3.5 Very Good

Rock On!!

On traverses the simple ’spirit of winning’ path that is usually followed by
films of the sports genre like Chak De India, Goal or for that matter the
director of this
film, Abhishek Kapoor’s previous attempt Aryan. The plot
outline is obvious for this variety. There’s a committed individual or a team
who can’t make it big for the first time. Life gives a second chance and this
time is the phase to prove credentials. What matters in such endeavours is the
conviction in direction to connect with the audience. Rock On scores on that

Despite such patented
predictability, one still relates to Rock On. You noticeably know that Arjun
Rampal would make a late entry in the climax concert but your heart still goes
out on his appearance. You aren’t surprised when one of the band members is
diagnosed of cancer but you still feel for him. That’s because the simplicity
and sincerity of the direction and performances touch you.

The storytelling is somewhat slow and drags in the
preliminary portions. The film gets into frequent flashback episodes and at
times you are caught unaware on the instance where it ends. Even the back-story
takes a tad bit long to reach to the point where the band disperses.
Unimaginatively the screenplay uses the same scheme of a rock concert for its
first key plot-point and also the climax. But seemingly that was inevitable
since the genre of the film restricts its creative scope. Also Farhan Akhtar’s
breakup with his girlfriend doesn’t come across quite convincingly.

On the upside, the musical theme of
the film is ably supported by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s rocking score. For once you
don’t feel that songs are forced in a Bollywood film. There’s also a splendid
spoof on how the band merges rock with dandiya to gain some quick money. How one
wishes the film had more of such lighter moments which would have accentuated
the youthful appeal to Dil Chahta Hai extents. The director also manages to pull
off a subtle satire on Anu Malik, while casting him at his own expense.

Rock On seems to be clearly
designed by Farhan Akhar as his own acting debut and he doesn’t let himself
down. Lending voice to all his songs helps him to get into his character with
effortless ease. One could certainly overlook the lisp in his dialogue delivery.
Arjun Rampal looks mature in his character but isn’t quite credible while
handling the guitar. Purab Kohli has a natural flair for comedy and Luke Kenny
is persuasive in his role. From the female leads Shahana Goswami as Arjun’s wife
comes up with the most compelling act and adds some depth to the drama. Prachi
Desai justifies her poised presence.

It’s interesting how director Abhishek Kapoor attempts
to make commercial entertainers on subjects that are not much prevalent in our
country. His last film Aryan was on boxing, a sport not much popular in India
and now he tries his hands on rock culture, which again isn’t much recognized
here. At least this time he succeeds in creating a realistic rock feel.

Rock On strikes a chord on that