ROCKSTAR: Recommended for all who love black sugar

“Out there, beyond the realm of right & wrong, is a field. I’ll meet you there” – Rumi (translated)

To love this movie, you must travel there too. It’s a love story that takes you in the raw. I have often come prepared for the madness to hit me. DEV.D, Kaminey…they all gave me a glimpse of the chaos I’d experience. It was cinema’s best. This one was made by Imtiaz Ali right? It would soak itself lusciously so in caramel. At least in the end?!!

How wrong I was. And how much I enjoyed staying in that wrongness. I didn’t quite relate to Jab We Met…but liked the surprise of Love Aaj Kal. This one got my gut. It hurt too. I felt it. Felt Heer’s desire to be set free. Jordan’s desire to be consumed by love. Carelessly. Obsessively. His madness routed my rational mind. I didn’t care for the flaws thereafter. As some one said somewhere in the virtual space..It’s flawed but fabulous.

That’s why I love it too. It’s not perfect like DEV. D nor is it deeply poignant like GEGEN DIE WAND (my favoritest!) but in fact it’s Candyfloss meets Le Cinema Noir. I chose to pick it up in parts. I chose to like it in sequences. I chose to embrace the bits that suited me right. I guess you can love it or hate it. But it caught my vulnerability.

There are those moments that f&%$ your brains. Like when Heer asks Jordan the second time around to hug her, tightly. It’s one poignant moment. Most of the other intense ones belong to Jordan (Ranbir). And he is simply outstanding. After Rocket Singh, he far exceeded my expectations in this film. It’s a bit of a roller coaster, a bit disjointed. Like Love Aaj Kal. That’s what I like about it. Linearity is dead.  Imtiaz is a dream for bringing freshness into filming & every story line written thus far.

ROCKSTAR is about the rockstar in Jordan. You know he is doomed when he sees Heer in her wedding dress. You know he will rise like a phoenix yet self-destruct. I think he did it effortlessly with zero Bollywood hangover. It felt natural. And would have for any one who has been or can empathize with an intense soul who has loved & lost. Loved whom is the question though! Nargis Fakri as Heer….well is gorgeous. Accented by her Kashmiri context & wardrobe, she is a melody. I loved what the character was meant to be. I actually enjoyed it most when she revealed her crazy self…and all the situations, from her Junglee Jawani tryst to desi daroo, from the strip joint to the dark discos that she walks into. I enjoyed that burst of freedom. Unconditional freedom. I don’t know why she couldn’t match the intensity of Jordan tho’. It would’ve come naturally for any woman when a man like him even takes a breath. This was possibly the only thing that stopped me from completely soaking it in. There were others tho’ like Khatara (the college canteen owner) who I think was so comfortable in his character….I would’ve loved to see deeper dialogues between him & Jordan.

What’s the bit about ROCKSTAR, DEV.D & GEGEN DIE WAND?!! They are poles apart yet meet at points. I saw it almost as a transition. Of how I’d like to see cinema here…especially the darker side of love stories. DEV.D was cathartic and I spun with him in ‘Pardesi’. I couldn’t help but be Sibel in her emotional play with Cahit, even as I saw his despair. How dare I compare any thing with Fatih Akin right? Well there is difference in the sensibilities of large section the European film lovers & predominantly Indian candyfloss swirls, i admit. Today we are out & out escapists aren’t we? But that’s where I see ROCKSTAR changing cinema (isn’t it a coming of age of sort?) & the connect of course. In creating a new script for the way we devour the sugar & caramel.

Rockstar in celebrating the pathos, shakes off a bit of the sugar coat. It is a start.

- WATCH it for a celebration of Jordan (aka Ranjha of Heer-Ranjha emotions) reveling in & resenting his dark side. It isn’t about alternative cinema heroes like Abhay Deol (Dev.D) or Birol Unel (Head-ON/Gegen Die Wand). Ranbir is mainstream & does it with aplomb. Despite many flaws & many occasional slips into escapism (bollywoodesque). Nothing wrong in that either. But it’s a great beginning for black sugar alright!!

- WATCH it for the costumes. I adore the Indo-Persian take on Ranbir’s clothes…and I loved that entire Kashmiri wedding sequence

- WATCH it for the the sounds of Rumi & the amazing filming of Nizamuddin dargah…sufiyana  you rock…Mohit Chauhan tussi outstanding ho

- WATCH it for Jordan’s trip & fall moments…at a Maa Sherowali celebration, in the studio, at the bus stop, at a whore house…at losing a poker!! game, his fallen look (he is delectable with long hair, but I’d still root for Imtiaz there…)

- WATCH it for just the spunk that Heer manages to live up over & over again only with Jordan…the stolen moments…the realization…the breakdown…Jordan’s angst

- WATCH it without the hangover of Jab We Met/Love Aaj Kal & despite many of it’s very apparent flaws

- WATCH it JLT. With no expectations

‘TUM HO PAAS MERE’

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57 Comments

  1. Loved Rumi’s quote at the end of the movie.
    Truly awesome movies.. Rockstar <3 <3

  2. Rockstar !!! Frankly I went in with mixed feelings…I have never been too sure about rock music (blasphemy i guess amongst my peers) but this movie brought everything together beautifully – Ranbir stuns me and impresses me, I always knew he was a good actor but this just caught me off-guard; Mohit Chauhan’s voice…well let me quote Amit Kilam of Indian Ocean from Dewarists – Mohit’s voice is like the water with the perfect temperature that satisfies your thirst – not too cold, not too warm; Ranbir’s look and costumes; the songs themselves – I realized i can enjoy rock i just need a context, a story behind it..and about Nargis well i cringed when she tried to do the emotional scenes but don’t really mind her being there, shes ok there in the frame coz Ranbir just takes it all to the next level, the story was not too special but it is the coming together of everything that made me love it and Imtiaz Ali – well thankyou for yet again getting Bollywood back in the scene !!

  3. Beautifully written. I think you said it all.

    `Rockstar’ is a celebration of soul, a journey into oneself, a movie that will bring out extreme reactions. You can either love it or dump it, you can’t do both. Those who have merely skimmed the waters in love will choose to dump it; those who have sunk to the depths of an unfathomable ocean will carry it in their heart.

    I tuned in to the reactions of `Rockstar’ from friends. Those who loved it spoke of innocence, awkwardness, pain, irrationality, intensity, madness, inner fire, the sands of time that slip from our fingers before we know it… and how with every emotion that takes you down, your soul rises another notch. Those who dumped it spoke about far-fetched characterizations, obvious adultery, forbidden fruits, violence… and how, too much success can become difficult to handle.

    There are no arguments either way. You can’t force someone who has connected to let go of `Rockstar’ neither can you force someone who hasn’t, to see the reasons for liking it. You will react to the level of your soul’s progress.

    When I talk of love, my take is always different. There can’t be anything forbidding or forbidden about love… because you have no choice when it happens. It kindles that fire which kindles all else – creativity, energy, compassion, a higher vision and recognition of God in you. Have we ever noticed when we feel loved and wanted, how much in multiplication we give back to the world? Have we ever noticed when we feel rejected and unwanted, how negatively it affects everything we say and do?

    If feeling loved and loving someone can do the world a world of good, then I say it is the energy that must keep going round and around. Those who saw the film through glasses of obvious adultery & forbidden fruits have perhaps never risen above a base physical level in their relationships. Love and sex are not synonymous. This movie would have retained its same intensity even if Jordan and Heer had not touched each other. Heer falls in love with Jordan when he is simply a country bumpkin with no achievements under his belt. Jordan burns in Heer’s love even when she has sunk to the nadir of a disease that will soon take her life. Where is the physicality in this love story? One act under a sheet in a moment of mutual consolation? Defies my logic.

    You mentioned somewhere about empathy with a soul that has loved and lost. I disagree. You can’t love and lose. Even if you have lost the person, you have won the emotion, and it is impossible that any person you love with intensity can remain untouched by it. Reciprocation is not important, recognition is. Rather, I would say that those who do not respect the love that comes their way are probably the losers.

    Yes, I loved the costumes (they reflected freedom from shackles); the music (it hit my soul); Hazrat Nizamuddin dargah (brought back memories of the many times I sat there with wishes in my heart, listening to the sufiana qawwalis); the violence (that comes from not being understood); and finally… that field beyond right and wrong.

    Rumi: Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all barriers within yourself that you have built against love.

    • Sandhya Srinivasan |

      Lovely Anu…you make it sound sublime. There is so much this film would have done to many of us purely from seeing our inner self one way or the other. Thanks much for writing in

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