If you live in a city on the shore, you'll understand the significance of some time on the beach. It allows you to breathe in some much needed fresh air and gives you time to stare at the sea reminiscing about the past. How many ever times you go to the beach, even though you may have the same surroundings and know what to expect it is still a refreshing experience each time. Rock On is a movie which provides for such an experience.
Rock On!! is the story of the ups and downs of the music band band Magik and the people associated with it. Very well written and almost perfectly executed by Abishek Kapoor, through its four lead characters Joe(Arjun Rampal), Rob(Luke Kenny), KD(Purab Kohli ) and Adi(Farhan Akhtar) he showcases four different paths that people take when their college dreams are shattered. Rob: Though he broods about how life could have been, ,he ends up working in a field which is connected to music and derives some satisfaction from that. Joe: A man who refuses to compromise on his first love and despite growing economic difficulties doesn't want a job which demeans what he loves. A glowing example of the everyday man, Adi as the individual who compromises in order to lead a materialistically comfortable life, while attempting to shut out the past from his life. And KD is shown to be the light hearted fellow, whose attempt at normal life includes messing up orders in his family business and trying to have a blast whenever he can.
Apart from these four "leads" there are a couple of other characters, the wives of two of the men involved, who get a lot of screen time and importance, something which does not usually happen. Debbie(Shahana Goswami) as Joe's wife plays the wife who's worried nuts about their son and the growing economic problems and pesters Joe to find a well paying job, even if it means under utilizing his talent and hurting his musician ego. She also hides within herself the agony and the pain in the manner in which Magik was disbanded and Joe was treated in that particular phase. A very tricky character to be played and one which if played improperly would have made her irritating. However, she carries off the role in a manner in which Debbie evokes more sympathy than irritation. Hats off to her for the wonderful performance. Sakshi(Prachi Desai) is possibly burdened with the most one dimensional character of the movie and is forced to play a sweety sweety wife who wants her husband to enjoy life and be emotionally more contented. A reasonably easier part to play and creditably played without any flaws.
Being a mini musical, it is only obvious that music becomes a character in the movie and Shankar, Ehsan and Loy certainly make it a part to remember with mostly cheerful and at times soulful tunes. They have carried a heavy burden and have succeeded with elan.
Full of little moments and deft touches, the movie which can be considered a little slow by commercial standards, manages to hold on to the viewer's attention through out. Wonderfully underplayed performances by Arjun Rampal and Luke Kenny play perfect foil to the more complex character of Farhan Akhtar and the witty Purab Kohli. All four of these actors have given their characters a dignity and a life like feel to it and this is possibly the biggest success of the movie. A special word of mention to Farhan Akhtar, who has proved he's as good in front of the camera as he's behind it. He plays two totally different characters in the movie, one who gives a soul to his songs and the other who lives his life without one, and he lends much credibility to both the roles.
The stand out feature of the movie is its dialogues,very natural and meaning more than what is said. The lines of each of the actors are written in step with the kind of characterization and nowhere do you find any character mouthing lines which seem to be forced.
Though saddled with a few commercial compulsions which prevent it from being a full fledged music movie, Rock On still succeeds in making the viewer move and feel with the characters and ensures that this lingers on after the viewer has left the cinema hall.