This movie should have ideally been called something like ‘chod ke na jaana balliye’ which we would all have shortened to CKNJB.
It is a movie masquerading to be something that it isn’t, and in the process, both, the something that it is, and the something that it isn’t but is trying to be, are mutilated. Watching this made me fondly remember Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara,where the script felt like it was worked on, or even a Bodyguard which was exactly about what it said it would be, namely the Bodyguard.
Films on love are the most commonly done and most badly done movies if you go by math. We have some eternally romantic movies by Mani Ratnam – Mouna Raagam, Alaipayudhe (Sathiya was adapted from this), then from the newer crop, Gautham Vasudev Menon, ‘Kaakha Kaakha'(Force was adapted from this), ‘Vinaithandi Varuvaya’. Some movies in Hindi, ‘Socha Na Tha’, ‘Jab We Met’ both by Imtiaz Ali, the recent ‘Band Baaja Baarat’, some in Telugu like ‘Bommarillu’. All of these, simple tales of love amidst a relatively young set of people that includes some fresh perspective, some fun and some really straight forward storytelling without the bouffants, the pink frill frocks, even the restrictive parents, society etc. But what really is Rockstar about? is it a film about music as the title suggests, or is it a story of unrequited love skirting borders of morality, I simply don’t know. If Imtiaz Ali is bored by the kind of romance that he worked with initially, then we are in for some strange movie watching experience courtesy him in the future.
The first twenty or so minutes seemed like ‘this movie will take us places’ and the places it took us to were excellent ones. One can’t go very wrong with Kashmir, Prague and the streets of Delhi in December. So the travel part of the movie is great, so is the initial setting of a chai shop/canteen and a haveli. The images of the Nizamuddin Dargah are something else, but there the magic ends. Abruptly, as if the audience has been pushed off a cliff. We continue to hang on for some more time up until the intermission but after that it is a steep downhill fall and even the view isn’t too good coming down. I think, and I am not sure, after the intermission, it becomes a story of a specific kind of lust. On the story board it must have come across as a dilemma of epic proportions a la ‘English Patient’. But sadly for all of us, both the direction team (there is a direction team of 4 credited in the end) and the audience, this does not come across. There are some really cute and relevant Telugu/Tamil movies on similar subjects with no pretensions of them being about anything else. Such as the aptly named ‘SSLC’, ‘Happy Days’, ‘Boys’ etc.
Better still, watch ‘Rock On’ for the music and watch ‘English Patient’ for the rest. And for some really good romance+travel combos watch the first two films of the same director, ‘Socha Na Tha’ and ‘Jab We Met’.
Very bad script. And once you start working on a bad script, there is only so much that good cinematography or music or even acting can do. As it is one of those films that has been written AND directed by the same person. It is easy to pin the blame. Every other department does its job. This honestly felt like a film that added to many people’s numbers, projections of the production company, number of movies done by Imtiaz Ali, and some people’s imdb stats etc. It was a one for the count kind of movie. Neither here, nor there, Neither this nor that, but something.
Ok then, we’ll add it to the count of movies seen.