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Mar 23, 2012

Rockstar

Many of today’s pop icons and stars are all style without much substance. Although their medium is music, the music industry too perfects the image first before it tests the sound. Susan Boyle – she of the incredible vocal chords had to fight and claw her way into a talent show in her late forties to make her mark in the music world when Spice Girls (no substance and all style) were picked out to form a music band based just on their looks and stage presence(if they could sing it’d be a bonus but it was optional) while still in their teens. Rockstar Janardhan Jakkar aka Jordan is a documentation of India’s version of such a pop icon, if we ever had one.

For this film, the requirements for the hero were - had to be born a star, with a silver-screen spoon in his mouth, should be able to rock a guitar, lip sync a tune and had to have incredible screen charisma. Given these conditions, in present day Bollywood it became very easy for director Imtiaz Ali and producer Dhillin Mehta to find their leading man. Not many choices really – either a Khan or a Kapoor. 

With most sellable and captivating Khans tending to look more like Steven Tyler and less like Elvis in his prime, they went for the hottest Kapoor on the block. Ranbir Kapoor works his charm and appeal into the skin of Jordan, the rock star. Counter balancing his rock star act is the impossibly beautiful New York based Pakistani–Czech model Nargis Fakri as Kashmir ki kali and college beauty – Heer Kaul. A semi-gori unattainable foreign export kudi is a must have accessory for a successful Bollywood movie.

A.R.Rahman’s music faithfully adheres to my hypothesis about a present day rock star, music is only secondary, the personal style of the star is the more important part. Therefore it’d be safe to say that I didn’t find the songs earth shattering although all the award shows (Apsara, Fimfare, Stardust – you name it) unanimously gave RockStar the best music director award.

Rahman is like Sachin Tendulkar, both are elephants in their own rooms, there is no way getting past them. If Rahman composes music for a major movie in any year, other music directors can kiss their award hopes goodbye. No matter how baffling a Rahman tune(more mysterious the better) is it just adds depth to audience’s musical experience and therefore deserves all the accolades that can be given in a given year.

The story is flimsy, but the script, the dialog and also the lyrics of the songs are the solid scaffolding that prop up the movie. Imtiaz Ali’s direction is also commendable. If you haven’t watched it yet, I’d say “czech it out,” there is more than one czech in the movie – the city of Prague and Nargis Fakri.

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