ROCKSTAR : Pain, Anger, Love & Music

Few writers have such solid control over their screenplay as Imtiaz Ali does. Ali today is easily one of the best story teller of our times who tells his stories with great passion and with his recent film Rockstar he has proven it once again that no body understands the genre ‘romance’ like the way he does. It is indeed a braver and a more riskier film than his previous outings.

Rockstar has a lot of pain, anger, sorrow, agony and love.  It is about the quest of a middle class boy Janardhan for music, fame and love. Like all his films the characters in Rockstar also traverse long distances and transcend geographical boundaries. In this case Janardhan & Heer travel  from the streets of Delhi to snow-capped Kashmir and from there to the beautiful Prague.  I have always loved the way Imtiaz Ali develops the characters in his films; especially the female protagonist. In Rockstar; our Heer is confused, complex and hurting as hell. At one point she the ‘pious’ wife who is reluctant to take her relationship with Jordan further but at another point she is that passionate lover who cannot stop herself from delving into the love of Jordan. She is unfaithful but you cannot stop empathizing with her.This, probably is the beauty of her character (Wish she did justice to her role) The arrogant, high-ended and disturbed Jordan who goes about showing middle finger, bashing policemen, missing shows also seems “correct” to you. Ranbir inhabits Jordan’s complex world and infuses it with a childlike honesty. It is indeed one of his finest performance since Rocket Singh and he is of course the “Next Big Thing”.  Talking about the supporting actors; only Kumud Mishra makes an impression. He is brilliant as Janardhan’s friend, guide and manager and his raw, earthy mannerisms make him the very much believable *typical* Uncle ji from Delhi. Rockstar also will be remembered as Shammi Kapoor’s last film and the film that brought him and his grandson Ranbir together. It is beyond words to describe Shammi Sahab’s ‘final’ act as the Shehnai player Bismillah Khan. The jugalbandi –  ‘Dichotomy of Fame’ where he plays the Shehnai & Ranbir plays the guitar gave me goose bumps and I couldn’t hold my tears. Yes you are missed!

The soul of Rockstar is it’s music. Probably a slap on all those who had written Rahman off. A.R. Rahman‘s tunes, Irshad Kamil‘s words and Mohit Chauhan‘s voice create sheer magic on-screen. All the songs are intelligently incorporated into the screenplay and don’t seem out-of-place. It is easily the best album of the year. A special mention for Irshad Kamil who I believe is one under rated lyricist. Have loved his work right from his first film Chameli. Rockstar review is incomplete without a mention of ace cinematographer Anil Mehta. I don’t think anyone has captured Kashmir more beautifully on-screen than what he did in Rockstar. And the way the concerts have been filmed. Superb!

  • Was fascinated by the Kashmiri Pandit wedding which was shown probably for the first time on 70mm. Than you Imtiaz for this. (Wish the now refugee community returns back to their homes soon)
  • ‘Kun Faaya Kun’ took me to another world all together. The last time it happened was when I had heard ‘Khwaja Mere Khwaja’ on screen.
  • All the scenes in Delhi took me back to my under graduation days (Bahut ‘gand machaya’ hai) Oh Delhi! You beauty. You don’t know how much I love & miss you. Bangalore sucks!

With every film Imtiaz is maturing & improving as a director. And I say that as I saw that one quote in the end. Tugged at my heartstrings!

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I will meet you there ~ Rumi

3 thoughts on “ROCKSTAR : Pain, Anger, Love & Music

  1. Excellent review! Reading this really makes me wanna go see it. But, based on the artwork (up there) – I wouldn’t be at all tempted to even give it a 2nd thought. I don’t like what I consider to be hard rock music & that’s the impression the image gives me. But, your reviews seems like it’s a good emotional film with feeling in it.


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