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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34 Responses to “Movie Review: Rockstar”

  1. 1 Aneesh
    November 12, 2011 at 06:45

    Dud, that slideshow deserves a 3.5, not the movie. The movie goes a decimal bit to the left.

    Barring the music & location hunting, there was nothing but crap. Substandard performances. The worst part is, thanks to the mass element attached to this industry, one’ll see villagers trying to turn into Jim Morrison. Just ’cause “he raised a middle finger and became popular”.


    • November 12, 2011 at 07:02

      It needs to be seen with something other than ‘I’m a metalhead’ eyes. Nobody’s going try to turn into Jim Morrison. How many people who took up the guitar after Rock On! are still playing it? The middle finger and popularity are shown as a part of rock star theme, which is a coating Imtiaz Ali has used to present the same love story in another way, and he has pulled it off really well. Did you not see the scene in which Ranbir Kapoor wonders aloud before his friends how Jim Morrison got a lot of cheers when he gave the audience the middle finger? Did it occur to you that he might have been waiting all along for the right moment to emulate his hero?

      If Ranbir Kapoor had played a mechanic instead of a rock star, a bunch of mechanics would be going on about what he’s not done right. To someone like me who doesn’t know anything about cars, the character would just be fixing the vehicle in every scene that has him under it.

      If villagers haven’t tried to become cops, dons, gunda-mawalis, gamblers, politicians, doctors, lawyers and *insert any profession/occupation you can think of* after decades of watching Bollywood movies and Amitabh Bachchan’s films, I doubt Ranbir Kapoor’s character in Rockstar will change anybody’s life.


      • 3 Aneesh
        November 12, 2011 at 07:35

        Well, this move is made just as a trendsetter. Where’s the contribution? Even if you feel like taking the movie through songs, the supporting elements should be strong. People are rigid in the movie; it’s been edited as if they are running away to some other important assignment.

        I ain’t saying this in a bigoted sense, but the whole Jim Mo thing should have been built up later on in the movie. Instead, it was like a haphazard puzzle joint. And seriously, apart from the music, what else can one take back from the movie??


        • November 12, 2011 at 07:44

          Of course it has been made as a trendsetter. It wants to impress people and make money; it’s not trying to be a cult movie for us.

          The Jim Morrison angle was a peg.

          What did I take from the movie? Imtiaz Ali’s same old love story presented yet again in a different way.

          I went for that and I got that. Surely we weren’t expecting ‘Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey’ from Imtiaz Ali? 🙂


        • November 12, 2011 at 07:45

          The point being that most such movies are designed to be trendsetters. That they don’t set any major or long-lasting trends is another story and entirely the film’s problem and the filmmaker’s concern.


  2. November 13, 2011 at 15:29

    Nooooo! HOW can you recommend the film? Even for a single watch? It’s such a pathetic film!

    I was actually looking forward for your review, but… Anyway. I guess Fakri has fans.


    • November 13, 2011 at 15:33

      Hey, c’mon… it’s a decent love story. People are just getting pissed off because they thought it was going to be all about rock music.

      Honestly, I got sick of looking at Nargis Fakri after some time because she doesn’t act all that well.

      Her butt did look excellent in one scene. 😛


      • November 13, 2011 at 15:49

        I wasn’t expecting anything about rock music, ’cause it’s by Imtiaz. And like you say, he’s tells stories. Apart from Prague and Fakri’s unending legs (which I think Imtiaz should’ve cashed on), there’s nothing to see. Really, man!


  3. November 13, 2011 at 15:31

    I liked this movie. A lot. Only irritating thing was the ‘medical miracle’, and the heroine’s poor acting, but atleast they let her die in the end.


  4. November 13, 2011 at 17:03

    Haven’t seen Raat. Funny how no one’s recco’d that film till now. Will watch it.
    I haven’t seen Satya for the fear that it’ll spoil RVG’s films for me. Just like Rockstar did with Imtiaz’s film. I’m such a fan of him, and now.. well, I should stop bitching about the film. I’m writing a special bitchfest post for my blog on it.


    • November 13, 2011 at 17:25

      Don’t tell me you liked Love Aaj Kal… Rockstar is more believable that LAK, even with the terminal disease being temporarily cured by love and all.

      You should watch Satya. It is the best thing I have ever seen. If you don’t fall in love with Bhiku Mhatre, I will change my name to… Mud.


  5. November 13, 2011 at 17:29

    Haven’t seen Love Aaj Kal for the same reason.

    Will watch Satya too, though I’m a tad wary of your recommendation now. But I’d rather people call you Mehta than Mud, so I will : )


  6. 25 Pyjama Warrior
    November 14, 2011 at 11:44

    Did someone tell you that you’ve put a picture of Bruna Abdullah in that slide show?!! 😛 The one with the yellow micro mini skirt… And the topless babe in white undies(just before the Rocksta poster slide)..she isn’t Nargis Fakri either!


  7. November 14, 2011 at 18:01

    I was not supposed to see the movie, but after watching the slideshow, now i am most definitely going to watch the movie…


  8. 28 Anonymous
    August 25, 2013 at 12:52

    You guys keep on complaining about Bollywood. If you excuse me, I am Brazilian and here in brazil our movie industry is completely forgotten, because of Hollywood. And Hollywood is crap, really! I mean, I enjoy alternative films and stuff, but really love some of the Indian movies, just because they are full of emotion, and the plot is unbelievable, you never know what is going to happen next.
    Haha, I really enjoyed watching Rockstar (in a DVD, in palampur), because it is not a love story. It’s a suffering story, karmic, delightful. It’s is kinda long, but nice! And I love the soundtrack, I often listen to it.


  9. August 25, 2013 at 12:55

    I’m really sorry I posted it as an anonymous, haha!


  10. September 25, 2014 at 01:17

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  11. September 30, 2014 at 04:32

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