LET’S ROCK – OH FOR 60 MINUTES !!!
Posted by Vivek on September 1, 2008 | No Comments
Caught a press screening of Rock On! at the beautiful Saratoga area in Northern California. 60 minutes, oh 60 minutes separates this movie from being a reasonable watch to being a classic watch. It was 60 minutes too long, if 60 minutes had been shaved off a super movie would have played out. The two biggest strengths of this movie are
a) a strong story told via underplayed emotions and
b) extraordinary acting by the woman (don’t know her name), who plays Arjun Ramphal’s spouse in the film.
My one big, actually super big complaint with RGV, his proteges and the other Bollywood filmmakers, more the current lot, is that most spousal conflicts, as depicted visually in hindi movies, either ends in a slap or a glass being broken or something similar. To me this suggests a lack of understanding of real world emotions and how they play out and also bad scriptwriting to wrap up a perfect conflict in an imperfect way and finally it depicts that we don’t really understand arguments. Arguments and conflicts can and do happen between the best of friends and culminating it in a physical action is an insult to the intelligence which goes into depicting the build up of the argument.
Rock On! moves away from this, especially in the marital conflict phase and am glad to see that play out in a movie. The protagonist and his spouse don’t have the perfect marriage, in fact both the marriages playing out on the screen are not, but then they are also not depicted in the classical and unclassy way of physical violence against people or things. Here it plays out naturally as generally it does or should do, between two intelligent people. In fact the only time
violence in a male/male or a friend scenario situation is depicted, is when an unintelligent human initiates it. This is one classic movie from that angle. The story is light, parts of it have been told by other films like Jhankaar Beats, Dil Chahta Hai etc, but what stands out is the performance by the character who plays Ramphal’s wife. She plays the modern, current, urban woman with a lot of aplomb. Watch out for her. Just the opening scene is dynamite and it only gets better from there. This part suits Arjun too, after playing a mediocere bad guy in OSO (Om Shanti Om), he plays a reasonably good, good guy in Rock On.
Purab Kohli amongst the males, is the definite standout. The weakness is the duration. If this story had played out in 90 minutes it would have been a very fine film, to have it slow down and play out over 2.5 hours, is a very slow film. A rock band movie playing slow…I know it sounds unusual but the director and the editor
need a serious lesson in “raw footage” and ” final cut,” cause what plays out for the audience is definitely raw footage. Frahan the director is better than Farhan the actor (although he did not direct this film), the songs and music is good and some fine sights and sounds of the city of Mumbai. Research is lacking…A Financial Adivsor aka Your Personal Banker is NOT AN INVESTMENT BANKER. Farhan’s character is shown picking stocks in one scene and then he is an investment banker in the other, c’mon guys lets get some basic research done, it does not cost too much money and is the least that we can expect. Overall though one does feel good watching Rock On…of course the thought does linger, but what if 60 minutes had been cut…how much better would the feeling be!!! Some questions in life are never answered unfortunately. The character arc of humans in general, especially urban, current humans from India, is well depicted, in fact better than a lot of movies I have seen.