I remember walking down the lane from a shopping mall when I extended my earphones to my companion. I wanted my favorite song Aabroo to be appreciated by not only her / him but at least by all, whom I could personally reach out to. But I’ve failed, miserably, in gathering likes for the work of the kind of Sneha Khnawalkar (Gangs of Wasseypur-1 & 2 fame). The reason for the same was, scheduled for no sooner than the release of the sequel to 2008’s hit ROCK ON!
A series of tweets, including mine, have been shot upon the makers & leads of ROCK ON 2! for their failure in bringing alive or reprising the MAGIK of ROCK ON! But, is this all we are supposed to ask from a movie that borrows a title from another? The Bollywood stereotype & the human tendency make it so hard for a sequel to survive, that they finally lay grovelled to our expectations, to the magic they had abruptly shown, some years ago.
ROCK ON 2 marks the entry of debutante director Shujaat Saudagar.
But the difference between him, and the almost debutante Abhishek Kapoor in ROCK ON is as same as the difference between a CEO who is asked to place himself in the shoes of a highly successful predecessor & the one of a start-up.
Starting from where it ended, the movie is a much matured / adult (no, not in the Balaji’s / Bhatt’s way) upgradation of the latter. Thankfully, the original writers continued with the franchise and you’ll find no root detached.
“Expectation is the root of all heartache.”– William Shakespeare
Purab Kohli’s KD is that one pack of sparkle that keeps the MAGIK alive even off-stage. Not compromising on his screen timing is one of the most beautiful things about Excel’s production. I’m yet to watch D-DAY, and all I can conclude after ROCK ON 2! is that the actor Arjun Rampal is on fire. He is so so much into the control that he even take the lead of the scenes where previously, only looks used to be his rescue.
Shraddha Kapoor has a very limited screen timing in spite of the whole plot being concocted around her. Though sketched into / as a stupidly Bollywood chapter, she dwells well. And, that’s exactly enough of her.The marital tension between Farhan Akhtar & Prachi Desai which proved out as one of the most pivotal parts of the Take-1, takes a calm & comforting backseat here.While Prachi has a very limited screen timing, in my advice, it’s apt.
Farhan Akhtar is humble & honest as Adi but has been carried away way too much with his exaggerated singing skills. His songs still make it to the playlist of thousands like me but that doesn’t make him an Arijit Singh or a Mohit Chauhan. A professional playback singer could have removed the flaws out of the deserving performance. There is no doubt how poor a show has been put by the music director Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, but the teaching & the scripting of the story makes up for it all.
“Music for uniting before Music for pleasing” is somewhere (accidentally) revealed &, rescuing enough.
The first half, the music, & the editing kill the pace while at the same time, the essence of the music itself takes the movie forward. The beautiful and ignored beauty of North-East combined with their current state hits the right string. There are scenes where you won’t be able to hold back your tears, only to realise the real and ignored aspects of life.
If the poundage of the original isn’t counted / compared with, ROCK ON 2! rocks its own way forward.
P.S.: Look out for the title song performance in the end and try to stay calm (only to fail) !