Love story of the year! That is Rockstar summarised in a sentence.
Imtiaz Ali’s Ranbir Kapoor and Nargis Fakhri starrer, another one of the most anticipated movies of year 2011 is the journey of a musician from being a college joke to an international rock star. It is the story of his eagerness, passion, eccentricity and emotions that take him to his heart’s desire but also tear apart his soul in the process.
Rockstar traces the story of Janardhan Jakhar or JJ – a Delhi Jat, The Hindu College B.A. Ist year fail and wannable Jim Morrison, the rock star. JJ has been singing and strumming his guitar since childhood and is still the butt of all jokes for his impossible dream – to become a rock star. No one takes him, his music or his dream seriously. Khatana, his college canteen head is the only person who even slightly talks to him about his passion, his dream and amongst all his gyanisms on music and artists, Khatana points out to JJ that all great artists have one common thing among them – tragedy, pain, a broken heart. JJ analyzes his life and realises that his life unfortunately has NO tragedy! Damm! JJ realises that a broken heart is his only way to being a rock star and as a strategy decides to get his heart broken. He proposes to the college hottie and serial heart breaker – Heer Kaul from Kashmir. As expected Heer says no to JJ and the episode does not lead to the desired traumatic pain and music immergence from the heart but leads to Heer and JJ’s unusual friendship. Unusual because she is the classy, ‘neat and clean’, engaged girl from Kashmir and he is the rural, rustic Jat but they hit off well and go about getting cheap thrills by exploring the down side of life like watching sleazy porn film in a downtown theatre, drinking local liquor, hitting the red street etc. Rock star dream down the drain, JJ just goes about life with Heer finally heading off to Kashmir for her wedding. There again they enjoy their thrills as a farewell thing and depart where she also christens his Jordan. Though Heer starts feeling a soft corner for JJ she never confesses and goes away to settle with her husband in Prague. When JJ returns to Delhi, he is thrown out of his house for attending her wedding and arguing on the same. He then spends time at Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah and later on at Khatana’s house singing sufi songs and bhajans, with the music spark coming out in traces. He is later contacted by a music company for singing songs for them and there he meets Ustad Jameel Khan, Padma Bhushan Shehnai artist. Ustad advices Dhingra, the music company owner to contract with JJ inspite of a bad audition. Dhingra takes Jordan turned JJ along with other artists for a tour of Europe including Prague. In Prague Jordan meets Heer again, who has a psychiatric problem by now, and then begins the passionate and volatile affair between the two. In the meanwhile the musical traces begin manifesting completely in Jordan and he turns into a star performer for Dhingra’s company. While the love affair with Heer completes the musician in Jordan, it also brings out the vulnerable and explosive emotions in him, which manifest in the form of his violent mood swings. While his erratic moods turned him into the bad boy of music, his passionate performances turned him into the demi-god of music. After an abrupt end to their relationship in Prague, Jordan turned more violent, he got more bad press and he made better music while Heer diagnosed with terminal bone marrow cancer comes back to her parents in Kashmir. Jordan meets her again in Kashmir in an attempt to revive her from her sure death and she gets him to feel at peace with himself but destiny cannot be that simple for the man who wanted his life to be tragic for the sake of musical heights.
Imtiaz Ali is the director for romance. Amongst the new-gen directors the skill with which he unfolds the complexity of emotions is just awe inspiring and here again the mastery with which Imtiaz unfurls the layers of complex emotions within Jordan is superb. Imtiaz’s earlier works Jab we met and Love aaj kal has exhibited what a splendid and skilful storyteller he is and here again he does not disappoint. He brings to us in Rockstar a complex tale in the most beautiful way. Dark yet soulful. Performance wise it is an out-and-out Ranbir Kapoor show. I cannot imagine another actor doing this role, it is tailor made for him. The transition from a happy dreamy JJ to a tormented genius Jordan is superb and Ranbir takes to the transition in the character effortlessly. Nargis is lovely on the eyes and her chemistry with Ranbir is electrifying but the acting has gone over the edge in parts. Shammi Kapoor is elegant in his cameo.
Ranbir will have to share his limelight with another hero in the film – A.R. Rahman. The music score of the film is truly another hero. Though the musical notes are bucketful, they are easy on the ears with good visuals.
Rockstar rocks in all aspects except that it may not touch the pulse with the masses as Imtiaz’s earlier works. This one is for the Apple junta, the aam junta may not take to it too kindly. It is definitely one of Ranbir’s career best performances and will be a cult in contemporary romance sagas.
It is FROM the heart, FOR the heart!
iVerdict: Excellent. Do not miss.