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Rockstar  : This star rocks – for a few
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Friday, November 11, 2011
Imtiaz Ali
Ranbir Kapoor, Nargis Fakhri
Rockstar Movie Stills
The plot: Janardhan Jhakkad aka JJ (Ranbir Kapoor) is the quintessential Patiala boy with rough edges who has an unquenched thirst to present to the world the music latent within him. He is the black sheep who won’t join the family business but has an emotional guardian in Khatana (Kumud Mishra) who tells him that to bring out the music bubbling within he needs to experience heartbreak.

Naïve JJ takes it literally and sets out to woo campus heartbreaker Heer (Nargis Fakhri). But the unlikely twosome finds a connect and journeys together to find bliss far away from the regular world as Janardhan becomes Jordan.

The good: The film has very strong content and the stratum of emotions thrown up is absorbing, ending with a thought-provoking message. It is undoubtedly an off-beat narrative and doesn’t fit into any category, carving its own niche with its unique treatment.

Imtiaz Ali has filmed yet another love story but has given it a whole new dimension – instead of the characters dancing around beautiful trees, he takes them to the roots. It is a difficult task to create an Indian rock star – India has none – especially with a narrative that does not boast of universal appeal.

The music of the film by AR Rahman cannot be categorized either – it is purely tailor-made to merge with the rocky, tempestuous emotions of the film.

Imtiaz Ali dips into his favourite methods of storytelling with dizzy travel and flashbacks. The editing by Aarti Bajaj is quick and crisp, shuffling from past to present at all times. The locales of Prague and Kashmir are beautifully captured by Anil Mehta. Review of Rockstar The film is arthouse as it has its set of metaphors i.e. a guitar burning, a world under a bedsheet, charcoal sketches of Jordan craving for freedom. Ranbir Kapoor goes from Janardhan to Jordan with ease, unmindful of image as he navigates a negative character, in fact a character alien, even unacceptable to the conventional Hindi film world.

The bad: Nargis Fakhri is certainly not the discovery of the season as she goes emotionally overboard and melodramatic when subtlety could have made her more impressive. The story gets illogical, unappealingly dramatic and even pointless at times for those bound by more conventional cinema. The end might not go down well with many, as once again it does not have in mind a large, interested audience. In fact it gets too random for the average Joe in the cinema hall. The first half moves slowly while the emotions and passion accelerate later.

This is not your normal commercial fare and does not set out to please everyone. It is ultimately an unapologetic attempt to sketch a character with a plethora of unusual emotions.

PS: For Shammi Kapoor fans, he’s evergreen as ever in this his last outing.

– Pooja Thakkar
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