TheCalmDev (Dev J Haldar)

ravings, rantings and ramblings


I liked Rockstar. I said that because I like Imtiaz Ali as a film-maker. Always liked his story-telling. Simple stories that strike a chord with most is an Imtiaz trademark. Add to that, his choice of actors, music and an interesting screenplay. I was looking forward to Rockstar for long.

I liked Rockstar; maybe for a sense of loyalty for Imtiaz. This film had all that – fabulous screenplay, great editing, picturesque locales, Rahman’s catchy music, various sub-texts (clearly a mouth-piece for the director) and Ranbir Kapoor essaying the Rockstar. So what was missing?

The plot. Somewhere the storyline didn’t have enough gum to make it through. The quest of a bumbling lad to be a musician and his consequent soul-searching and thirst for love is one part of it. Ranbir was spot on – in his body language as the lanky lad with his ‘middle class’ sweaters from Delhi and later as the talented but rebellious rockstar! It was a completely author-backed role and RK simply got into the skin of his character like fish to water. So, the question is, what is the other part that didn’t work out right?

The love story. Much as my loyalty for Imtiaz was urging me to overlook the limp love angle in the film; I really wasn’t able to. This is where his first two films scored with the audience. Socha Na Tha and Jab We Met literally grab you by the collar. I missed that je ne sais quoi in his last work, Love Aaj Kal and now in Rockstar. The spark was missing. When the protagonist is burning within for his love, the audience wasn’t really able to empathise with him. Not something that happens in an Imtiaz Ali production. This leads us to the last reason the film falters.

A good or a gripping love story needs two strong characters. So, Ranbir on one side and then there is… errr… newbie Nargis Fakhri who was the next best thing after Italian marble! She just couldn’t act! All I noticed about her were her animated lips that were ‘in my face’ all through. There was no on-screen chemistry!!! I thought there was more chemistry between Ranbir and the TV reporter. Maybe she should have been the female lead!  To me, Nargis’s on-screen presence reminded me of Katrina Kaif. The jokes, the fun moments, the emotional dialogues and the ‘together’ moments were lopsided!
Maybe Imtiaz should have done what he did with Gisele in Love Aaj Kal – and that is have no dialogues for her.

The story and the heroine and vice-versa were not working for the film. They look like important ingredients to me. Without those, the engine will sputter a bit and run a few miles but eventually break down in the middle of the road.

Am a little disappointed here. Always liked Imtiaz’s craft. Dread saying this but his last work and Rockstar are probably showing up a trend – he did a better job with a smaller budget and better actors!


5 comments on “Rockstar

  1. Hari Achariya
    November 12, 2011

    ROCKSTAR is a ‘POETRY LOST IN THE LONG PROSE’…..a lyrical romance lost in the translation….a movie where none of the ‘characters’ were established clearly, which is so important in a story-telling….Alas, its a body without a soul

    • Dev J Haldar aka Calmdev
      November 12, 2011

      Agree Hari. Lost indeed. Had the makings of a better film. I guess the editing could not hide the fault-lines.

  2. vibsbha
    November 12, 2011

    true tht !!!!!!! there could hve been better choice than nargis and this coming from Imtiaz ali…. u have said in words wht i totally felt abt the film…….. thnk u …..wish could jut copy paste this blog..loved ranbir to the core in the film and totally agree wid u abt the reporter being a better lead than nargis………… sheher mein song was edited ???????/ why??????? loved the film as u said for the loyalty of Imtiaz ali and ARR and Ranbir kapoor was superb 🙂 thnx again for this review…was so looking forward to reading wht u thought and am happy 🙂

  3. Pingback: Online Bollywood News and Reviews

  4. Pingback: Rockstar « jhakaasyabakwaas

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