Saturday, November 19, 2011

Movie Review: Rockstar

Rockstar traces the transformation of Janardhan Jakar(Ranbir Kapoor) from a simpleminded musician to a very popular musician. In the journey spanning years, he changes from Janardhan Jakar to JJ to Jordan for the outside world. Inwardly, he changes from someone who plays music for other's pleasure to someone who plays music to forget his private hell. At the onset, he learns how great music is created. It is created from pain. In his quest to achieve stardom, Janardhan foolishly tries to get his heart broken in order to experience pain by proposing to the college hottie Heer Kaul(Nargis Fakhri) which ends up disastrously at the same time not as disastrous as to have his heart broken. But he experiences pain soon at unexpected time from unexpected quarters.

Imtiaz Ali directs this drama which has all the ingredients of an entertaining movie but still fails to tell a  story coherently. Imtiaz chooses wisely on the lead actor and mostly on the supporting cast too. Like in his previous movies, the locations chosen are mostly outdoors enhancing the underlying emotion of the scene.  He also has the best technicians behind the scenes. Despite having the best, Imtiaz fails on two accounts - screenplay and the selection of lead actress. The screenplay is either left for interpretation or too fast to comprehend. This is primarily because of the non-linear narration employed within the first two acts and very lengthy third act. Because of the bad screenplay, impact of the two characters are lost - Ustad Jameel Khan played by Shammi Kapoor and Sheena by Aditi Rao Hydari. Ustad Jameel Khan is the first one to identify the talent in Jordan and Sheena is the reporter who takes trouble to find out everything about Jordan the rising star. As for the lead actress, the role is not a complex one. But Nargis fails to bring the basic expressions to her face which in turn highlights the flawed lip-synch.

Is Imtiaz Ali a good director? There is no doubt to it. He has a story to tell and the vision to match. The love story develops sans the cliches associated with every other romantic movie. Jordan is a complex character with Janardhan hidden somewhere in there and popping out when we least expect him to. Most of characters look and sound real. Check out the scene where he establishes the mental anguish of Jordan. Jordan walks across a busy street absentmindedly while he is confronted by Khatana(Kumud Mishra) his manager cum friend. The girls recognize him, a crowd is formed soon and the security personnel form a circle around him. These happen in the background while the foreground is the conversation between Jordan and Khatana. Also check out the scene where Jordan arrives for the anniversary celebration of his college friend and quickly loses control when he finds out everyone sees him in a different light now. All the earlier movies of Imtiaz were told in a linear format. Over here, he tries to use non-linear format just like how he used in Love, Aaj Kal. Non-linear story telling is not his forte.

Ranbir Kapoor the actor comes off age as Janardhan/JJ/Jordan. There are three phases for this character - carefree, struggling and fame. Janardhan/JJ/Jordan is innocent and does not wish harm to anyone. It is the pain accumulated over the years which drives him mad. During the second and third phase, Ranbir at critical junctures display the characteristics of the first phase. For an actor, this is equivalent to being a chameleon. This is where Ranbir succeeds. As the character ages through the years, the look changes - clean-shaven, stubble, beard. The various looks enhance the performance. When he sings, we forget it is Mohit Chauhan or A R Rahman being mixed in a re-recording studio. Ranbir puts passion into playing Jordan that even music of A R Rahman is overshadowed.

Recommended for Ranbir Kapoor's performance. This is a landmark in his career.

Language: Hindi

Genre: Drama

Rating: ***



11 comments:

  1. tot agree.. watch movie for the Ranbir spectacular performance... for Rehman sufi music and Mohit soulful chants... Imitiaz your experiments with the film cut short it landmark destination..

    Weakest LINK

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  2. good review, very thorough. haven't seen the movie yet but have been hearing good things

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  3. I really loved the movie... Ranbir did a great job in the movie... however the actress did a lil bit of over acting ;)
    Songs were great :)

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  4. @Madhulika - :) Well, about Nargis. I have a different view. There was no acting at all. ;)

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  5. Another couple of months it will be played on tv. I think I'll wait for then. Thanks for the review.

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  6. @Nitin - I agree.

    @Harish - Yeah, true.

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  7. Ranbir with his incredible talent is the actor to watch out for.

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  8. @Purba - Ranbir is talented. No doubt about it. What surprised me after seeing the movie was how much he has transformed (or matured) in the past 1-1.5 years. :) The last movie I saw was "Rocket Singh" and I promptly gave "Anjaana-Anjaani" a skip.

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