Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Rock On!!


A new and high point in Bollywood filmmaking...

Starting up a rock band by the name of Magik, four friends have the dream of shooting to stardom with their rock music. When this dream never sees the light of day, the band split and has little contact with each other member. After 10 years, their lives become interwoven once more and the decision is made to attempt to reunite the bonds of the past.

The story is presented in an intriguing fashion jumping from the past to the present at will, but it never becomes distracting. This change goes to compliment the film in many ways. Not only does it make the viewing more interesting, but it helps to better understand the emotional and mental struggles of the main characters. The two most notable are Aditiya (Farhan Akhtar) and Joe (Arjun Rampal), with the former leading a prosperous life as a business man while the latter is barely able to make ends meet. The film is relatively easy to understand throughout but that doesn't mean it lacks the depth. There is a great sense of duality and confliction which arises as the film evolves. However the film can be seen to be a tad optimistic about certain factors of life, though it is nothing detrimental to the film as a whole, especially when the film has some melancholic moments. There is also a factor overlooked in the story: when the band attempts to reunite it appears to have no effect on the busy lives of those involved in the business world, notably Aditiya, with a similar social problem only affecting Joe.

There is a minor problem in regards to the English subtitling whereby spoken English is incorrectly subtitled, at one point even changing what was said entirely, though it was an unimportant scene of dialogue.

On the acting side, the actors perform quite well. Rock On!! marks Akhtar's acting debut after success with script writing and directing, and he adds another skill to his growing list of talents, even that of singing. He is well suited with strong presence next to Rampal who plays a more delicate role. They both play off one another extremely well and the chemistry between both shows whether in normal interaction or when the band is performing on stage. But this is not to say that both remain constant opposites of one another, for both have these subtle moments when they reverse characteristics, but it so dependent on the situation and goes to show the complex structure of the characters themselves, with character development being apparent, though perhaps not as much as one would hope. The remainder of the cast aids both main actors successfully creating a very believable context for the film.

The core highlight of Rock On!! is its musical score. It you enjoyed the snippet provided by the preview then you are bound to enjoy listening to an array of exhilarating track, complimented with a couple of slower pieces which allows for added variety. No matter what track is being played Rock On!! presents one of the most consistent soundtracks to grace a Bollywood film in a while. Also the production values are absolutely amazing for a Bollywood film. Rock on!! does not feel like a foreign Bollywood film at all, with the whole film feeling like a mid-to-high production Hollywood film. This is achieved with some masterful directing by Abhishek Kapoor with every scene, especially when Magick performs their music, seeming well calculated. However this does not stop Kapoor choosing some strange and rather unnecessary direction for certain scenes but this is thankfully very rare.

In what has been an up-and-down year for Bollywood blockbusters, Rock On!! amazingly is able to remain one string above most of the rest. There is very little to fault beyond the simple story and questionable cinematographic decisions. Rock On!! is as complete a package as you would hope for, and for a film which doesn't appear to be as widely acknowledged as other Bollywood blockbusters, Rock On!! is a true delight.

8/10

Screen date: 29 August 2008
Release date: 03 September 2008

6 comments:

Retroflex said...

Nice review - and it's a good film. But in regard to production values, it breaks little ground. Perhaps you haven't seen a lot of Bollywood films, because most have similar (if not higher) production values than Rock On.

CruizD said...

Hey, thanks for the read :)

I will admit that I haven't seen a ton of them... only really got into Bollywood films this year.

But I will keep that in mind, thanks again!

Farzan said...

Good review. Never heard of it, but it sounds interesting

Abhinav said...

Interesting review. I was hardly expecting to see an Indian movie review here.

An interesting to see here is most of my friends, who have lived on a diet of emotions-heavy, over-the-top Indian movies, found this movie to be pretty boring.

I for one, loved it. Each to its own I guess.

CruizD said...

Wow really? they didn't enjoy Rock On? That's just crazy :P

As for Indian films, im half-white, half-indian and lots of Indians in South Africa, so always a good place to release them Bollywood films.

Watch Free Movies said...

Interesting film...I hardly found out any good reviews for Indian movies..I am impressed.You have written very good man..Thank You Very much.