Sunday, November 13, 2011

Rockstar Movie Review - aka WTF Just Happened!

If you've already seen the movie and somehow liked it, then don't read on. If however, you saw the movie and got mind fucked by the random trash on display, then I hope my words do justice to your anger and disappointment.

This year end, we've had three hyped up movies - Mausam, Ra. One and Rockstar coming out back to back and turning out to be incredibly bad movies. Let's focus on Rockstar.

The trailers promised an awesome visual and musical treat. The music release thankfully gave Rehman fans what they were promised, but the movie sadly was like watching a disaster unfold. The first twenty minutes were fine, barring the lousy performance by Nargis Fakhri, an epic casting fail by Imtiaz Ali. She is actually 32 yrs old, playing a Kashmiri girl attending a Delhi college and she totally does not look or act the part. In fact in several scenes she seems to be aping Katrina Kaif's acting (i.e. non-acting) skills. There's a lot of humor in those first twenty minutes, which succeeds in entertaining the movie goers.

Then comes a lot of epic bullshit. The director/editor chooses layers of flashbacks for a story where a linear narrative would've sufficed. By the end of the movie, one gets to watch the same footage of Ranbir and Nargis on a bike travelling in Kashmir, at least half a dozen times. WTF!

Some major pain points that I have with this movie are as follows:

1. The movie trailers that usually setup one's expectations from the movie showed a very different viewpoint from what the movie actually turned out to be.

2. Ranbir's character, who at one point in the movie is shown to be ridiculed by some existing Rock band for his lack of charisma, all of a sudden is being sought after by 'Platinum Records'. Why? No explanation.

3. The reasoning for him being thrown out of his home is so trivial, and the thread with him and his bhabhi who's 'chipakne vaala' behavior is an unnecessary thread which goes nowhere.

4. His altercations with the media and the cops are totally contrived and make you feel no sympathy for the lead character.

5. The scene where Ranbir is arrested by the cops in Prague is shoved in so randomly that one is pissed off with the director. Here's what the audience gets to see. Nargis is sleeping at night, when she hears an alarm sound off. She rushes downstairs and gets out of her house to watch her husband point a gun at Ranbir. This, by the way, happens just a brief while after the husband and his family encourage her to partake in a music show with Ranbir and everything seems hunky dory. Definitely a very bad build up for a gun-pointing sequence.

6. The song Sadda Haq was touted as a rebel's song, in the movie there is no rebellious act that Ranbir does. Not a single one. His altercations with the cops are a direct result of him skipping out on shows he was supposed to play at or trespassing into Nargis' home in Prague. The Free Tibet (with Tibet being blurred) flags seem to have no consequence to the story. Neither are the random images of Kashmiri's raising their fists when the song is played. It just seems shoved into the story to make one feel like the character is a major rebel and the people are connecting with him.

7. This one single scene got a unanimous WTF sigh from the entire crowd at Adlabs: Bang in the middle of the song Sadda Haq, Ranbir stops singing and walks right into the middle of the crowd. The following words are exchanged (probably not verbatim, but close enough):

Jordan (Ranbir's Rockstar name): Bahut samay pehle, is jagah ek jungle hua karta thaa. Us jungle ko hataa kar yahaan ek shehar banaa. Us vakt ek parindon ka jhund ud ke chalaa gaya. Kya kisi ne un parindon ko dekha hai?

Audience: Nahiiii!

Jordan: Main un parindon ko dhoond raha hoon!

Audience: Yaaaay!

Then the rest of Sadda Haq plays on!

Another WTF moment! The guy is basically a gifted musician who has a fucked up love life. That's it! He isn't looking for any Parindaas in the whole god damn movie. He's just running after a girl who is massively confused about her own relationships. Why the fuck was that scene shoved in for no reason apart from trying to put in pseudo intellectualism into the movie!

8. Some more WTFs in the movie. At the end of the movie, when one finds out that Nargis is dying from some disease, there is a male character who mostly seems like her dad, but then turns out to be her doctor! Nargis' sister initially turns up at Ranbir's show when Nargis is on the verge of dying and gets the two of them close again. That leads to Nargis' health improving. Then, Nargis and Ranbir have implicit sex. She returns home and after some time goes into coma. Ranbir then gets a call from Nargis' sister asking whether he impregnated her sister. By this time, I saw about twenty people walk out of the movie.
Ranbir then walks out of another show without performing and arrives at the hospital. Where the sister, who until now was a major supporter of Ranbir in Nargis' life, says some random dialogues like "Tum zindagi bhar jalte rahoge" and other over the top lines as he is taken away by the police (for bailing out on yet another concert, not for any rebellious act). He also gets into rows with the media, when they ask him questions about his relationship with Nargis, who they know is a married woman. He thrashes some media dude. Again, no rebellion going on here.

The movie ends in a major WTF climax, where there is a montage of songs that Jordan plays on stage. Including one in which he imagines Nargis with him on stage, at which time the audience gave a reaction that reminded me of the scene in Kites where Hrithik jumps into the ocean to find Barbara Mori swimming to him in a bridal dress. It was that fuck all a scene!

Then, without any explanation, you get to hear Katiya Karun, for the billionth time in the movie with Ranbir and Nargis on the bike in Kashmir followed by the text "Written and Directed by Imtiaz Ali". Just in case you forgot whom to blame while walking out of the movie hall.

Now for the few things that were good about the movie:

1. Ranbir's performance. He was awesome in a fuck all movie. His expressions, attitude and screen presence were all amazing.
2. A R Rahman's background score. Simply stunning.
3. The cinematography.

That's about it. The thing about Rockstar was that everyone was trying their best to like the movie, but it just kept going downhill after the interval. Anyway, what's done is done. Those three hours of my life are never coming back. But in case anyone from Bollywood is reading this, please try and not fuck up movies with stellar star casts and production values. This year has been filled with hugely hyped up movies turning out to be utter bull shit. The only movie that set expectations right and then lived upto the hype was Zindagi Naa Milegi Dobara! More of the same, please!