ROCK ON 2 Movie Review: A tribute to REM

Rock On 2
Director : Shujaat Saudagar
Music : Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Lyrics : Javed Akhtar
Starring : Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, Shraddha Kapoor, Prachi Desai, Purab Kohli and Shashank Arora

November 11, 2016 4:23:35 PM IST
Rock On 2 Review By Vishal Verma, Glamsham Editorial
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I thought that I heard you sing, I think I thought I saw you try, That's me in the corner, That's me in the spotlight, Losing my religion, Trying to keep up with you, And I don't know if I can do it, Oh no, I've said too much, I haven't said enough..

Surprisingly, this piece from the song 'Losing My Religion' from the influential rock band R. E. M. kept haunting me as ROCK ON 2 ended with Shraddha Kapoor singing 'Udja Re' in a lady gaga inspired outfit, maybe she tried to wake up those in the auditorium who were still sleeping even after the 'Jaago' song. How 'Rocking' is that.


Failing to 'keep the faith' with the eight year old 'Magik', ROCK ON 2 is a completely contrived and forced sequel that 'loses its religion' within few minutes and ironically qualifies for a sound tribute to REM (Randomly Executed movie) obviously I didn't mean the band.

In 2008, when the MTV fed young generation of the 90's got a band movie with a DIL CHAHTA HAI twist in ROCK ON, it was fresh and it 'smelled like the teen spirit', The Abhishek kapoor helmed movie had the fresh breeze and turned out to be a perfect launch pad for Farhan Akhtar and Prachi Desai.

Eight years after the sequel to the arguable cult Bollywood band flick, ROCK ON 2 helmed by first timer as feature film director Shujaat Saudagar, is a lurchingly constructed story that fails considerably and only wins in some good performances from the actors, rest ROCK ON 2 has nothing to celebrate its past glory or write its own story.

Turning out to be an example in simplifying, easy and contrived storytelling, The Abhishek Kapoor and Pubali Chaudhuri written script introduces the characters through Kedar Zaveri / KDA (Purab Kohli) - the lead drummer of the band 'Magik. Aditya Shroff (Farhan Akhtar) is introduced as a recluse filled with grief hanging in the outskirts of Meghalaya running a co operation for the villagers and providing them farming and schooling. From the haunting incident of a shocking suicide from a young musician Rahul who was following Aditya for a chance, Aditya who blames himself for the unfortunate incident manages to get some time to try his passion with music. (Then why did he run away).

Anyway, the lead guitarist Joseph Mascarenhas (Arjun Rampal) is on a different tune altogether, Joseph is a celebrity reality show judge and owes a posh nightclub in the city.

On Aditya's birthday, they all unite and also sing a song together but surprisingly the audience don,t feel the required warmth and whatever camaraderie gets established in the reunion are the dialogues which has the identification.

The forced twist of Shraddha Kapoor daughter of noted classical musician Vibhuti Sharma (Kumud Mishra) who turns the guarding angel to Aditya to resume his singing and come back to Mumbai and his world of music is predicted and comes with make believe situations without much expiations.

The glaring loophole is the fact that the famous band Magik is not much there in the film, the band doesn,t has a cult following but still its eight year old songs are popular and the members remain an icon in the world that is known for having short memories, then why is KD shown struggling to sell his music?. All such questions are left unanswered.

The predictable melodramatic angle with the repetition of the same 'give me space' issue between Prachi and Frahan doesn,t do any good. The character of Farhan as an impulsive fugitive who runs away from the situation adds more salt plus pepper to the wounds.

Shujaat Saudagar's narration has an overwhelming TV influence where he directs episodes by applying simple and easy methods like an accident, calamity etc to bring twist in the story. The characters keep popping up from nowhere as and when required without any explanation to fit the bill.

If that was not enough, in order to make a grand climax, a social cause is forcefully fed to our mouths with makes minimum impact.

Farhan Akhtar performs well, he is a better actor then a singer in any case.

Arjun Rampal is fine, Purab Kohli gets good scope and he is quite well in lighter scenes but in scenes which needs more power as an actor, Purab displays his limitations ( the Rohan suicide scene for example) Shraddha Kapoor plays her part well and yeah she can sing as well.

Shashank Arora as Uday leaves his mark, Shahana Goswami is there for two scenes. Prachi Desai excels in that four scenes she gets. Her talent is still waiting to be trapped to her potential. Kumud Mishra is fine.

Technically sound with Marc Koninck's decent photography. Music by Shankar Mahadevan, Loy Mendonsa and Ehsaan Noorani is a big disappointment.

Leaving nothing to sing about when we come out, I conclude ROCK ON 2 with that song that became famous eight year ago by saying it's a 'ek adhi padi novel' ( a half read novel), it's a song that lacks tune.

 Rock On 2 Review Rating : 
2/5 stars
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