Movie Review: Rock On!

By Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama News Network

Is ROCK ON!! DIL CHAHTA HAI 2, one is tempted to ask. DIL CHAHTA HAI was a trendsetter when you look back, paving way for storytellers who wanted a new story to tell. Now, the DIL CHAHTA HAI team of Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar with director Abhishek Kapoor deliver ROCK ON!!, a film that makes you understand the true meaning of friendship.

Put your hands together for one of the finest films of our times. Put your hands together for a director who pulls off a challenging subject with élan. Put your hands together for the actors who pitch in superlative performances.

ROCK ON!! is not just about music. It's about relationships. And relationships can get really complicated and messy as all of us would agree. ROCK ON!! captures it so beautifully, so sensitively, so effectively on celluloid.

Everything is in sync here, everything is just perfect. Flaws? Perhaps, the slow pacing. But come to think of it, you can't play with the edit in a film like this. ROCK ON!! also works because you can relate to the characters, you can relate to the moods, the egos, the highs and the lows...

In a nutshell, here's a film you just can't afford to miss. We've had our share of masala films week after week. Now have a look at a film that India can proudly showcase to the West. ROCK ON!! simply rocks!

ROCK ON!! is the story of four friends [Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, Purab Kohli, Luke Kenny] who put together the greatest band this country has ever seen, Magic, but never make it. Years later, fate conspires to bring them together again and set them on a journey back to where they left off... a soul-searching pilgrimage into their past.

ROCK ON!! bears some resemblance to the Hollywood film THAT THING YOU DO [Tom Hanks], but it could be a mere coincidence. Director Abhishek Kapoor sets it in the Indian milieu efficiently. Watch the bonding shatter into pieces for no fault of anyone in particular actually. It's the circumstances that play the villain here and Abhishek captures it on lens so beautifully. The fragile relationships, how piece after piece is put together and the journey to the climax… the narrative is so compelling, it makes you feel you're witnessing all of it first-hand.

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's music is perfect. It's completely in sync with the mood of the film. Connoisseurs of music have already showered the music with rave reviews and rightly so! Jason West's cinematography is fantastic. The screenplay and dialogues are commendable.

Every performance in the film deserves brownie points. Farhan Akhtar makes his debut as an actor and he displays rare maturity for a first-timer. Known as an accomplished director all along, Farhan will now be acknowledged as a mature actor as well. Arjun Rampal delivers his finest performance to date. Watch him emote those tough emotional moments and also as a failed person in the latter parts and you'd realize that he has only grown with the passage of time. Superb is the word!

Purab Kohli is tremendous and so is Luke Kenny. Purab has always delivered fine performances, but he's touched a new high this time. Luke is equally charged.

Prachi Desai scores in her very first feature. She has a challenging role and footage-wise too, it's substantial. Prachi brings in a lot of freshness and poise. Plus, she's a competent actor. Shahana Goswami is a talent to watch out for. Her performance is one of the most difficult ones for a newcomer and the confidence with which she carries it deserves to be lauded. Koel Purie has a brief role and she enacts it quite well.

On the whole, ROCK ON!! is an amazing experience. The highpoint is the emotional quotient, the skilful performances and the superb execution of the subject. At the box-office, this urban film holds tremendous appeal for metros and mini-metros. Business at multiplexes of Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and NCR, Kolkata and South in particular should be excellent. Very strongly recommended!

Bollywood.com Rating: 3.5

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