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“Jo Bhi Main Kehna Chahun, Barbaad Karen Alfaaz Mere” – Janardhan Jhakad aka Jordan

Who would have thought before the release of this movie that these brilliant lyrics by Irshad Kamil will slightly sum up the tad flighty second half of ‘Rockstar’. Unlike his earlier ventures Imtiaz Ali departs from his pragmatic approach to day-to-day-life ‘love’ in Rockstar and renders a story surrounding supernal romance.

Janardhan Jakhad (J.J) aka Jordan is a Hindu college student. He is dorky, he has insatiable fondness for cafeteria samosas, his fashion sense is passé and he is often inarticulate about his feelings. He is also a budding musician & Jim Morrison fan but he can’t seem to find his niche. Enters Khatana Bhaai, owner of the cafeteria with know-it-all personality, he advises J.J to find some pain and agony in his life because all the great musicians according to him had one thing in common which was gargantuan amount of suffering in their personal lives. According to Khatana Bhaai, JJ’s life devoid of any romance & heartbreaks has been far too easy for him. J.J then sets out to get his heart-broken but in a rather easy & comic way. When he hears that soon to-be-married Heer Kaul of St. Stephen’s college is a serial ‘heartbreaker’, he professes his undying love to her hoping to get his heart broken. But things take a different turn and they eventually end up being good friends after this whole saga. So begins Jordan’s bittersweet journey from being an ordinary Jat boy of old Delhi to becoming self-destructive Rockstar of Nation.

First half of the movie was quite enjoyable with a romantic comedy flavour to it. But problems started cropping up in ambitious & unpredictable second half which was intoxicated with tragedy & other-worldly love. Transformation of Jordan from innocent & warm musician who just wants to hang out with Heer for “gandh machana” to angered & agonized Rockstar was not at all smooth. I don’t have any qualms with Imtiaz Ali adapting Non-Linear screenplay, it was refreshing actually, a welcome change from routine Bollywood movies. But, its execution somewhat fell short of “Wow” factor. Even so second half quite easily managed to keep head above the water thanks to some beautifully composed shots, brilliant acting by Ranbir Kapoor & soulful music by AR Rahman.

Opening sequence of the movie showing bedraggled Jordan making his way through to the jam-packed stadium was majestic. Anil Mehta did an exceptional job as cinematographer. Direction as expected was refreshing from Imtiaz Ali but definitely not olympian as it was the case with Jab We Met. Ranbir Kapoor & Nargis Fakhri looked terrific together. Ranbir completely immersed himself in the role to give us the performance of the year and of his career also. Nargis Fakhri’s dialogue delivery was a let-down. She looked amazing & convincing as a Kashmiri girl but barring 2-3 sequences in second half her dialogue delivery was flimsy. It kind of acted as a drag for the entire movie. Editing also could have been better; 2nd half needed some 10-15 minutes of trimming. As is the hallmark of Imtiaz Ali, fabulous amount of attention was given to details. Now coming to the strongest point of the movie: Music. I don’t think I need to tell you how awesome & pertinent music was. Mellifluous music carrying the weight of story on its shoulders, this important facet has been missing from bollywood movies lately but Rockstar marks its much awaited comeback. Rockstar is AR Rahman’s best & most complete album after Rang De Basanti (2006). My picks are Kun Faaya Kun & Jo Bhi Main.

In the end, Rockstar is a brave effort about ethereal love which transcends everything from reason to morality with a superb 1st half and an average 2nd half. Rockstar is not a regular Bollywood outing by any standards and we must congratulate Imtiaz Ali for that. Watch it for the livewire acting performance by Ranbir Kapoor, Inspired Cinematography and bewitching music by AR Rahman.

My Rating: 7.5/10.