Saturday, August 30, 2008
Rating : 7/10
Running Time : 135 Minutes
Release Date : 29th August ‘08
Director & Story : Abhishek Kapoor ; Music : Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Starring : Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, Purab Kohli, Luke Kenny, Prachi Desai, Koel Purie, Shabana Goswami
I’m probably going to miss out on the ‘most original summary award’ with this, but Rock On rocks ! I went in with a lot of apprehension as I adore Farhan Akhtar’s movies too much to watch him bomb in his acting debut but I needn’t have worried.
The plot is also unlikely to win any originality awards. Its about a group of four college students, who had formed a band named Magik. The story of how that band fared ten years ago is woven into the band members present day existence, with all of them in different jobs – two still with some connection to music but the others with none whatsoever. The business of making money clearly dominating the urge to make music. What happens next, as I mentioned before, is predictable. Even the sub-plots are predictable as is the story of what had happened to them ten years ago. However, it leads to a nice kind of anticipation where you know whats coming and you still want it to happen.
What sets it apart for me is the crisp editing – flashing constantly between the past and the present yet never losing steam, keeping you hooked. And the acting. I thought there were some amazing performances.
Farhan Akhtar fits so naturally into the college singer’s skin as well as the dispassionate corporate honcho’s boots that you wonder why he wasn’t acting earlier. Arjun Rampal was excellent in a role where he spoke less – none of the histrionics of Om Shanti Om or the good looking playboy flamboyance you normally expect from him but a quiet intensity. Purab Kohli as Killer Drama was hilarious – showcasing perfectly the character of a person who just refuses to grow up. Shabana as Arjun’s wife was also very good, slipping easily into a fashion designers role and then conveying realistically a housewife struggling to support a family. Devika had a nice cameo and finally Prachi, as Farhan’s wife was probably a bit too sweet and a bit too wide-eyed but I’m sure we all know women like that.
There are shades of Dil Chahta Hai here to the extent that it is about friends re-uniting and rediscovering life together. But what I really liked here was the contrast between the youthfulness and the zest of old and the bored existence of the characters ten years later – the corporate life, the routine existence which sucks every creative juice out of your body, leaving you drained and dry. There were some very nice touches as well – none better than the garba night ‘Ashiqi’ performance or KD’s song and dance routine towards the end. And the music – I’d been doing my best to avoid listening to it, I thought it was very ordinary but it somehow seems to come to life during the film – I was in full head nodding, feet tapping mode through all the songs.
I think live music generates its own kind of passion and a good performance can move you more than any DJ or any remix. And if you’re as old as I am, it can make you remember the years when watching performances was frequent and actually an option. And I hope the idiots running Bangalore watch the movie and reverse their ‘no live music’ ruling. But then you need passion and brains to do that and it may be asking for too much.