Directo r: Abhishek Kapoor
Rock On traverses the simple ‘spirit of winning’ path that is usually followed by films of the sports genre like Chak De India , Goal or for that matter the director of this film, Abhishek Kapoor’s previous attempt Aryan. The plot outline is obvious for this variety. There’s a committed individual or a team who can’t make it big for the first time. Life gives a second chance and this time is the phase to prove credentials. What matters in such endeavours is the conviction in direction to connect with the audience. Rock On scores on that level.
Four friends share a common passion for music and form a rock band called Magik. Aditya (Farhan Akhtar) is the lead vocalist, Joe (Arjun Rampal) is the guitarist, KD (Purab Kohli) is the drummer and Rob (Luke Kenny) handles the keyboard. They get a chance to cut out an album but things don’t work out and the group splits to go their separate ways.
A decade later Aditya’s wife Sakshi (Prachi Desai) attempts to reunite the group. After some initial hiccups and ego clashes, the band members bond and blend to brew good tunes. Predictably the climax is set in a rock concert where the band performs to perfection.
Despite such patented predictability, one still relates to Rock On . You noticeably know that Arjun Rampal would make a late entry in the climax concert but your heart still goes out on his appearance. You aren’t surprised when one of the band members is diagnosed of cancer but you still feel for him. That’s because the simplicity and sincerity of the direction and performances touch you.
The storytelling is somewhat slow and drags in the preliminary portions. The film gets into frequent flashback episodes and at times you are caught unaware on the instance where it ends. Even the back-story takes a tad bit long to reach to the point where the band disperses. Unimaginatively the screenplay uses the same scheme of a rock concert for its first key plot-point and also the climax. But seemingly that was inevitable since the genre of the film restricts its creative scope. Also Farhan Akhtar’s breakup with his girlfriend doesn’t come across quite convincingly.
On the upside, the musical theme of the film is ably supported by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s rocking score. For once you don’t feel that songs are forced in a Bollywood film. There’s also a splendid spoof on how the band merges rock with dandiya to gain some quick money. How one wishes the film had more of such lighter moments which would have accentuated the youthful appeal to Dil Chahta Hai extents. The director also manages to pull off a subtle satire on Anu Malik, while casting him at his own expense.
Rock On seems to be clearly designed by Farhan Akhar as his own acting debut and he doesn’t let himself down. Lending voice to all his songs helps him to get into his character with effortless ease. One could certainly overlook the lisp in his dialogue delivery. Arjun Rampal looks mature in his character but isn’t quite credible while handling the guitar. Purab Kohli has a natural flair for comedy and Luke Kenny is persuasive in his role. From the female leads Shahana Goswami as Arjun’s wife comes up with the most compelling act and adds some depth to the drama. Prachi Desai justifies her poised presence.
It’s interesting how director Abhishek Kapoor attempts to make commercial entertainers on subjects that are not much prevalent in our country. His last film Aryan was on boxing, a sport not much popular in India and now he tries his hands on rock culture, which again isn’t much recognized here. At least this time he succeeds in creating a realistic rock feel.
Rock On strikes a chord on that note.
Director: Sachin Yardi
In the age of farcical humour, here comes a comedy that surprisingly isn’t straight-out slapstick but has some story attached to it. Don’t expect it to be immaculately intelligent and you could enjoy C Kkompany with its limited loopholes.
The film opens in the Hera Pheri mode showing three individuals in desperate need for money. Akshay Kumar (Tusshar Kapoor) is a crime show anchor on a news channel who aspires to elope with don Dattu Satellite’s (Mithun Chakravarthy) sister (Riama Sen) to Dubai. Joshi (Anupam Kher) is a retired accountant whose affluent son treats him like a liability. Lambodar (Rajpal Yadav) is handicapped by his height (or the lack of it) and ridiculed by his wife and son.
Drenched in despair, the trio makes a hoax call to Joshi’s son and ask for extortion money posing as a fictitious underworld gang called C Kkompany . Word spreads about this fabricated gang and soon it becomes the talk of the town. The trio uses the newly and accidentally acquired fame of C Kkompany to their benefit and start helping the common man through their con call warnings. Meanwhile Dattu faces a business threat with the arrival of his rival in underworld.
The major aspect where C Kkompany scores is that it’s a credible comedy which doesn’t take the logic-less path. Writer-director Sachin Yardi comes up with an interesting premise and handles it effectively to an extent. He faintly ignites a social revolution with the glorification of C Kkompany as a modern day Robin Hood gang but isn’t able to capitalize it to Gandhigiri extents like Munnabhai attempted.
Another highlight of the humour is the audacity of producer Ekta Kapoor to laugh on herself and her Balaji soaps that make up for some genuinely funny gags. Anyone who hates her sloppy soaps would love this film for the unapologetic take-off on the clichés that those serials resort to. Yardi exploits all our daily drawing room allegations on Balaji soap operas and very authentically interprets them in his film using our mundane nitpicks to his merit. Rarely do celebs indulge in self-satires and even if they do, it’s when they are down and out. It’s nervy of the Balaji team to spoof themselves when they are still live and kicking.
All said and done the film isn’t flawless and comes with its share of inconsistencies. This one could win an award for the ‘most abrupt and unwanted item numbers’ in Hindi films. Firstly Celina Jaitley lacks item appeal and from where in the world does she appear onscreen to dance with Tusshar Kapoor? They no more bother to even justify it as a dream sequence. Yawn! The soundtrack is a compilation of interrupting item number garbage. The editing is rather loose and some scenes go on and on even after the humour has ended.
From the cameos, Mahesh Bhatt is senselessly wasted as a talk show host without any purpose, parody or humour. Karan Johar and Ekta Kapoor are used more reasonably though Ekta is awfully camera conscious. The horde of other television celebrities fail to recreate an Om Shanti Om kinda starry appeal which the background score attempts to suggest while playing the OSO title track.
From the cast, Anupam Kher and Rajpal Yadav have better comic timing and show more screen presence than Tusshar Kapoor. Tusshar isn’t bad but should strictly stay away from item numbers that are incorporated for visual appeal. Raima is redundant. Mithun Chakravarthy is enjoyable as long as he hams.
Only for the fact that this comedy has some story to say , C Kkompany can be attempted. See it in carefree company!