Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rock On

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.


Naga Lakshmi said...

Dear Apurv. It was very nice to be present at SIBM Summit and you presentation was very impressive especially for a person like me who is a non MBA student. No jazzy stuff. very simple. U made me feel very confident. Your statement that if one is passionate about something he will find time like you find time to write blog. By the way its awesome and next time I make sure I read your blog before I go to watch a movie. I might end up saving my pocket money.:-)
Oh I wanted to tell an idea for mobile phone. I could not get the mike today. Cell phone companies might start thinking about having a cell phone with a battery as in AA or AAA. Its hard to find charging point always!
Sorry I wanted to write to you and since I do not have ur email id, I used your blog.

Divya Prakash said...

Let me do the honours’s always nice to write the first comment on the post no matter whether it’s Amitabh’s blog or blog of One of the guests today (30/08/08) in SIBM.
First about the blog – it’s very soothing to see the passion u have for watching movies and writing reviews .hat’s off.
About ur writing style – It’s interesting I must say!!
Movie review –After 7 out of 10 it’s now my moral responsibility to watch this movie as early as possible.
About Presentation at Sibm- Lajavab (लाजवाब !!)
"Keep watching and keep writing !! "
Divya Prakash Dubey

Vikas said...

" 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." - kya baat hai :-)

movie had magik.. fully enjoyed ! i hope a few young audiences who saw it and want to pick up an instrument because thats exactly what u need.. sort of completes alot of things in life..

but have u seen "school of rock"- jack black ? if not u must.. brilliant.

and incase you are a bit more curious about rock.. try and get this documentary "A Headbanger's Journey" .. it will blow pop right outa ur butt !!


rhythm fadia-maniar said...

totally agree with you...rock on rocks...loved it..loved all of them....wud love to see yout take on mumbai meri jaan....m gonna see it tomo...have heard its good....looking forward to read abt it in your blog

Anonymous said...

Its really a rocking movie beginning to end ...

Just a Correction: Its Shahana Goswami and not Shabana Goswami

Keep up the Good Work !!!!

Apurv Nagpal said...

hi ! CHB

i noticed this confusion between shahana or shabana. In youthcurry and some other reviews it was quoted as shahana, while i went by, which says shabana...
Thx anyways

Anshul Agrawal said...

Nice review...

Meanwhile you may read my review too @

Anonymous said...


riitoo said...

and she's shahana goswami..not shabana


i managed to see "rock on" only last weekend - thankfully before the blasts happened.

the music - which came across as nothing spectacular before i saw the film, acquired a life of its own post the watch.

and despite the few plot related issues - adi's delhi return seems a little too sudden, the adi / joe undercurrents are not there and suddenly there -

nett nett - some great performances and truly rocking package overall.

and i'll be back...