Rockstar: The Inner Pain

So this is the first ever review I did for a Bollywood movie. Coming home after watching Rockstar, I really wanted to do a review of it, to talk about it and present a different aspect of movies to the audience of Just Beyond Infinity (or 24FPS as it was known then). I certainly started a trend for myself with this review, although I’ve fallen off reviewing Bollywood films anymore.

Still, Rockstar remains one of the best films I’ve seen from Bollywood in the last five years, and I would really encourage you all to see it, should you get a chance.

Rockstar Poster 002Welcome to the first Indian Movie Review on 24FPS: Rockstar. The film released this week and from what I’ve been seeing on the web, in its first two days the movie has gained quite a bit of momentum, thanks to great performances from its two leading stars.

Rockstar is the story of a middle-class college boy from Delhi, Janardhan Jhakar (JJ), later called Jordan by friends and is played by Ranbir Kapoor, who dreams of becoming a great rock musician. However, he lacks the necessary flair and passion to achieve his dream and this earns him ridicule from his audience. His college canteen head sets him straight by telling him that he needs to undergo a tragic event in his life that will open up his creativity and give him the gravitas he needs to be successful. Enter the film’s leading lady, Heer Kaul played Nargis Fakhri, who is the college serial heart-breaker and the most beautiful and thus most wanted girl on campus. JJ decides to pursue Heer as his love interest, who is incidentally soon to be married, because he believes that a heart-break is the trigger that will unleash his inner rockstar.

What follows is the journey of Jordan to become the greatest rock performer in India and his love story with Heer.

I seriously cannot praise Ranbir Kapoor enough for this movie. Thanks to his stellar performance, the movie captures the essence of the unstable and angst-ridden life of a rockstar. It actually delivers it in spades. Ranbir has performed some great roles in his short career, such as his debut film Saawariya, Wake Up Sid, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaani and in Rajneeti. His roles have always had a variety and Rockstar is no different. I’d say it is quite the feather in his acting cap. He really comes across as a troubled singer who suffers from a heart-ache. Being a character-driven movie, his performance breathes life into his role and the movie, which revolves around his journey to make it big.

Newcomer Nargis handles her role with aplomb. Being new to the industry at large, she has a few quirks and kinks to work out of her performance, since she has a tendency to use her nose in her expressions too much and she sometimes overdoes a particular scene. But she is a welcome addition and she does well enough that she fits the role given to her. If it had been any of the other current crop of leading ladies of the industry, none of them could have handled the character of Heer as well as her. So kudos to her.

Shammi Kapoor, in his last performance for the camera, was a treat to watch. One of Bollywood’s legends and Ranbir’s great-uncle, it was great to see him on the screen after all this time. Sadly, he passed away recently and will be missed, but he has left a great legacy that echoes in his entire family, who aren’t called the first family of Bollywood for no reason, having given us no less than 4 generations of successful actors from the men to the women.

With only her fifth film, Aditi seems to be doing decently well for herself and her scattered scenes in the movie do not perhaps do her skills justice but she was another welcome performance and it would have been great if she had had a greater role. She definitely could have benefited from the extra attention since her reporter character was too much of a hangers-on for Jordan. But as they say, them’s the breaks.

Overall, the movie moves along quite nicely, and there is enough interplay between the past and present to keep it interesting. However, the last ten minutes or so of the film could easily have been edited out (the non-music parts that is). They just dragged it out too much and I was thankful the movie ended when it did, for I was getting irritated with the extremely slow pace the movie suddenly found itself saddled with.

Rockstar is not a film that the masses might particularly appreciate at a first glance. It is a deeper film than it comes across and a lot of people will walk away from it forced to think about what they saw. In a positive light that is. You just need to have patience for this and appreciate the effort that has gone into making this.

Rockstar is definitely the first of its kind in terms of plot and characters I’d hazard to say. There have been movies about singers and music bands before in the industry but none of them have the kind of staying power or the gravitas of Rockstar.

The music also rises to the occasion, cataloging the character’s journey very well.Great shout-out to two tracks which are well and truly the highlight of the film from a musical standpoint: Saada Haq and Nadaan Parindey. Both are rock tracks with a touch of the sub-continent’s own Sufi style. A. R. Rehman, who performed at the Oscars this year, and Mohit Chauhan have delivered two of the greatest tracks of the year in Saada Haq and Nadaan Parindey. The former is an extremely powerful, uplifting and soulful track while the latter is the emotional, angsty track.

Even if you are not a fan of subcontinental music, I would recommend giving these songs a try. My personal favourite is Saada Haq because it actually had me strumming while it was playing on the screen. To the best of my knowledge, that has never happened before. Here is a teaser of the song-

I should also point that Australian singer, songwriter and guitarist Orianthi did the guitar for the track above. As I loved the track so much, I will definitely be looking into her mainstream work.

For its entertainment value and its story and its great music, I definitely recommend it. It is fun and enjoyable!

Posted on February 6, 2014, in Movie Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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