Imtiaz Ali is a genius. I have been a huge fan of his since I saw Socha Na Tha, years ago. His Jab We Met stumped that film, and then Love Aaj Kal stumped them all. So obviously, I was ready for a cult classic with Rockstar but I was disappointed. It could not out-do Love Aaj Kal...I wish it could have.
As you probably know, Rockstar is the musical journey of Janardhan Jakhar, who transforms into a "rockstar" named Jordan. Jordan's story is intertwined with a deep love story with Heer Kaul, a Kashmiri beauty who inadvertently drives his journey to stardom and destruction. The premise of the story is really good, but Imtiaz did not do proper justice with the script. There were no lines that stood out or resonated with me. I still remember Love Aaj Kal's ending speech about how there are no immortal love stories, but there is true love, which is why couples need to stay together. The story of Rockstar could have been so much more, if there were deep lines, like those in Imtiaz's prior films. Nonetheless, Imtiaz beautifully orchestrated the romance, and the emotions of Jordan and Heer. They had the most tumultuous relationship, which cannot merely be described in a couple of words. Imtiaz is one of the very few directors who can create a relationship on screen like that. In Rockstar, no two characters are black or white. There were shortcomings in both of them, Heer always pushes Jordan away, but he is also too immature controlling at times (when she tries to leave him in Prague). Their relationship can be dissected, observed, discussed and more-a pure example of great direction.
However, the movie didn't come together in unison like it should have. The scenes were meaningful, but they were scattered. Scenes would end randomly and start erratically. Basically, the editing sucked. If I was a director, I would never hire Aarti Bajaj, after seeing Rockstar. One second, Heer and Jordan are on a motorcycle driving down the road and the next second the scene is all serious. There were many unnecessary happenings too. For example, after Heer is married and moves to Prague with her husband, Jordan comes to meet her. They start a short affair and, at one point, after a concert, Ranbir runs out to the back and passionately kisses Heer. Then, he runs back on to the stage and bows to the audience. I understand that the goal was to highlight Jordan's unsuppressed longing for Heer, but it was so random and taints the purity of the film. This takes me to my next point. There was too much sexuality. I was thankful that my father decided to catch Ra. One, instead of Rockstar, because there were at least ten make out scenes. I can understand two or three, but Imtiaz just took it all to the next level. Even in Hollywood films, there are not as many kissing scenes. Otherwise, Imtiaz kept the Hindi film soul alive.
The look of the films was magnificent. The crowd and concert scenes were awesome. Ranbir Kapoor's acting was better than all the three Khans put together and his styling by Akki Narula was fabulous. Through time, not only were his clothes different but his hair, persona and even eyes changed. Ranbir has proven he is a Kapoor. Akki's clothes were innovative and new. I hope Ranbir's clothing style becomes a hit among the masses! Despite lots of animosity by critics, Nargis's acting was good. She was nowhere near Kareena Kapoor or Vidya Balan's ability, but she did justice to her character. However, her voice-over sucked. The girl who dubbed for her had the most annoying voice ever. And A.R. Rehman was perfect. I have never been a great fan of his, but the background scores, songs and instrumentals aided every scene. At the climax, after Jordan plays "Naadan Parindey" on stage, he imagines Heer walk onto the stage to him, while "Tum Ko" plays in the background. I can say that I lost my breathe during that scene. It was pure love. A.R. Rehman made one the most beautiful songs I have heard in a long time. However, the beauty of Nargis, talent of Mr. Handsome aka Ranbir Kapoor and the genius of Imtiaz Ali cannot be ignored either.
Overall, the film is good. The romance, emotions, feelings and characters are palpable. Rockstar is a film that anyone with a heart will take home. I think it will take me a full week to get it out of my head. But the film didn't come together the way it should have. The screenplay could have used some fixing and the editing needed a LOT of fixing. However, as I said in an earlier post, I just wanted to "shed a couple of tears and feel my heart pumping a bit faster than it should in some scenes", which I got.