Archive for November 11th, 2011


Movie Review: Rockstar

AR Rahman is absolutely right: there are no pure rock stars in India. Rahman says India does not have pure rock stars because Indians have morals, but the truth is that it’s because every Indian musician who plays rock music or heavy metal, when not promoting his band, is advertising his other talents, selling out, displaying various skills and somehow being in the limelight all the time. Not that any Indian musician will admit he wants to be a rock star (“rockstar”, according to this Hindi film) – ‘I’m a musician, not a rock star’, he will say, but will use every strategy in the book to market himself, without realizing that no bona fide rock star in the world promotes himself or his band or his other pluses. A rock star does not have to be a boozard or drug user, and he does not need to be a sex maniac. But what a rock star should never be is a salesman, and he should never do for himself what he can get others to do for him. Like frying an egg, fixing a leaky tap, tuning a car’s engine, masturbating… you get what I’m saying. A rock star’s other skills should be benefits for family and friends; they will let the world know the perks of knowing you personally when you’re not around, and that is the way the world will learn interesting things about you, unless your life is a poorly written open book which everybody has read and nobody cares about. Rock stars don’t feel the need to do things to become or to continue being special. They are extraordinary wherever they are and however they are by simply being.

Imtiaz Ali, a friend tells me, has the habit of telling the same story over and over again, and the amazing thing about his movies is that he tells you that story differently every time.

Rockstar makes no effort to connect with the rock scene or fans of rock music in any way. If the movie meant to have rock music buffs warming up to it, the songs would have been in English. Rockstar is the love story of a musician who makes no bones about his desire to become famous – as famous as his idol Jim Morrison – and being the simpleton he is, starts off on an amusing note – he tries to have his heart broken because he’s been told great music is born only out of pain.

Imtiaz Ali dives into the love story – there is push and pull between Jordan/Janardhan (Ranbir Kapoor) and his manager and the record label but no sign of the rest of his band, so we can assume they’re all session/live musicians. Fair enough. This movie isn’t about a musician’s struggles; it’s about a simpleton musician who turns into a rebellious sensation. How he became such a big star, what he did to become an overnight sensation, where in India would a “rock star” get mobbed, why he doesn’t have poseur band mates – these are questions for our Indian rock stars musicians to ask on Facebook and Twitter, and in that way indulge in more PR exercises, and go even further away from becoming rock stars. Break an egg, make an omelette and let the entire cyberworld know about it.

Rockstar is funny, charming and a bit stretched. Ranbir Kapoor and Heer Kaul (Nargis Fakhri) have a blast watching soft porn in a seedy movie hall, getting drunk on country liquor, disturbing men peeing on a wall and rushing off on a bike, and realize they miss each other when she gets married to another man and leaves for Prague. Jordan, thanks to opportunity, goes there to meet her.

There are a lot of songs – most of them pretty good – all of them sung by the often annoying Mohit Chauhan. His voice does grate the nerves, even if he’s singing to Rahman’s music when Rahman is in solid form. The film is a visual delight too, with very good cinematography and the way lights and colours illuminate many of the scenes.

Nargis Fakhri has a splendid ass, and you should check out the slideshow at the bottom of this post, and the next time a rock star musician writes on Facebook/Twitter anything negative about this movie, you should share the link of this review with them.

Rockstar is a one-time watch, and a sweet one.

RATING: 3.5/5

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