"I Wanna Rock!" Ranbir Kapoor from Rockstar

Forrest Gump Learns To Rock!

Rating: *

If you’d recall 17 years ago, there was a spectacular coming-of-age fantasy called Forrest Gump, which won Academy Awards for its tearjerker narrative. The appearance of the character alone sympathized with audiences in such a way that Gump speaking to Jenny’s grave was well enough to wet a woollen blanket. The film had a simple message: Love is well enough to pursue your dreams.

Some 41 years ago, we had another film which was a benchmark for several love stories that would follow. The film had an ambitious Harvard student Oliver Barret IV, fall in love with fellow student, Jennifer Cavilleri, who was offensive in all terms. He loved being around because she was outspoken and loved breaking rules. They then broke rules by marrying without their parents’ consent. Aptly titled Love Story, the film broke barriers in the romance genre.

Taking glimpses of these two benchmark films, Imtiaz Ali’s new offering post two bullish romantic comedies, is a coming-of-age musical in which a college-goer wishes to be the next Jim Morrison. Imtiaz is known for his subversive ways of describing his female lead. In Jab We Met, she was a naïve country belle who didn’t know a thing about eloping. In Love Aaj Kal, Gisele Monteiro spoke just one word in her twenty-minute appearance. Heer Kaul of Rockstar is a Jennifer Cavilleri wannabe who however reminds you of Geet Dhillon.

Just like Rishi Kapoor in Love Aaj Kal, Imtiaz uses Shammi Kapoor in Rockstar to mend the broken heart of the protagonist with a few lengthy dialogues and a music contract. While his back story staggers primarily in the “she loves me, she loves me not” stage, his central plot is ridiculed with bad publicity and media buzz. The film follows closely the lives of real rock stars and tries to find a common link.

In most of his films, Ranbir Kapoor tries to act, but slobbers heavily. In Rockstar, his performance seems better, and that’s because Nargis Fakhri does nothing in terms of acting. A typical eye candy, Fakhri, an American-born Pakistani model, zips through scenes and her tomboyish appearance lacks vigor.

Take it easy with Rockstar, the filmmaker had high ambitions but chose the wrong subject. A.R. Rahman’s music is a comforting factor though.


Review: Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa

For once, Trisha appears in a sari rather than plunging necklines and miniskirts.

Gautham’s Annie Hall

Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (U/A)

Director: Gautham Vasudev Menon

Starring: ‘Young Super Star’ Silambarasan and Trisha

Genre: Romantic Drama

Rating: **

Woody Allen has been known for his different and outrageous take on the romance genre. For him, Annie Hall was a landmark. His narration and Diane Keaton’s ecstatic performance led to an Oscar victory which overthrew George Lucas’ Star Wars.

Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa is a fairy tale from a director who loves to keep his audience glued. However, he fails every time to create character space and thus, a few characters appear and disappear with no object or relativity. For once, we thought that the film is narrated by the boy and he would make his memories sound spicy. Halfway through, we have the girl’s voice-overs which put an end to the so-called ‘Boy’s Memories’ genre.

This is a problem faced in the film industry. We want to know what everyone’s thinking. In (500) Days of Summer, there was a narrator who told us everything about Tom (Gordon-Levitt) and not much about Summer (Zooey Deschanel). In that manner, we found Summer mysterious and Tom outspoken. Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa kinda reminded me of (500) Days of Summer which is a classy rom-com. However, Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa sticks to the Tamil antics and does play well for a while until the all-so-dull moment strikes.

An actor is a person who plays different roles in different films. Silambarasan finally gets to play a down-to-earth character after playing the stereotypic one-liner speaking, finger wagging mass hero for the last seven years. We find his performance to be exhilarating because we haven’t seen him in such a role before. He puts up a fair play but, it’s Trisha who with her tepid character becomes the eye of criticism. Much like Diane Keaton’s Annie Hall or Zooey Deschanel’s Summer Finn, Trisha Krishnan’s Jessie remains untold. But, if it hadn’t been for her voice-overs in the second half, Jessie could have been in league with the big names.

We learn that Jessie is smart, sexy and well-educated. Was she really in love with Karthik? When she was ready to elope at one point of time, why should she marry the boy of her father’s choice? Was it because she wanted to prove her feminism?

A.R. Rahman has become an auteur. After listening to his compositions, the expectation level grew and after the ending credits, it radically sank. Gautham’s climax is not a surprise as we have had Annie Hall where Alvie (Woody Allen) creates a Broadway play based on his experiences with Annie.

I doubt it if you’d cross the skies of expectations and hopes to watch the film. Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa is another melodramatic love story, raring to melt your hearts.