Rockstar

"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.

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Review: Rajneeti

Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif in Rajneeti

Politics and Problematic Brotherhood

Rajneeti

Director: Prakash Jha

Starring: Ajay Devgn, Nana Patekar, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Arjun Rampal, Manoj Bajpai, Naseerudin Shah, Shruti Seth and others

Genre: Mahabharatha inspired Godfather styled Gangster Drama, or is it called politics?

Rating: *

Hindi Film Industry primarily revolves around the foundations set by many noted filmmakers. Some of these filmmakers may have made better movies once upon a time. You can’t expect them to revive the magic again. There are several ways to attack the current affairs and these men have been trying their best to bring out a political drama which everyone would call cult classic. But, no one has been able to sit down and think as time is of the essence. Hence, we rip storylines from famous Hollywood films. If not, there are always novels which buzz about politics and harsh Indian summers.

Prakash Jha’s Rajneeti is a collage of these created products. It mixes The Godfather and The Mahabharatha. While the latter is used in the backdrop, much of the action is rehashed from the former.  The car bomb that kills the innocent American girlfriend of Samar Pratap (Ranbir Kapoor) along with his brother Prithvi (Arjun Rampal) or the disloyal Minister waking up in a bloodstained bed to find his gay lover dead remind us of The Godfather. The sibling rivalry of Prithvi and Veerendra (Manoj Bajpai) and the brotherly relationship between Veerendra and Sooraj (Ajay Devgn) resemble The Mahabharatha. On the political front, Katrina Kaif’s costumes and makeup distinctly allows her to impersonate Mrs. Gandhi. In one way or the other, Rajneeti becomes influenced and Jha never gets to perform the duties of a filmmaker working on an original script.

Why so serious?

If it’s a Ranbir Kapoor starrer, you have to think that Ranbir is always the last man standing, no matter whatever the baddies bring with them. He has the charm and wit to take on anything. However, his character, Samar, becomes a Michael Corleone-like figure. One question struck my mind after watching him pull on a serious Al Pacino-like expression in the second half. Hey Ranbir! Why so serious?

Prakash Jha’s Rajneeti relies on its ensemble cast. Most of them deliver by all means while some appear for the sake of an intimate scene and disappear the morning after.