Rock On 2 – Movie Review
Posted by Vivek on November 14, 2016 | No Comments
FILM – Rock On – 2
PRODUCER – Farhan Akhtar, Vikesh Bhutani, Ashit Ghelani, Ritesh Sidhwani
DIRECTOR – Shujaat Saudagar
WRITER – Abhishek Kapoor & Pubali Chaudhuri (story), Pubali Chaudhuri (screenplay) & Farhan Akhtar (dialogue)
CAST – Farhan Akhtar, Shraddha Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Purab Kohli, Prachi Desai
MUSIC – Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy
Rock On 2 looked less of a passion product and more of a franchise product from the word go. Cashing in on the goodwill of the first film, the team minus Abhishek Kapoor as director put together a rag-tag story that seems to have a deeper emotional appeal on paper than it does on screen.
Rock On 2 opens with a jump in time, voice-overing an entire phase of the protagonist’s lives crucial to the story. The set-up takes great pains to set the context and mood of the story of these band boys in their late 30’s / early 40’s. The film centres around Adi (Farhan Akhtar’s) guilt around feeling responsible for the suicide of a budding musician Rahul. The family of that musician is in pain too, having since given up music. Jiah (Shraddha Kapoor) Rahul’s sister, and her father Pundit Vibhuti, a great puritanical musician find themselves having to face their own trauma once again through Adi’s self-absolution.
There is a strong emotional core to the story and the film earnestly does try hard to evoke sympathy for its characters and that’s the problem, it evokes sympathy not empathy. A dull, inane voice-over constantly telling you what to expect and underlining the emotional drama about to unfold is one dampener. The remaining is taken care of by the actual unfolding. Self-conscious dialogues, self-conscious performances and shallow characterisation weave a jumpy narrative that focuses more on what happens rather than how, the latter treatment being truer to a story such as this one.
Even in the how there is little of factual or careful treatment of events. One simply does not know how the concert in the end is supposed to help the refugee villagers. One also is never really aware of Jiah’s own journey as a person and musician, it is simply a reflection of her brother’s and a single outburst on the telephone against her father solves years of rejection and lack of self-belief tendencies, as it does in films. That in a film centring around a man suffering from years of guilt and arriving at seems to be a convenient anomaly to say the least.
Another, and perhaps a larger anomaly is Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy’s music which is cacophonous at best. The first film required a jingle-like rock and they delivered, it fitted the coming-of-age, breaking shackles theme of the film well. Here, the music is a messy chaos trying to merge Indian classical, Indian fusion, metallic rock and the jingles of the first film. The only paisa vasool moment (for me) was watching the inimitable Usha Uthup perform in her inimitable style, all else seemed too lifeless.