If you go to watch Rockstar expecting it to be a rags-to-riches story of a small town guy making it big in the world of music after hardship and struggles, then chances are that you are not going to like this movie. If you go to watch it, and you see only a musical with a love story in the background, then you clearly won’t like it thinking it is only old wine in a new bottle and you might end up cribbing about how over hyped the movie was!! However, if what catches your notice is how an artist’s evolution from an ordinary guy who had not a worry in the world except making big in the world of music, to a Rockstar who attains fame and popularity for mostly the wrong reasons and does not know how to break free from the shackles of the helplessness and restlessness that fetter his mind, then you might like it and even enjoy a bit of it. I say a bit of it because there are snatches of scenes that are really good which have you hooked on to scenes where you wonder what the hell happened to the story. The final scene where he is led by the policemen and he shows his finger to the crowd with a smirk and a subtle smile speaks volumes.
One of the weak links in the story was Nargis and that bit about her condition was dragged like a chewing gum. Her acting seems too much of an effort for her and it ends up being half-baked and cringe-worthy. Some clichéd scenes, some silly dialogues, and over-hyped sentimental mushy-mushy drama is what brings the film down. If only the love angle had been kept as a background track instead of it taking frontal focus, the film might actually have appealed a lot more to people.
What works for the movie is Ranbir Kapoor (without a doubt), remarkable picturization of the songs, the lyrics, Mohit Chauhan and most important of all AR Rahman’s background and music score. The lyrics of the songs clearly showcase the angst and the frustration of a man who wants to be at peace with himself and not be someone whose life is dictated by society, rules or moral obligations. The way Imitiaz Ali has directed the movie, the past interspersing with the present is pretty good. I enjoyed that bit. Reminded me a bit of Mani Ratnam’s Yuva!!
From the portrayal of a naïve small town boy who wants to experience the pain of heartbreak so that it will inspire him to write better songs, to a rebellious-don’t-give-a-f**k-about-the-world Rockstar, Ranbir has carried the entire film ably on his shoulders. His portrayal of the guy who decides to fall in love initially so that he could write songs from the pain within and then does not know how to handle the conflict of the restlessness and helplessness that arises when really does fall in love is neatly done. The underlying fact is however that, even if it was not pain from an un-requited love, and it was some other kind of heart-wrenching pain, the man could probably have still become the same guy struggling from internal conflicts.
Overall, a onetime watch – for the songs, Ranbir Kapoor and the hype!!
PS: These are my thoughts about the movie and you are welcome to disagree with it.