Directed by: Imtiaz Ali
Starring: Ranbir Kapoor, Nargis Fakhri, Aditi Rao, Kumud Mishra, Piyush Mishra, Shernaz Patel and Shammi Kapoor
All images courtesy of: http://www.rockstarthefilm.com/
Following my worrying indifference to the release of Ra.One, it was with relief that I welcomed the excitement I felt over seeing Rockstar – the moment I realised I wanted to see this film was after explaining one of the songs from the awesome soundtrack to someone who had never seen a Hindi film before. Of course, I was secretly hoping to add Rockstar to the canon of films that I show to newcomers and cynics alike but Ra.One taught me not to expect too much – especially if I factored in how much I loved Love Aaj Kal and Jab We Met (both directed by Imtiaz) – instead, I imposed a blackout, not allowing myself to watch any promos or listen to any of the soundtrack (ok, just listen to it once a day then!) before seeing the film. Soon enough, it was Saturday morning and straight down to the multiplex, with an air of nonchalance masking excitement…
But very soon, that nonchalance fell by the wayside – I could not have predicted that I would fall in head over heels in love with Rockstar in what must be the biggest curveball of the century, as this film was nothing like I had expected it to be and in a strange instance of verisimilitude, arrived at a time that I needed a film to distract me from my woes, allow me to obsess over it and to restore my faith in Hindi cinema once more following a loss of filmi libido.
I usually try to write my review for a film as soon as I can, only delaying a write up over if I can’t decide how I felt about the film or if it simply didn’t capture my imagination but for the first time, I am not sure where to start with Rockstar. Whether it was the technical brilliance, the beautiful cinematography, the understated script, Ranbir Kapoor’s powerhouse performance or A R Rehman’s mesmerising soundtrack, every element of the film pummeled any objectivity I had into a black hole and wowed me so that after a while, I stopped analysing and just went with the flow, expecting to be let down at some point but thankfully, the dip never happened.
I am sure this film does have some flaws which I can’t see right now (for instance Nargis Fakhri) and therein lies the magic of Rockstar – we have a rich tapestry woven with lots of detail and nuance that will emerge triumphantly upon repeated viewings not to mention allowing us to learn more about Ali’s now very distinctive style of film making. It is also something that people will either love or hate but won’t remain indifferent to.
I cannot recommend Rockstar highly enough – even those who don’t like it will have to admit the film has gumption for speaking to its audience with such confidence and intelligence delivered with a healthy dash of bohemia. Without doubt one of the top five films of 2011, a career high for Ali, Kapoor, Rehman and Chauhan and a welcome oasis of smart filmmaking in a sea of one time masala films (and it doesn’t star Ryan Gosling who seems to have a monopoly on the best of 2011 in my opinion) Rockstar rocks – definitely worth a watch.