Monday, September 8, 2008

Rock On- A little hard to take

The movie started off on the right note, but for me fizzled out 10 mins in. A very predictable, run of the mill story with glaring similarity to the theme of Dil Chahata Hai. The difference being, in DCH the closeness amongst the friends was believable.
Was not too clear what Rock On was all about.....Friendship? Rock Band culture in India? or Human nature in general? It tends to address all 3 issues without doing justice to any.
In my humble opinion Farhan Akthar does not make the cut as a singer. He does not have the "it" factor that distinguishes average and good singers. Purab Kohli and Luke Kenny's characters are half baked and could have easily been replaced by Nana Patekar and Anupam Kher respectively without being noticed. Another thing that got me about "Magik" (nigger pls) was the lack of a bass guitarist. How???? Koel Puri is wasted entirely and so is Akthar's ex-flame who serves no particular purpose other that making a pretty picture.
Farhan tries to play the brooding poet poet stuck in a highly successful job and his ego exceeds his love for music. He clearly looks like a guy who CAN never be happy.
Arjun Rampal is the only good thing about the movie. Playing the underdog to perfection. Wife, friends and producers walking all over him and no contribution to the family for the past 10 years except the sperm card.
The things I did like were the ease with with the director switched between the present and the past. Something of a fad after Raang De Basanti. The stylist seems to have done justice with not over the top but just right wardrobe and accessories. The music is decent but could have been better....much much much better.
The part I was curious about "HOW" music is made, what an artist thinks and the process of creation was completely missing. Attention to detail with regards to stage shows or playing the instruments could have been addressed.

Generalized Statement:
The irony of the situation is that the people who have loved the movie are exactly the people Magik did not care to cater to. Re-mix crowd and wannabe rockers who think that "Another brick in the wall" is the only thing that Floyd ever wrote.

15 comments:

Rashmi said...

Guess I am the profile that Magik did not want to address. But I loved the movie. The music is excellent (while I am tone deaf, this has also been certified by my hubby). The background was realistic, from the lead musician and guitarist conflicts, to the band finding it difficult to stay together, ego battles, the mundane daily routine etc..I loved it, in fact, would like to see it again.

Aditya said...

I think that the songs there are not rock - but a pop-rock mix. That being said, I like the songs.

The story will not stand an examination on a second viewing, but certain other subtleties do come across which you miss the first time around. Yes, the story could have had a few refinements.

It helps if you appreciate rock music.

Satyajit said...

Rashmi:
You may not be the profile Magik wanted to address and hence the irony. You mentioned the word mundane and that kind of sums it up for me.

Aditya:
True that. Attention to detail is something i found missing. Having said that, the music was pop-rock and true rock fans would have a hard time accepting the movie....

Radha said...

what i liked best was how the songs were written... especially "meri landary ka ek bill" i thought was written brilliantly.

dua said...

Well, I liked the movie and I even liked the songs! The movie is an honest attempt and was a risk on the part of the director. If not all technical aspects, I did like the movie for its intent.
And by the way, I know every song that Floyd did, and I did like the movie!

What's In A Name ? said...

Quite like ur review.

Satyajit said...

dua:

I accept that it was a honest attempt at movie making. It gets to me when we go ga-ga over a movie without catching our breath and for being downgraded by my peers to a coffee stain on the floor because i did not like it :-)
Floyd fan I see....nice.

what's in a name:

Thank you.

Rashmi said...

Firstly, most movies need to have atleast some commercial appeal. It makes absolutely no sense to make an underground rock movie, about the last track from Piper At The Gates of Dawn (vs. Another Brick in The Wall), because exactly 3 people are going to line up to see the movie. Given the basic commercial compulsions involved, I think that the makers of the movie have done a great job in making a movie with widespread appeal, without compromising on the basic story about a rock band. Therefore, an effort like this needs to be applauded rather than being nitpicked about it not being grungy or edgy enough. We need to have more movies like this rather than the crap Bollywood routinely churns out.

Overall, I think the music is great. Its riffy & actually qualifies as rock, and the songs do not have the basic antara-mukhda set up of most Hindi songs. Most importantly, like good rock, the music grows on you. Give it a few listens.

Rashmi said...

While I was intrigued that the band did not have a bass player, its clearly explained that Rob handled the keyboard as well as the bass sections. This is not actually so wierd, because The Doors also did not have a bass player. Ray Manzarek did bass on keyboards.

Also, lets face it!! How many self proclaimed rock fans (Who actually think Bryan Adams is rock) even know what a bass guitar is!! Its far simpler for a lay person to understand keyboards.

Rashmi said...

Hi Satya,

By the way, the last 2 comments were from Saurabh, Rashmi's husband.

How's your back, hope you're feeling better.

Ajay said...

Magik's music is akin to the really big successful rock acts in India - first Indus Creed, then Euphoria. Their music was decent, lyrics mostly average, and the music in the film captures that. "Zehreelay" is exactly what hard rock in India is like - ever see Agni or any of those 'big' rock bands do their originals?

As for attention to detail, I thought it was quite good - the live sequences were well-shot, Luke Kenny's flat reminded me of similar flats young cousins from Mumbai live in. What wasn't good about the film was character-building. Farhan Akhtar, his wife and Arjun Rampal all had characters who didn't look or feel real enough.

That being said, it wasn't a bad film.

(A rock and general music obsessive, so please don't play the rock snob card :))

Satyajit said...

ALL:

I think most of you have mistaken the blog for a rant on the movie itself. ITS NOT. "Rock On" rocks as compared to the other crap like "what the phookh" being dished out. But that's it- nothing more nothing less. The point of the blog was to "see it the way it is" and not to go overboard. The people I have met are going crazy about the movie. I saw the movie, that too free at PVR and forgot about it till I reached the parking lot. That about sums it up for me.
Good reviews for the movie are in already, this is another perspective -mine.

Saurabh:
My back is doing good. Not too sure about the arse though--getting a whooping. And I do like the music though they could have improvised a bit more.

Ajay:
Euphoria did not taste commercial success until they started writing music in Hindi.
I am far from being music obsessed - earning a living takes up all my time :-)

Ajay said...

Well, Magik's music was in Hindi too :)

I get your point though. I'm in the US and am insulated from the hype machine that drives one insane in India. I watch most films in isolation from their reviews and hype. It's a well-made film that I liked, but didn't love.

Archana Narayan said...

Satya, I quite liked the movie. I am not going to comment on the music (lots of people already have I see). Though I liked that too. I quite like Farhan Akthar's voice. It is slightly rough but quite fresh on the ears. I also liked Purab's character a lot. I saw the reunion with Akhtar's ex-flame as the final closure. I thought the main message of the movie is to pursue your dreams. It is never too late for that.

I am a huge fan of Farhan Akthar's for his movies, his judging abilities in Nach Baliye and now his acting and singling skills.

PS: I must tell you since I watch movies rarely I do end up enjoying the rare movie I watch.

PS2: Vidur slept through the entire movie. Through all that music... so don't think he liked it too much considering watched half of Kismat Connection and Jaane Tu...

Crazy on Bollywood said...

Love that movie.All characters r good,especially Farhan Aktar and Purab Kohli.Didn't like the music at all.