Sunday, August 31, 2008

'Rock on' - the movie and beyond

"Do not download the music"
Buy the CD

That message from the creators of 'Rock On' in the closing credits clearly struck a chord as the entire hall burst into nervous laughter. I bet ek ek ke computer mein hazaaron mp3s bhare huye hain.

But the makers of 'Rock On' need not worry too much because, sadly, these songs are not going to live on too long. For a film which revolves around music, I thought the music was actually the weakest aspect.

The lyrics and the tunes are like a plump woman squeezing herself into a pair of skinny jeans - ekdum force-fit. But you know what, it does not really matter. Not even the fact that music apart, a band this squeaky clean gives a bad name to 'rock'.

Because a rock band is just a metaphor for being passionate about life. And 'Rock on' is not just an exhortation to make music but for each and every one of us to rock on, instead of surrendering and accepting that as we get older, we must compromise.

You can clearly see how alive each member of Magik was when performing. And how dead they looked later, whether 'successful' in the conventional sense, or not. The message this film sends out is that you CAN re-ignite that spark.

Coming back to the movie, I think all the actors were good but Purab Kohli and Shahana Goswami (who played Jo's wife) stood out the most. The film is also very well shot.

The trouble actors took to learn how to play instruments was worth the effort. They don't look fake or wannabe at all.

But the reason for the band breaking up was not big enough. One moment they're all the best of friends and the next boom! sab khatam. The rivalry between Joe and Adi was not really built up.

However, the fact remains that whether a band, a start-up company, a romantic relationship or just a gang of friends, these bust-ups happen. And although we think ki we don't care and have 'moved on', the truth is we actually have not.

You can move on, but only when you express - not suppress.
You have to forgive and THEN forget.
Or the memory is buried, but andar se it eats your insides.

'Rock on' gets 3.5 on 5 from me as a film. But 5 on 5 for sending out the message that you and I are more than the rent that must be paid. The deadline to meet. And 'what's for dinner tonight'.

Look within and yourself and discover - or rediscover - what it is that makes YOU feel alive. Old friends, old hobbies, old dreams. It is never too late to start living a fuller life.

Read the JAM review of 'Rock On'here. And another good one here.


  1. Agree that Rock On gets 5 on 5 for getting out the message. I found it very easy to relate with, and I reckon most will find it easy to identify with some character or issue. That quality enriches the viewing experience.

    I liked the music, and didn't think it gives a bad name to rock. It's a very specific kind of rock that I tend to like (hint: my least favorite song was Zehreele, which reminded me a lot of the Linkin Park kinda rock, not my favorite).


  2. I'm yet to read a negative review of 'Rock On' and even Khalid Mohammed has praised it. Although, I'm waiting eagerly for Mayank Shekhar's and Raja Sen's view on this. Not that it would affect what I would think of the movie( am yet to see it). but, it is always nice to hear different opinions.


  3. is it rivalry that broke the band? to me, it looked like adi was willing to compromise a bit to gain a foothold, and joe just didnt think it was worth a compromise.. in fact, thats an important part of joe's character...also, joe craves acceptantce from adi, like the time he asks adi 'did you really like it?' after he plays the song he composed.. they looked more like a mutual admiration society than rivals...

  4. and I are more than the rent that must be paid. The deadline to meet. And 'what's for dinner tonight'... Touching!!!

  5. The closing line makes the movie absolutely complete - the makers understand their audience! :)
    The songs definitely could have been better - but watching the movie makes you enjoy the songs more. My personal favourite is Sindbad the Sailor simply because of its unique lyrics! :)

    ps: Rashmi, if you're not averse to it, is there any id i can contact you on for a professional matter?

  6. The music wasnt that bad actually.. Its probably a new genre.. Bolly Rock or something like that.. All the tracks had an undercurrent of love running through them.. A good set of songs which took the movie to a new level.. Am addicted to Sindbad The Sailor!!

  7. am suprised that u didnt like the songs...
    i personally enjoyed the songs

    and yaa perhaps u must have not been much familiar with this genre of music!!
    and yes the closing credit also hit me really hard !!!!LOL

    cheers !!!

  8. hey... watched this movie yesterday...

    loved this movie... will give it 5 on 5... and as far as music is concerned... i found it good.... u said the music is forced fit... but just remember... they are not yet 'successful' band yet... they r still struggling... how many of young boys struggling to find a place in the crowd of all bands can make what mettalica or pink floyd did... having said that... i loved the music also...

    as far as they being just too clean... i think u missed the half second scene when KD is rolling something... they might have abstained from showing too much of 'stuff' being taken because of media reaction, our heath minister and may be moral angle...

    and the reason for the band breaking up... i agree it was not a big one... but thats actually what happens... a small misunderstanding, a small grudge or an overreaction... breaks such a group... if adi had stayed over after he was hit by jo... they could have worked it out... but in a fit of rage... an overreaction... he just went away... and didn't talk to rest of them for years... things just turns ugly from there....

    and ya... the 'Don't download music, buy CD' was good... :)

  9. i think its shabana and not shahana

  10. i totally dont agree to ur review of this movie... anyways evry1 has their own perceptions, hence i may be wrong too...

    meanwhile you may read my review @

  11. I had a rock band in college in the nineties ... we played Billy Joel, Bryan Adams etc ... It was good when it lasted.

    Break-ups in rock bands happen for reasons which to outsiders ( who have no knowledge of the passion which bonds the band ) seem trivial.

    So I disagree that the break-up in "Rock On" was not built up well ... it did not have to be ... folks who have lived through the trauma will understand.

  12. Hey, I've done a little (it really isn't little) review on Rock On!! - I was disappointed with the movie. Some scenes created magic. But the movie, on the whole, wasn't as uplifting as I had imagined it'd be...

  13. I saw the movie last week, arjun was as stiff as a stick and played the guitar like a novice...farhan was convincing as the stiff IBanker who still is pissed( poor build up again , seemed a silly reason to break up the band). One cant sense the feeling of long time friendship amongst them.. but i disagree, the songs are the best ive heard in some time! My pers. fav would be pichle saal and the suprise slow-to-fast tum ho toh. Rock on!!

  14. For a film which revolves around music, I thought the music was actually the weakest aspect.

    Are you kidding me!!!

  15. You must be real "Crazy" to say that the music isn't good enough... its revolutionary... its going down the ages... its real !!

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  17. The movie is great!!!
    And about the songs - they are not that great for a film thats about music - I agree with you there.

    But the reason for that lies in the phenomenal direction. There are quite a few songs that could have been extraordinary. But the director chooses to stick to the 4 instruments that the band plays. And without an orchestral music - thats what you get. Imagine putting in violins and flute and all the percussions in the same song - and you could end up with great music.
    Especially Aasmaal hai neela kyon has all the traits to be a great song - but it needs more than a keyboard, lead guitar and drums!!!
    Kudos to the director for sticking to this....

  18. Abt the music being the weakest element, they'll last in the ppl's minds till the movie leaves the theaters. And I think that's all they want frm it. It's just another part of the movie. Not something u'll keep in ur cupboard till it gathers dust or ur iPod till it gathers tuned out.

  19. If you cannot appreciate Rock On's music then either you haven't ever thoughtfully listened to any rock music in your life or you just love bashing things around.For a movie that revolves around music, IT'S MUSIC DID NOT DISAPPOINT THE VIEWERS.

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  26. I'am not surpriced that people think that the music of rockon is not so good to be admired,this is due to the fact that in india very few people are known about metal music..! I think People complaining about the music are really insane and they haven't heard da metal music..\m/ Song like zahreele is the first metal song introduced in the bollywood..! Its screaming vocals remind of of the band- "bullet for my valentine"


Disqus for Youth Curry - Insight on Indian Youth