Sunday, November 13, 2011

Rockstar -

AVOID. AT. ALL. COSTS.


ps, 2 days later:- Now that my intense frustration has cooled off somewhat, and I've realised that I'm in a bit of a minority here ( almost everyone I've spoken to has like it) , thought I'd update this post and flesh it out a bit.

To start with, I do stand by my original statement, I for one could not stand the movie at all. When the intermission sign came on, I remember thinking - oh no, I feel like I've already lived through a whole, slightly boring movie, surely there can't be more. And after the intermission, there were just too many cringe inducing moments, where I would have walked out of the theatre had I been watching the movie alone.

So, the customary summary , a young aspiring singer/guitarist does the rounds of colleges, but doesn't quite seem to be making the cut. He's adviced that true poetry can only come through pain. He then tries experiance the pain, by choosing to fall in love with a girl. Of course, the choosing goes nowhere, and of course these two end up really falling in love. However they spend many years, and her wasted marriage, to realise that they lauuuu each other. Meanwhile, our budding rockstar, gets even more pain his way, by being thrown out of his house, and but of course with all this pain, his music shines through, and he does get to be a Rockstar.

One of the biggest drawbacks is the completely stilted and unconvincing female lead. Plus I think the whole romantic angle, was badly scripted and filmed. Not as an idea, which was fine, but in how its actually come out. I found most of the sentimental scenes between the two, quite cringe inducing to say the least. Post intermission, they become unbearable. Ranbir, to his credit, does a half decent job, even in those god - awful romantic scenes. But overall, it just seemed a stumbling, bumbling silliness of a movie, with big pretensions.

The music, probably has a niche audience, in people who really appreciate rock , I don't , so it wasn't much of a turn on. Plus I found just wayy too many songs in the movie, the usual complaint with hindi movies. Inserting songs, whether they make sense or not. And I didn't really find the song lyrics blending into the movie. Maybe the songs as an album would have made more sense. Sadda haq - whats he angry about again, within the confines of the movie? katayan karun - you couldn't find appropriate dialect lyrics for a Jat and a Kashimiri? kun fayakun - was there a more forced plot turn to get him to nizamuddin to sing this? 

Anyway, I think in summary, this is just the usual 'romantic comedies' or 'musical love stories' that bollywood churns out, just with better finishing, but the same sad hackneyed plot and direction. I haven't seen any of them on the hall, only on tv, where i could channel surf, when I wanted, hence my  intense hatred for the movie.

If you like the bollywood love stories, you should ignore my AVOID advice, and make your own judgements.

4 comments:

veena said...

thanks was waiting for someone to comment

Tess said...

@Veena - so did you watch it?

Amit Kumar said...

To each his own. But within the continuum of people who liked it, we need to pay attention to the inherent reasons. For me, what worked was music. And I don’t mean songs, but the sound of music. Unheard sounds appeared on the screen courtesy that fuckall god of music - A R Rahman and that bad ass Mohit Chauhan.
Music as we know has 2 elements - sound and words. We Orientals have a monochromatic concept on sound, even today. Our sounds are melodious (too soft) and it is the word element that we have perfected and our poets have come up with hue of colors (Ghalib, Mir, Zafar and now Gulzar).
Classical theory of Indian movies is that music should follow a beat (standard sound that does not leap out of the song) with contextual lyrics or words to convey the story. But in Rockstar this convention is not required. This movie is for people who love these sounds. This is the same set of people who love what is now known as classic rock - Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Whitesnake et al. Strums that take you to that realm where words don’t matter. This is the soul of Rockstar. It is not for wannabe rockers, its for fans. Unlike Rock On, the protagonist is not capable of doing anything but play music. This creature is simply a rocker who can play awesome sounds and is pretty pathetic with this life. He is generally expected to be really creepy, inadequate (maybe small penis), poor people skills, general bad luck and usually dies alone.
It’s a rockumentary that pretended to be a love story and for that one tight kick to Imtiaz in his arse for ruining that for us (as in people like me). And he should have also branded in such a manner that people who don’t like these sounds dont come looking for story or logic or acting prowess or solft melodies to help them cool their BP down or comin relief from spouses. Therefore it is quite normal for a rock fan to write an ode and a rant for this flick.
Coming back to sounds, this is the first time i heard grunge in indian movies, for a brief moment in the "Nadaan Parindey" Mohit Chauhan gets Kurt Cobain back to life. Even his widow Courtney Love will agree to that. I wonder when I ll be able to hear such sounds again.
Another aspect was sarcasm and middle finger that A R Rahman has shown to Anu Maliks and Pritams. He recreated a dhinchak song just like these jokers do in his seminal "Sheher mein" and gets rustic Mohit Chauhan to sing it. But Chauhan is a rocker (remember Silk Route) and not a classical/conventional singer and therefore cant be made to sing to the tune. This animal will improvise every time he sings. Thats rock music for you. Tunes and conventions be damned. I am happy for A R Rahman, am sure he has redeemed himself for the sorry joke of the OST that he created for Slumdog and won an oscar. I forgive him for that folly and bow again to the master.
Besides the sound what i also liked was the transformation of the character. Watch carefully, and you ll find that Ranbir changes from a 90s denim jacket (dilli style) to wearing loose perestroika era flannels to wearing hippie insipired clothes with a delhi constable's shirt to convey the full circle his life has taken. Remember he was beaten up by a cop in the beginning for singing on streets of delhi.
Awesome sound and visuals on stage. May we, rock fans (some of us aged) get to see more such movies.

Tess said...

@ amit - yep to each their own. People like it for different reasons, and people hate it for different reasons.

But once a movie is out there in the public domain, all sorts of people will like it and hate it for all sorts of reasons. Thats the problem and the beauty of art, once its out , you can't control it, and say, but hey - this meant only this much and no more.

There are many people who hated it , becuase they thought it was 'immoral'. Many actually loved the 'love story' in it. Some loved the music, the rock, but hated the love story. Some forgave the bad acting, some couldn't.

Thats life.