Rock On – Movie Review

Some old photographs in a box – forgotten friends and dreams – a compromised life – success without happiness – a chance meeting with an old friend and nothing to talk – picking up the pieces of an unfinished story – that’s Rock on.

Many of us have gone through such feelings, when we have lost our most dear friends because of reasons beyond our understanding. When we pick up old photographs of those lost friends and find them meaningless and meaningful at the same time. What a time it was!! Did all that happened in this birth? Somehow, that is where this movie connects. Infact, that is why movies like Jaane tu and Dil Chahta Hai connected. All of us saw ourselves right there on the screen.

Rock On is a story of four friends who create a rock band called Magik. Aditya Shroff is the lead vocalist (played by Farhan Akhtar) who pens down unconventional poetry and give the band a unique voice. Joe is the lead guitarist (played by Arjun Rampal) who is very idealistic and does not believe in compromising with his principles or music. He is talented but does not know how to do the lobbying. Kedar Zaveri or K.D. is the drummer (played by Purab Kohli) who is the sole successor of a family of jewelers but prefers his drums to the suffocating family business. He is the joker of the gang and the most lively character in the movie. Rob is the keyboard player (played by Luke Kenny) who is the most level headed member of the band, someone you can rely upon to resolve the problems in minutes.

Everything was going fine and the band won the Channel V contract for an Album when the Band disintegrated and the success story died before its inception. The four of them went their own ways forgetting each other and leading a life which they never wanted to lead till Aditya’s wife (played by Prachi Desai) meets Kedar by chance ten years later and then comes across some long forgotten photographs of her husband’s life about which she was completely unaware. And thus starts the uphill task of the band’s reunion.

Rock on does not have the flamboyance of Dil Chahta Hai but is more grounded in reality. It does not reaches the standards set by DCH but is very believable in its own way. Yes, you can draw parallels but then you can do that with 99% of the movies in Bollywood. The movie works at many levels. The strings of your heart will be stirred.

The movie does not belong to a single actor. All the four lead actors never leave the skin of their roles. Arjun Rampal shows a maturity which was unexpected while Farhan is able to bring out the subtle difference in his character during the ten year span even though this is his first movie as an actor. Although he is the most successful of the four members of his band after the split, he is still angry about the way his life has turned up and it shows in his strained relationship with his wife. Prachi is the surprise package of the movie. She acts like a seasoned actress and it does not look at all that this is her first film. The scene in which she tells Aditya that she is pregnant is her best. Shabana Goswami Koel Purie as Joe’s wife is also perfect in her role of a frustrated woman who has to give up her dreams to run the business of her failed husband.

On the negative side, the movie picks up pace in the second half and does not have much of a comic dose which seems to be quite essential for the Indian audience(specially since they are lapping up crude movies with 15 over the top comic sequences). Also the movie trudges too close to the abyss of a typical Bollywood movie towards the end and it is on the verge of loosing its unique identity.

The music composed by Shankar Ehsaan Loy is very apt and suits the mood of the movie like a glove. And the concert at the end of the movie will want you to get up and dance. A good story, crazy music, well etched roles and good acting. What else do we want?

Directed by – Abhishek Kapoor

Rating  – 3.5/5