Critics' verdict: Rockstar gets mixed reviews

By Hindustan Times

Though Ranbir Kapoor has delivered one of his best peformances so far, the film's script fails to live up to expectations. While AR Rahman's music is a plus point, Nargis Fakhri's performance disappoints. Here's what critics are saying about the movie.

Says Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama, "Alas! Rockstar is a sumptuously shot movie that is disjointed on script level. The problem with Rockstar is that it starts off most impressively, has some terrific moments in between, but the writing gets so erratic and incoherent as it heads towards the conclusion that you wonder, am I really watching an Imtiaz Ali film?"

"What you take back from Rockstar are some terrific moments, a bravura performance (Ranbir Kapoor is a class apart!)and of course, AR Rahman's musical score. Wish one could carry the entire film back in our hearts!," feels Adarsh.

Kaveree Bamzai, India Today, pays a compliment to the film saying that the music is integrated very well with the script. She writes, "Ali has crafted the film as one long song, and nowhere in recent times has the music integrated so well with what he is trying to say. Whether it is Kun Faaya Kun where Janardhan discovers the power of music, or the gorgeous jugalbandi between Shammi Kapoor on shehnai and Ranbir on guitar where you can see two different kinds of talent on display--one natural, almost animal-like, another refined, spiritually-inclined--AR Rahman's music is the soul of the film. What is missing is the spine, leaving just a jelly in place."

Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV.com has an interesting observation to make. He says, "The film, nearly three hours long, traverses long physical distances – from Delhi to Kashmir and from there to Prague and then back again to Delhi as JJ follows his lady love (who gets married quickly enough and settles down to drab matrimony in faraway Czech Republic to make matters difficult) halfway around the world, singing and dancing his woes away. But despite all the frenetic movement in space that Rockstar offers, the film really goes nowehere. It feels strangely static."

Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India goes gaga over the film terming it as an "engaging affair". She writes, "The fact that this romance unfolds on screen in the form of an explosive musical, capturing JJ’s transmutation into Jordan, the edgy artist, makes the film an absolutely engaging affair. The vocals by Mohit Chauhan, the lyrics by Irshad Kamil and the music by AR Rahman are stuff classics are made of. Of course, Sadda Haq is the youth anthem by now, but there are so many beautiful tracks in the film, you get heady and stirred. Ranbir Kapoor displays an amazing growth chart as a performer as he gradually changes from a two-sizes-too-tight jean-clad upstart to a musical genius seared by a love that threatens to scorch his very soul. Nargis Fakhri too stands tall as the delectable Heer who sizzles on screen with her unconventional ways. But eventually, the film is a milestone in Ranbir Kapoor’s career as an actor and a classic cut from the AR Rahman and Mohit Chauhan combo. Shammi Kapoor’s presence as the classical artist enhances the gravitas of the film."

Aniruddha Guha, DNA, feels the film has blended romance with dark reality very well. He writes, "For about 15 minutes in Rockstar, the narrative tends to resort to ‘Bollywoodism’; true love having the power to cure a terminal illness (almost), for example, doesn’t exactly fit with what the rest of the film has to say. Yet, Imtiaz makes it work somehow, interweaving the fantastical romantic part of the film with the more gritty, dark bits deftly. In the end, how much you enjoy Rockstar will largely depend on whether the balance between the story of a broken, unfulfilled musician and the more conventional love story works for you."

Performances
Taran Adarsh on Ranbir Kapoor: The secret behind Ranbir's triumph is that he puts his heart and mind into every project he chooses to perform in. Love, resentment, pain, hurt... Ranbir brings a multitude of feelings to his character. It's a role of a lifetime and Ranbir is sure to be immortalized in this story of a rockstar. He glides into the character effortlessly, so much so that you see very little of Ranbir, the actor and more of Janardan/Jordan, the character he represents. His performance is beyond extraordinary.

Taran Adarsh on Nargis: Nargis is a stunner as far as looks are concerned, but isn't persuasive in poignant moments. However, the chemistry between Ranbir and Nargis is exhilarating. Shammi Kapoor is superb in a small but significant role. Aditi Rao Hydari suffers due to an undeveloped characterization. Kumud Mishra is splendid. What a fine actor! Piyush Mishra is, as always, exceptional. Shernaz Patel enacts her part well.

Rituparna Chatterjee (IBNLive) on Ranbir-Nargis: Nargis Fakhri's acting leaves much to be desired. At the heart of the film are the dialogue. Really witty and crisp. But Nargis' acting grates on the nerves. Ranbir Kapoor is a revelation. His slow transformation from a dimwit looking for a heartbreak to an elusive star is excellent. Nargis and Ranbir work visually as a couple but her stuttered acting is as infuriating as Ranbir's is endearing.

Conclusion

"On the whole, Rockstar does not live up to the confidence and expectations from the otherwise very skilled and accomplished film-maker Imtiaz Ali. The film suffers immensely due to a disorderly screenplay, especially in its post-interval portions. However, the silver lining or the comforting prospect is the virtuoso performance by Ranbir Kapoor and the captivating score by AR Rahman, which justify that one extra star," Adarsh sums it up.

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