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Rockstar Movie Review

Director :
Music :
Lyrics :
Starring :
 Imtiaz Ali
 A R Rahman
 Irshad Kamil
 Ranbir Kapoor, Nargis Fakhri, Shammi Kapoor, Aditi Rao Hydari, Kumud Mishra, Piyush Mishra

Rockstar Review

November 11, 2011 12:52:08 PM IST
updated November 19, 2011 02:25:58 PM IST
By Martin D'Souza, Glamsham Editorial
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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!

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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!

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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.

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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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