‘Rock On!’ is a movie with wings of the youth but values of antiquity. It is a movie with the flavour of the much loved rock genre of music and the heady values of everlasting love, loyalty and friendship. It seems that Indian movies are finally coming of age, maturing with ageless grace and telling stories of mellowed brilliance. The time has come to launch our stories to a whole new level, and an instrument of this change, amongst many of its contemporaries, is the movie ‘Rock On!’

The movie introduces us to newness at every level. It is directed and written by a first time director, Abhishekh Kapoor. It is the debut of the talented director Farhan Akhtar who made the ground breaking ‘Dil Chahata Hai’, the very successful ‘Don’ and a mature ‘Lakshya’. Along with Farhan, Prachi Desai, the household ‘Bani’ (‘Kasam Se’) and Shahana Goswami make their big screen debut. Arjun Rampal, is presented with a novel look, so are Purab Kohli and Luke Kenny. Apart from the fresh cast, it is the wonderful approach towards Hindi Rock Music which enthralls the audiences. The movie has once and for all proved that rock music is not something which is challenged by language. Like any form of music it transcends barriers made my man and can be moulded with finesse into Hindi lyrics.

I will not be sharing the story of the movie in this article as it won’t do justice to the audiences. They need to find out what the movie is all about for themselves. It arouses different emotions in each person. A friend valued the rock theme more, while I loved the underlying significance of the friendship shown in the movie while another friend loved the humour which was showcased without slapstick-ness.

The actual winner in the film is the script, though at times it moves at a snail’s pace and becomes a little predictable, on the whole it has been written magnificently. It holds the attention of the audience; and the narration accompanied with flash-backs embraces the interest level with ease. Movies like ‘Rock On!’ go on to truly prove that it is the script which is the king, and the other appliances, like star cast, flashy locations and costumes, are all secondary. If the script holds on, and in this case it does, the movie sails safely and pleasantly into our hearts.

The director, Abhishekh Kapoor, has done a splendid job in holding the new cast together. Considering he had Arjun Rampal, an experienced actor, and Farhan Akhtar, a skilled director yet new to acting in front of the camera, along with a very juvenile group of actors on the ropes, he brings out the best in all of them. The sign of a good director is when he can get a brilliant act by the entire ensemble, and here he does it with poise. He deserves some recognition when the awards season kicks in early next year.

In the acting category, Farhan Akhtar sizzles in every avtar. Be it the rock mode early on or as the very suave investment banker, he commands absolute attention. He emotes with ease, thanks to his education as a director, and delivers on every count. Here is an unconventional actor who will make his difference a convention in the years to come. Arjun Rampal seems to be getting better and better with each passing movie. He clearly has realised his aura is not to be found in the lover boy image but in avant-garde roles where the youth can relate to him. As the brooding rocker, Arjun has come into his own. With few dialogues and greater inquiry into his intensity which comes through his eyes, he shines and shines like never before. It seems our new age hero is here and here to stay.

Purab Kohli is completely adorable and the stand out performer in the cast. His cheeky smile and comic timing is the surprise factor of the movie. He shows truth in his portrayal as the always-chirpy drummer who turns into a jeweller. He drums with amazing conviction, and fits into both the looks- that of a stylish rocker and a perfectly dressed Gujju, with ease. Here is an actor who is truly underrated. His act deserves recognition from every award there is in India. Luke Kenny comes across as the weak link amongst the male actors. He is consistently overshadowed amongst the giants that surround him. Yet he does a good job in bringing a sense of amity about his portrayal.

Prachi Desai excels on the big screen as the very calm yet loving, devoted and expectant housewife. She brings a charming refinement and loveliness to her craft. Her composed representation is very delightful, though she is adept at making her presence felt amongst the ensemble. She seems to have successfully made a transition from the mundane soaps to brilliant cinema. Shahana Goswami, seems to be a veteran, even though she is new to this medium of entertainment. She is mature, natural, surprisingly sure of her self and very confidently marches through out the movie, and at times stealing focus from her co stars effortlessly. Koel Purie and Nicollete Bird pitch in good performances.

‘Rock On!’ excels in the music department, thanks to the fantastic trio of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and is beautifully shot, with a complete harmony between coarseness and sophistication. It is a must watch and if you don’t, then you are missing a piece of Indian cinema which is capable of changing our cinematic landscape for sure.

Rock On!

Sayan Das

[Image Source: http://www.sawf.org/Newsphotos/Bollywood/RockOn/RockOnPosterMed.jpg]