I saw Rockstar last week. Late night show at the local theatre after a busy day – we were tired and in that strangely receptive stage where the mind doesn’t interrupt too much, butt in to filter, analyse or slot. The viewing left a few swirling images in my head that I have been trying to coalesce into a blog post, but it wouldn’t happen.
I liked it, I think. I’m still not able to write about it coherently but a few points:
- First, very happy to see Imtiaz Ali back – he had lost it, I feel, with Love Aaj Kal… had become too bemused by his previous success but the sureness is back. Rockstar is a very different movie from Socha na tha or Jab we met but the theme – success and satisfaction – which he had touched upon* in Love Aaj Kal is back.
- I found Rockstar to be a rather touching story – Jordan’s that is. Intense but not knowing it… seeking, desperately seeking – not success but maybe fulfilment. Finally success comes, and with it, fame – a many fanged beast. Ranbir Kapoor was a revelation. I liked him in Rocket Singh and I loved his projection of Jordan in this one – angry, vulnerable, nice, spiritual, unwise, urgent, desperate, frustrated, unhappy, explosive.
- The love story, which I later learnt from an interview, was supposed to echo the Heer Ranjha saga, was a let-down. I felt annoyed that it hijacked the second half, dragging us away from the singer’s transformative journey. Nargis Fakhri, though pretty, simply didn’t hold. Some shots simply shouldn’t have been okayed.
- I see now that Heer was necessarily required to be married to keep with the love story it was shadowing, but I thought her character annoyingly vacillating. Unaware, unfair in that despicably cowardly way, that typical portrayal of femme fatales – the ‘Jules et Jim’ variety, Shweta calls them - capricious, wilful, unreasonable, stupid, destructive.
- I loved, simply loved the Hazrat Nizamuddin sections. How amazing, how liberating to live like that, learn like that, be like that.
- The music was disappointing – it held in the movie but I don’t remember any of them, which for AR Rahman is very surprising. I think he needs to return to melody. Urgently.
- And then, of course, Shammi Kapoor, who in a brief role, so nicely deepens our understanding of the Rockstar’s inner quest.
*PS. Just an aside about this song from Love Aaj Kal, which leaped outside its context for me (I rather disliked the movie). About the things we think we want and what happens when we get them. It’s not very subtle and very few of us go that spare at the first sign of boredom but hey, well, it’s one song.