such film where no actor overshadows the other;where each character is used to join into the other. ROCK ON was another.

Ranbir's family is never properly introduced. So we don't know whose son in that large family he really is. Nargis Fakhri's character suffers the same fate. It's only towards the end, that Imtiaz conveniently gets her father and younger sister onto the screen which is actually an irritant.

Kumud Mishra, the college canteen manager, is also not well presented either. Initially you think he is Ranbir's dad. It's only later you realize who he actually is.

CHECK OUT: Rockstars of Bollywood

And the opening scene shows the concert being held in Europe and when the scenes rejoin in the last reel, Ranbir is in Mumbai! Most importantly you do not know what Heer is suffering from Leukemia or thalassemia or any other jaan leva bimari. Imtiaz doesn't feel the need to tell his audience. Finally, the 'Junglee Jawani' dialogue, actually bores you towards the end.

For her debut Nargis Fakhri is impressive. This girl has a long innings to play in the industry. The story is simply explosive; multi-layered, with love at its core and the ever-present confusion forming a major part. The scenes where Janardhan goes out in search of heartbreak to get soul into his music and where he actually stalks Nargis and then makes a complete volte-face are brilliant. Its moment like these that have you glued to the screen.

If only Imtiaz had curtailed his obsession and let some scenes go, ROCKSTAR could have achieved cult status like ROCK ON.

The ratings are strictly for Ranbir and A R Rahman's music.

Ratings : 3/5


Rating 3/5

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Movie Cast & Crew
  • Actor: Ranbir Kapoor, Nargis Fakhri and Shammi Kapoor, Nargis Fakhri, Shammi Kapoor, Aditi Rao Hydari, Kumud Mishra, Piyush Mishra
  • Lyrics: Irshad Kamil
  • Director: Imtiaz Ali
  • Music Director: A R Rahman
  • Release Date : 11 Nov 2011

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