Monday, September 22, 2008

The 'Magik' of Rock On

I remember pestering somebody for quite some time with the question 'Do you like Rock music?' Finally out came the answer which was obviously negative. The point is rock music is something similar to what Edwards tells Vivien in Pretty Woman about the opera. You either like it or you don't.

I personally feel that rock music works at a different level altogether. The drums and the electric guitars make a conscious connection with the listener. Remember the opening bars of music of Numb by Linkin Park? Or the number 'Wake me up when September ends' by Greenday? And before people dismiss rock music as mere noise, remember that there are many kinds of rock. To enjoy rock, you need to pick and choose according to your taste and mood.

No, I am not a die hard rock fan. I am quite selective about the rock music I listen to. But, yes, my conditional love for rock only enhanced my appreciation for the movie Rock On. Almost on the lines of Dil Chahtha Hai as far as the basic plot is concerned, the movie moved me by its rocking music more than anything else.

Breaking all possible limits of rhythm seems to be the motto for Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. Look at the variety of music that they have composed. And even rock? Let me tell you, the rock that we get to listen to in Rock on is the kind of rock with a touch of authenticity. Music that makes you want to hum, sway, join in and feel lost in its sheer exuberance and spirit. Don't miss the final performance of the Magik as Aditya sings out to Joe. That pitch - amazing! Expresses the sheer need of a friend in the most expressive and exquisite way.

To be happy in the present we have to make peace with the past. In order to do that, first we need the courage to confront the past. That is what Aditya Shroff and Joe seem to be struggling for. Reminiscing over their failure, they negotiate their past in such a manner that their creative self is effectively hidden in the closet.

As a tribute to friendship the film does fall a little bit short of expectations when compared to Dil Chahta Hai. The plot construction is fragmented as compared to Dil Chahtha Hai which used a mixture of flashback and retrospective narration. And this mode of presentation does demand some effort from the viewers.

Arjun Rampal continues to amaze me. First his sleek performance as the antagonist in Om Shanti Om and now Joe, the self-consicous artist [yes, I consider rock also as a form of art!] who is clearly unwilling to compromise his personal standards for commercial purposes. So much that he withdraws into a shell and yet maintains a calm exterior. The passion for rock is all there behind that stone-faced performer. Farhan Akhtar as Aditya Shroff seems to be slightly overshadowed by this towering performance. And yes the two other members of the band, fighting their own battles put on an a touching performance laced with humour and emotion. However, it is the impact of rock music on the lives of these four gentlemen that sustains our interest in the story.

The magic of rock cannot be explained. It needs to be experienced. And ironically, that turns out to be the actual magic of rock.Rock on rocks!