Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Shraddha Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Purab Kohli, Shashank Arora
Director: Shujaat Saudagar
Rating: 2.5/5 stars
Sequels mostly don’t work. Why? Because majority of films only try to capitalize on the established fans of the original film and its concept but don’t put much thought into the storyline of the sequels. A film becomes successful and interesting because it takes a fresh approach in storytelling which redefines the cinema but in sequels, they don’t innovate. That’s where they go wrong. Now, I won’t say Rock On 2 completely disappoints; it seriously tries to show this film as a natural extension to its original film Rock On and exhibits an honest attempt to understand the essence of Rock On’s journey. However, the script of the film is far from simple and has many cinematic deficiencies which make the film weak.
The Magik band rocked their concert with ‘Sinbad the Sailor’ and now, they are enjoying their success. Rock On 2 is a further story of what happens in Adi, Joe and KD’s lives and what brings them back to their old band. The script of Rock On 2 takes a natural approach in telling us what lies ahead in these rockstars’ lives. Success is hard to achieve but even harder to maintain. So, we get to know the bigger problems once they tasted the success.
The writing adds some exaggerated plots causing a put off. I don’t buy Aditya or Adi (Farhan Akhtar) staying in Meghalaya, away from his family. I mean, come on, whatever happened with his life has nothing to do with his wife and his kid so it was idiotic from the writers to show him spending a lonely time there. A couple of months are fine but years, naah. Even the whole Meghayala angle was a bit too much to digest. It’s understandable that Adi is doing something for the community but then the grand incidences in Meghalaya in first half were excessive. Rock On 2 is mostly about Adi and his journey rather than the quest of the whole band, which only comes in the last phase of the film. Joe and KD were not even treated as a supporting cast in this film; they just existed to look like the so called band. Again, there’s no logic of adding Uday (Shashank Arora) to the band. There was hardly any weight given to him. However, the character of Jiah (Shraddha Kapoor) was fresh and gives a touch of redemption to the film through her. In a nutshell, Rock On 2’s script tries to include many aspects which causes a chaos.
Image Source: Eros Now
Shujaat Saudagar genuinely tries to strengthen the storytelling with such a flawed script. The intensity build up for Adi’s character, the horrific past and Jiah’s problems was interesting and keeps the film flowing better in first half. The second half is where it goes dull with direction and story running between the past and present. I have to applaud him for the way he used the songs and music in the film. Rock On 2’s songs are not powerful; in fact they are very ordinary but with the narrative of the film, they at least make a decent mark. The final musical performance was highly impressive with Usha Utup’s ‘Hoi Kiw’ and then Magik band’s ‘Woh Jahaan’ songs. Rock On 2 fails to connect because more than musical essence and band’s unified journey, the film gave attention to individual problems and overdid the social topic. Rock On (2008) was amazing because it was focussed on its intentions.
Farhan Akhtar is truly a rockstar in acting. There are different shades he had to portray in this film. Mostly, an intense character wherein he is living with a deadly pain and another one, where he is also trying to do some good to others whether it is through helping a community or to help find a singer her true voice. He was effective as always and his dialogue delivery was apt. Farhan is a natural when he is performing on stage. Do see how smoothly he sings the song ‘Wo Jahan’ and ‘Rock On’ in the end and his body language on stage. It is brilliant.
Shraddha Kapoor delivered an elegant performance. She looked like a sweet and talented singer and those scenes where she is singing ‘Tere Mere Dil’ and ‘Woh Jahaan’ were portrayed honestly by her. She had to show how skillful singer she is as well as her fear of performing in front of others. She did that perfectly. Overall, she was impressive. Arjun Rampal didn’t have much to do in the film but even for that time, he does a good job as Joe. Purab Kohli was smooth as a talker in the band. He adds a good humor same as the previous part and keeps the entertainment quotient of the film floating. Shashank Arora is an amazing actor (Titli) but he was wasted in this movie. As a Sitarist, he doesn’t disappoint.
Rock On 2 becomes a mess because of its script which tries to add excessive aspects. Although, the direction understands the essence of the film, a flawed story doesn’t let the film shine. Rock On 2 doesn’t impress much as a cinema, a musical experience and as a sequel.