Actors: Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, Luke Kenny, Purab Kohli and Prachi Desai.
Producer: Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani
Music Director: Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Lyrist: Javed Akhtar
Director: Abhishek Kapoor
Take a bow, Farhan Akhtar and the gang for making an absolutely rocking, elating and captivating movie that’s about much, much more than just music. It’s about Magik.
Friends – no matter if you’re a rocker or no-rocker – this is one movie you shouldn’t miss. Even if you have an ingrained aversion to the jarring sounds of the distortion-guitars and keep a safe audible distance from anything with a semblance of rock, you should still watch this flick. Because after watching it, you cannot help falling in love with it. The Magik of this movie works on you and sends you home with a feeling to ‘keep on rocking in a free world’.
than about music, ‘Rock On’ is a tale of bonding, a tale of loss, a tale of following one’s heart, and a tale of rejuvenation. It’s a story of four friends who drifted apart when they were just on the cusp of kissing fame.
Aditya (Farhan Akhtar) is a brooding investment banker who’s got riches and a beautiful wife (a gorgeous Prachi Desai ), but no happiness in life. KD (Purab Kohli) is the odd man out at his rich dad’s jewelry firm. Joe ( Arjun Rampal ) sits at his guitar shop and does pretty much nothing except play a few melodies or listen to the endless bickering of his wife Debbie (Sahana Goswami) who’s the sole provider of the family. And Rob (Luke Kenny) takes on odd musical assignments with music directors (Anu Malik plays a cameo), composing for ad jingles.
The four lead their separate lives. But they had something common once – music and ‘Magik’. Yeah, that was the name of their rock band that broke up when they were working on their first album. Ten years later, Aditya’s wife brings the estranged friends together. And Magik is revived. But there are tough choices to be made by the four friends.
‘Rock On’ grips you from its very opening reels when you are introduced to the dull, mechanical lives of the four protagonists. The sense of emptiness is intelligently highlighted by the contrasting flashbacks of their juvenile past when everything was hip and happening, and life was a song.
Director Abhishek Kapoor deserves a solid (if possible, rocking) pat on his back for making such a real and yet deeply moving film. Before anything, Abhishek ensures a tight script with every single character finely fleshed out. Then he has a proper ensemble cast in place. Above all, Abhishek doesn’t falter in the telling of the story. His direction is spot on and he extracts brilliant performances from the cast.
Farhan Akhtar is simply a revelation. Take my word, friends, his performance in the film can put some established stars in our industry to shame. He is stilted and uptight as the business-fixated banker, and he’s charming and lithe as the long-haired singer of the band.
Arjun Rampal has been surprising his critics since his performance in Om Shanti Om . This time, Arjun gives a restrained and stoic performance as a failed musician with incredible tolerance towards his carping wife – played superbly by Sahana Goswami.
Purab Kohli provides ample comic relief as the band’s ‘killer drummer’. Luke Kenny surprises you by the ease with which he plays the cool-as-a-cucumber keyboardist.
Prachi Desai – almost looking like Penelope Cruz – is eye-grabbing and delivers an impressive performance while Koel Purie hardly has a role to write about.
Being a movie about a rock band, ‘Rock On’ obviously has a number of songs, some of which are quite catchy. And the movie has many memorable moments that move you – at times to smiles, and at times to tears. Two of my favourites are when the band plays the cheesy Bollywood track ‘Ashiqui Ke Liye’ in its rock version at a dandia party and the final concert when Aditya sings Joe’s song.
Hats off to Abhishek Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani for giving us a truly entertaining film in all aspects. I’m not going to indulge in fault-finding just for the heck of critically reviewing a movie. It’s the ‘Rock On’ effect that’s rejuvenated me.
Hell, I feel like buying a guitar. But before that, I will catch this movie once again. I suggest you too do so.