15 Nov 2011

Movie Review: ROCKSTAR: Disjointed and Contrived

All movies directed by Imtiaz Ali  so far have emitted - a love for travel, endearing girl-boy chit chat and love stories with adventures. These entertaining tales have always ended with the two main protagonists realizing that they are meant for each other. As much as we have known the inevitable conclusion, the journey to the end credits has been the punch in Ali’s movies. Such is certainly not the case with Rockstar.

Janardhan Jakad (Ranbir Kapoor, excellent) is a wannabe rock star; he stares at Jim Morrison posters and munches samosas at the college canteen wondering why he isn’t a star yet. A buffoon with talent, ridiculed by his mates, his only sincere friend is the college professor who proclaims, “To be a singer, first get a broken heart.” Thus JJ proposes to the college siren Heer (Nargis Fakhri, rusty debut), backtracks, and then is befriended by the girl. Why? Heer is to be marry in two months and move to Prague. She needs a friend to have some daring adventures before that. Like this year’s My Brother Ki Dulhan, in the process, the bride falls for JJ. Finding him blissfully unaware of any passion, she follows the norms. These opening parts are well-etched. 

The main spoilsport here are the inexplicable back and forth edit cuts, which stem the flow all through, we see JJ making it big in the music world. In yet another manufactured part, he finds himself in Prague, deep in love with Heer, who frolics about with the star, with her husband nowhere to be seen. They kiss and he comes back for more. JJ can’t resist her, obsessed, he stalks her no end, and the girl wants him out of her safe marriage. For no reason now, the singer, returns home, lashes out at scampering TV journalists, gets angry and angrier. The rest of the story descends to unbelievable mode.  A déjà vu of this year’s nerve-wracking Mausam hovers. Only Ranbir’s performance and the soundtrack keeps us till the end credits roll.

To be fair, there is promise in the cut pieces, in the love story, but the amalgamation of a rockstar's musical journey to the usual Ali fare has no plot to support it. Rahman’s sometimes magical, sometimes decent soundtrack suffers in the process ending up as music video props. Watchable for Ranbir’s inspired, energetic act, some of the director's passing flair and the stand out song - Kun faya kun. This journey took some getting through.

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