A little magic, a little disappointment
Director: Imtiaz Ali
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Nargis Fakhri
Rating: ** 1/2 (Out of five)
I have liked all of Imtiaz Ali's earlier films. Apart from the emotional connect that I felt with his characters, one of the selfish reasons for appreciating his movies is that he is a rare filmmaker who treats women in his films like the way they deserved to be treated, for being the powerful, endearing persons they were. Alas, Rockstar failed for me on both the counts.
Heer Kaul (Nargis Fakhri) was far from an Imtiaz's woman. In direct contrast, Heer, seemed to be too frail to even bear the burden of a passionate love that Jordan aka Janardhan (Ranbir Kapoor) so convincingly feels for her. So much so, that at times she comes across as a spineless, irritating presence, not deserving of that passion. And that is one of my main disappointments in the film.
On paper, Heer's character might have looked spunkier than it the way ended up on screen, thanks to debutant Nargis' insipid performance, with her pout doing whatever bit of acting. I would still blame the director for having made a wrong choice in her casting. Get the right person or get that performance out of the person you have chosen for that character you have so lovingly created.
The film that is supposed to be following the journey of a nobody later turning into an insanely famous musician, leaves you uninvolved as many milestones in that journey have been left out. One day, Jordan is in Pitampura trying to regale a few bystanders on the street, a few months later, he is this huge phenomenon running away from the paparazzi. I would still recommend watching this movie for some magical moments, which stay with you. Topping the list is the enthralling jugalbandi between Shammi Kapoor's shehnai and Ranbir's guitar, and also the way the kun faya kun song is picturised in a durgah with Ranbir's priceless emoting. And for a special character who plays Ranbir's mentor and in the most practical way gives out little gems of advice. And some further little touches like that. As we know already by now, Rahman's music was mind blowing.
Undoubtedly the best actor of his generation, Ranbir Kapoor shines above the meandering, sometimes self-indulgent script and makes sure that in spite of some gorgeous locales and the beautiful Nargis by his side, your eyes stay glued to him as his mobile face goes through many emotions, some expressed, some unexpressed.
Intensity is the film's forte. Only wish it was consistent too.