Saturday, November 12, 2011

Movie Review ROCKSTAR

Well, I was waiting for this movie since a long long time, primarily due to two reasons – one, A.R Rahman, and secondly, Imtiaz ali. So there was no doubts about the fact that I was watching it Friday morning itself. Here’s my review.

The movie starts in usual imtiaz ali style – confusing, but soon gives way to an innocent looking ranbir kapoor auditioning for jo bhi main. He is a college student, whose life involves his guitar, a canteen, few friends, samosas and a mentor in the form of the canteen owner Khatara bhai. After a fake heart break and few light moments, our hero finally gets it right with heer aka nargis fakhri. Together they enjoy some outrageous activities like watching a hindi porn movie, drinking some desi daaru and a wild bike ride amongst the picturesque Kashmir. What happens thereafter is what rockstar is all about. The journey of janardan to Jordan is what the film is all about.

As I said earlier, this is a movie in true imtiaz ali style – vague, confusing, disjoint, metaphorical and intelligent. The viewers have to constantly keep guessing few things. Uptil the interval, imtiaz keeps the tempo slow, with some really witty scenes and some soothing music. Some scenes which stand out are the hazrat nizzamuddin sequence, the Kashmir sequence and the scene in which ranbir meets heer for the first time. Another scene between piyush mishra aka dhingra and ranbir kapoor, while the former is having a massage done, is hilarious.
If there’s something imtiaz ali gets right everytime, it is capturing the himachal and Kashmir beautifully. If jab we met was a virtual drive into manali, rockstar is even better. Kashmir has never looked so beautiful on screen. Infact, the locations of the entire movie are jaw dropping, be it Kashmir, or Prague. Imtiaz ali is very quickly redefining the picturesque locations for which once yash chopra was famous. (Remember Switzerland?)

Post interval, the movie gets erratic. At some places, this erratic portion seems justified, but at some, it seems out of place. A crispier editing could have done the trick. Ranbir’s character is shown to get totally out of control post the interval and it gets repetitive at times. However, imtiaz’s uncanny unconventional directing holds the viewers’ interest together. The movie falls post the interval, but ultimately rises and reaches a high point with a stunning climax.

Direction – imtiaz ali ventures into new territory this time. Compared to jab we met, socha na tha and love aaj kal, this is a far more multi layered and complex love story, and imtiaz handles it well, despite few flaws and hiccups. Mind you, portraying an entire journey of a rockstar is not an easy thing, and any other director would have bungled it up, ending in a mismash, just like what happened with delhi 6, where rakeysh mehra tried just too hard and too much. But imtiaz treats this one perfectly. Here’s where his abstract direction and the zip zap sequences help. Despite the slow and erratic narrative, these zip zap scenes keep the interest held till the end. As a director, imtiaz shows maturity like never before. Rockstar is very very dark, compared to his previous films, and he shows why he is one of the finest directors today. Minute details have been handled beautifully – like the fusion of the songs in the narrative, subtle moments of silence which only enhance the on screen chemistry of Jordan and heer.

Music – they say that form is temporary, but class is permanent. A.r rahman proves why he is the BEST in the entire music industry. The music of rockstar lifts the movie to an entirely new high level. Ever song is perfectly in sync with the narrative, and not one song looks forced or out of place. Phir se udd chala is melodious to the core, while job hi main and katiya karun keep delighting us with their presence throughout the movie. Kun faaya kun is absolutely divine. Haawa hawaa is colorful and brilliantly shot. Aur ho which comes immediately post the interval, is the darkest song, and the song evokes the mood perfectly. Mohit’s vocals and ranbir’s emotions really convince us that there is indeed pain in the song. Saada haq is the trump card. Tum ho and tum ko are perfectly placed at the end, and naadan parindey is a winner all the way, with some superb expressions from ranbir. If there was something which was hair raising, it was the Dichotomy of fame, the shehnai and guitar jugalbandhi between ranbir kapoor and the late shammi kapoor. Truly breathtaking. For those who’ve not heard this one, listen to it full volume on your ipod. Even steve jobs will move in his grave.
In short, music is the USP of rockstar. I remember that as soon as job hi main started, the entire crowd in the theatre went “O Yeah yeah… O yea yea yea…” and the moment Orianthi’s guitars from saadda haq started in the background, the crowd erupted into cheers. This is what Rahman is.

Acting -  Ranbir kapoor is brilliant. Right from the innocent janardan, to the rowdy Jordan to the caring clean shaven boyfriend, ranbir gets into the skin of the character. He infuses honesty in every bit of his presence. He makes hand movements while singing as if he really wants to get each note right. He sings Aur ho and saadda haq with such intensity as if he’s lashing out the words on the mike. He deserves all the awards this two opinions about that.
Nargis fakhri looks beautiful on screen, but she is a let down. Her acting is bad, and her diction is poor. Wonder why imtiaz took her.
However, their chemistry is explosive. This is one of the passionest couples on screen in a long time.
Shammi kapoor does a cameo and he shows why he was the best. He is brilliant in every scene, and the shehnai guitar jugalbandhi is awesome. What a perfect end to a great man’s career.
As khatara bhai, kumud mishra is brilliant. The brazilian model as heer’s husband is worse than even anshuman of jab we met. Shernaz patel is spot on. The rest of the supporting cast is good.

Overall, rockstar is a wonderful movie. It is well directed, and very different from the usual hindi movies. The elderly audience will find it objectionable at places, but the multiplex audience will love it. Watch it for a.r rahman, ranbir kapoor, shammi kapoor and lastly, imtiaz ali.

My verdict – 4 stars

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