Many musicians have chosen a path of self-destruction course along with drinks, drugs and violence. Rockstar is one musical journey of a young, talented Delhi boy whose life takes wings to stardom but chequered by a fatal love that propels him on a self-destructive course and eventually a bad-boy-of-music image that in fact works to his huge popularity chart unintentionally.
While in college Janardhan Jakhar (Ranbir Kapoor), a guitarist who wants to taste musical success like Jim Morrison is clueless how to hit the next level. His canteen in-charge tells him all the musical genius has one thing common in life and that is “pain/tragedy”, while JJ rues the fact he has no pain or resentment in his ordinary life. So while he searches for pain, he comes across his college mate, Heera Kaul (Nargis Fakhri), who is engaged and set for marriage in two months. Heera gives him a new identity “Jordan” and also becomes his pain, focus and the world from where he becomes a rockstar while also becoming an uncontrolled, untamed musical genius full-on with self-destructive eccentricities. While am not going to reveal what happens between Jordan and Heera, all I can say is Imitaz Ali has yet again pulled out a compelling romantic story with layers of complexities.
The first half of the movie is quiet breezy, Ranbir kapoor as an aspiring college musical kid is endearing with many moments of playful and laughter moments. While the second half sags a bit in between but Ranbir manages to pull it along.
Rockstar also happens to be the last movie of late Shammi Kapoor, who makes a short appearance as Ustad Jameel Khan and in one particular scene he points out at Ranbir and says as a prophecy he is set for bigger things and would go places, so just let him be his own.
Debutant Nargis Fakhri shows sparkle of Katrina Kaif and is very lively though she struggles in strong emotive scenes nevertheless she is a promising new face and set for a long innings in Bollywood.
AR Rahman’s music adds the depth and feel to the movie with the various textures of music. The music changes character as the characters evolve and the complexities set in adding to the soul of the movie. While Saadda Haq has almost become an iconic anthem these days, Kun Faya Kun is magical Sufi treat to ears and Naadaan Parindey captures brilliantly the anguish and despair.
Imitaz Ali is one director who can dabble upon romance subject umpteen times and each time present it with a fresh whip of script. But in Rockstar, he has wandered into very complex waters and a love story which is well described fittingly as the closing lines of the movie says in Rumi’s words:
Beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing,
There is a field.
I will meet you there.
GingerChai verdict: Rockstar is a musical journey that is complex in notes but one that strikes the right chord. The notes might be little jarred in between but nevertheless worth it.