Rock On!! takes us through the lives of four men - Aditya Shroff (Farhan Akhtar), Joe Mascarenhas (Arjun Rampal), Kedar Zaveri aka Killer Drummer aka KD (Purab Kohli) and Rob (Luke Kenny). They come together to fulfill their dream - that to make music. They form a band called 'Magik' to make music which they believe in. A small group with very little funding, they try all possible routes to get themselves to a very prestigious contract; that of making a music album. But fate conspires and the band breaks up and the album never sees the light of the day. The four men move on with their respective lives but not a day goes when they don't think of their jamming days. Their past keeps haunting them everyday. When all seems lost, life decides to give them another chance - to again create some Magik!
The plus points of the movie are several. Some of them being:
- Great acting by all. Every actor becomes the character
- No over-the-top or larger-than-life characters
- You identify with each one of them at least to a certain extent
- Music...ah! I might require another post to do justice to the greatness of the film's music
- The movie starts with a bang with 'Socha Hai' and ends with a mind-blowing concert which is a treat to the ears
- Check out the dandiya sequence in which the band sings 'saanson ki zarurat hai jaise, bas ek sanam chahiye aashiqui ke liye'. It is hilarious!
Of the cast, Koel Puri (Devika) does well but struggles with her dialogue delivery. Shahana Goswami (Debbie, wife of Joe - Arjun Rampal) plays the character of the grumbling wife, whose only wish is to see her husband do something in life, to the tee.
Prachi Desai (Sakshi, wife of Aditya - Farhan Akhtar) finally gets to play her age after having played the role of a mother of guys twice her age in TV serials. She is the backbone of the life of Aditya Shroff and displays her joys, sorrows and frustrations expertly well. But hey! Whats with that stupid hairstyle? She looks straight out of some hair oil advertisement.
Purab Kohli has given splendid performances in the past and continues his form in this movie. He is the drummer of Magik and a happy-go-lucky guy but who is also troubled by the separation of the band. Check him out in the scene where he is dancing in a disco and then quickly changes his emotions when he gets reminded of the past.
Luke Kenny! What a surprise man! To be honest, I had never even heard of him before I saw the trailer of Rock On!!. He looks as if he would be the weak link as far as acting is concerned and that Hindi would be Greek to him. But he is a complete natural on screen with fluent Hindi and superb dialogue delivery. He plays the keyboard for Magik and is the backbone of the band. He is the reason why the band re-unites after 10 years. Would love to seem him on screen again!
Now about the two men to whom the film belongs - Arjun Rampal and Farhan Akhtar.
Arjun Rampal deserves an applause for his performance. This man did nothing but stand like a stone in all the movies that he did for the first six years of his career. He found the actor in himself in Don, bettered himself as the villain in Om Shanti Om and now perhaps deserves an award for Rock On!!. He is the lead guitarist of the band and he looks so genuine as a guitarist that you feel he is playing it LIVE on screen. He is great in his role as a sad, helpless, good-for-nothing guy who has lost all hopes. Arjun Rampal's critics should watch Rock On!! and 90% of them would become his fans.
And now...Farhan Akhtar!! I'll first comment on Farhan - the actor and then Farhan - the singer. I have one complaint against him. He is in the industry for some 8 years now. What on earth did it take him so long to get into acting? Though he is just one film old as an actor, I can dare to say that he could so easily have played the roles of Aamir Khan in DCH, Hrithik Roshan in Lakshya and SRK in Don. He is superb as the young guy with a mike and a guitar, then as a businessman who is frustrated with his life although he is monetarily successful. He portrays his efforts of hiding his frustrations from his wife expertly and displays all human emotions with ease. I am sure all actors, young and old, will have sleepless nights after watching Farhan Akhtar in Rock On!!.
As a singer Farhan Akhtar knocks a punch. He might not get awards for his singing (though you can never say coz these days a certain Mr. Reshammiya is busy filling his cupboard with awards for his singing). I am also pretty sure that his suurr and taal were technically enhanced. He might never sing again in movies coz he has a very different voice which is not suitable for all Hindi film songs. But I cannot imagine any singer singing for Rock On!! other than Farhan Akhtar.
The direction by Abhishek Kappor is superb. Cannot believe that it's a film by the same man who made a dud like Aryan. He brings out the best in his cast. The direction and camera work for the concert-sequences are mind-blowing.
Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is easily their best so far. Yea, I know they have given us Dil Chahta Hai, Kal Ho Na Ho and others (and of course...Mitwa!!!), but with Rock On!! they have made music which they believe in without pressures from any quarters or any boundaries. Though the music is related to, and is an integral part of the movie, it still is an album in itself.
This movie is HIGHLY recommended as it easily is the best of the year so far and perhaps even a trend-setter. Don't miss this movie coz life might not give you another chance to watch it - LIVE YOUR DREAM!