Sequels are the shiz right now, but they rarely are as good as the originals as this musical social drama testifies.
The rock band Magik do not produce music anymore, but the members are still in touch. Jo (Arjun Rampal) and KD (Purab Kohli) are in Mumbai doing their stuff while Aditya (Farhan Akhtar) is in Meghalaya, away from his family and music in general, trying to introspect about his past life. Following an eventful episode at his place of work in the NE state, Aditya is coaxed by his friends and family to return to Mumbai. It is then that he and others meet Jiah (Shraddha Kapoor), a talented musician with father problems and a horrendous past, which is back to haunt Magik...
While that synopsis above may sound interesting, I can assure you it isn't. The story resumes from where the first film ended. After the death of Rob, Magik continues to create music for a while after which they dismantle, the reason of which is what is explored in the first half. It uses the same formula as the first film wherein there's a past event which troubles Aditya and other members and how the passion for music helps them bounce back. Same old, same old!
It is evident that the film was made to bank in on the first film's roaring success. So much that even the sequences are recreated variations; albeit in different contexts, but still the same. In Rock On!! (2008), Aditya's wife is the one who makes the reunion of Magik possible, and here, too, she is seen in her sentimental wifey avatar doing what she does. But, the biggest problem with the film is that it deviates from the musical genre and tries to become a loud social drama. Magik tries to use the power of music to help spread a social message and raise funds, and all that comes with it. The plot even tries to mix these topics together, but the result is hollow as a dead tree's bark. Throw in a petty villain to this mixture, and you have it.
Cast performance is good, but Kapoor looks out of place here, with her snobby air. The characters mostly engage in irritating its audience. And that affects the whole flow of the film and the watching experience.
It's basically a sad story which explores one too many topics and fails miserably. It's a lazy attempt with a climax full of clichés and improbable situations. So much problems with this concoction that one might just watch the first film once again and forget they even made a sequel. The first film was delightfully brilliant; it had romance, comedy, drama, and mostly, good music. This one lacks all of them, unless you consider melodrama.
BOTTOM LINE: Shujaat Saudagar's "Rock On 2" is a lazy gimmick which was obviously made to make the world know that the makers care about the adverse lives of people in the world. As a musical, this one fails, though. Watch it on TV.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES
In the past week, the world has been rocked by two major news; Donald Trump being elected US President & the demonetization back home. PM Modi & his team came up with this bold decision in an effort to curb black money. Whether it would actually find the result that is expected remains to be seen especially with the launch of a higher denomination, but a curb in black money will ensure that our nation can rock on the world stage. Taking about rocking, this week we have "Rock on 2" hitting the screens which as the name suggests is a sequel. More often than not, sequels fails to live upto expectations. Hmm...so will this also have a similar fate or will it rock the box office???
More than five years have passed since Magik has been disbanded & though all the members are still close buddies, each one was busy with their own lives. KD (Purab Kohli) who doubles up as the narrator made jingles for clients, something which he was not particularly happy with, while Joe (Arjun Rampal) was the owner of a happening club & also the judge of a music reality show. As for Adi (Farhan Akhtar), he was in Meghalaya helping out the natives hoping that it would help him overcome the guilt of being responsible for the death of a singer. Into their midst comes Jiah (Shraddha Kapoor), who has the talent to make it big but is bogged down by her father's hate for any genre of music apart from classical. Will she have the guts to stand up to her father to pursue her ambition & will Adi ever overcome his guilt???
Almost 8 years have passed since "Rock On" had released & it did impress the audience at that time. However, the sequel which is directed by Shujaat Saudagar fails to tick the boxes that it had successfully managed to do so earlier. The biggest drawback with the film is that it doesnt connect with the audience inspite of the emotional drama that is happening between the characters, Abhishek Kapoor & Pubali Chaudhuri who had penned the script touches on the topic of neglect & troubles faced by the North Eastern people & the despise for fusion music by purists both of which came across as half baked. Even the music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy didnt have the peppiness that was evident in the prequel. On the brighter side, Mark Koninckx has exquisitely picturised Shillong.
On the performance side, all of them have done a decent job be it Farhan, Arjun or Purab. Shraddha who was the new addition to the team has done a fine job while Shashank Arora was wasted along with Kumud Mishra.
Verdict: Just like the prequel, it is a movie which will have takers only in the multiplexes, But unlike "Rock On", this will not be able to satiate the audience neither in terms of the script nor the music. In short, a rather disappointing sequel!!!
Rock On 2, a musical drama film, by Shujaat Saudagar connects Music to Life. Although the backdrop of the film is music and the comraderies amongst the Magik band members / friends, the film does spread its wings to much larger horizons. The film does reiterate the fact that music has tremendous power – the power to connect hearts, the power to heal the wounded souls, the power to deal with inner conflicts, the power to break the barriers across genres, the power to unite people across various regions / demographics, and the power to grow beyond one’s self-interest / personal gains to think of the broader social context / cause etc. Rock on 2 is a sequel to 2008 film ‘Rock on’ and it certainly has its own moments.
The film is narrated by KD (Purab Kohli), who explains what happens to the three key members / friends of ‘Magik’ Band and where they are now after a period of almost eight years. Adi (Farhan Akhtar) is away from the hustle-bustle of Mumbai City and settled in Meghalaya. Adi is involved in tea plantation there, as well as he helps the villagers in making their own livelihood, runs a farmers’ cooperative and a school for the children. Adi is very much loved by the villagers. Joe (Arjun Rampal) is a Judge for Music based Reality Show and he also is a partner of a posh club. KD earns his livelihood from music compositions and is hopeful of Magik getting together again. Although all three chose separate paths and designed their own course of lives, they shared a wonderful comradery amongst them. One does get clue that ‘Magik’ no longer perform together. It seems, some unpleasant event made them chart their own lives away from Magik. They all get together for Adi’s birthday along with Sakhsi (Prachi Desai) and Debbie (Shahana). The geographical distance has certainly affected Adi and Sakshi’s (couple) marriage. Adi does not succumb to his friends’ and Sakshi’s plea to return to Mumbai, Music and Magik, he really is very much skeptical.
Jiah (Shraddha Kapoor), Udai (Shashank Arora, Titli fame), and Pandit Bibuthi (Kumud Mishra) form an integral part of the story. Although Jiah herself is facing inner conflicts, she becomes instrumental in bringing Magik together to perform and recreating the magic of music.
What makes Adi move to distant lands of Meghalaya from Mumbai, Music and Magik? What challenges are faced by Adi in his social work? Which aspect of the past troubles him and apparently keeps him away from Magik and Music ? How Jiah and Udai become part of the thread of Rock On 2? When and how do the Magik band get together and perform ? How does the magic of music heal the wounded souls?
Farhan as Adi is certainly able to depict Adi’s gloom, pain, frustrations, need for redemption etc. in an intense manner. Arjun as Joe is able to bring out his practical approach towards life in a much matured manner. Purab as KD makes the narrative flow and also brings out very well his priority to be a bridge in friendship. Prachi as Sakshi and Shahana as Debbie have less screen time but they certainly facilitate the story to move ahead. Shraddha as Jiah, a musician and bohemian traveller is very good. Her face does depict the pain and anger. Shashank Arora as Udai does make his presence felt. Kumud Mishra as Pandit Bibhuti is a man of less words in the film and one can feel the pain of his character - a veteran musician’s frustrations, pain of loss and as a purist his denying the fusion music.
In spite of using the music as the backdrop of the film, what rules the film is the concept that music needs to be set free for it to flow freely. Music can create wonders by uniting people. The film does talk about how a veteran who has mastered and worshipped Classical music may feel that contemporary music is absolutely out of place and just full of noise. This mismatch between Frames of Reference and Territory can give births to tragedies in life.
There is a beautiful scene where Usha Uthup along with Kit Shangpliang and Pynsuklin Syiemiong from Summersalt Band come together to sing “Hoi Kie /Chalo Chalo” which depicts the tremendous power of music and the magic it can create. The film also talks about how one needs to move on and make ‘self’ free from the shackles of past / self-blame and look within for powers. Another powerful scene where Shdraddha Kapoor steals the show is Jiah’s conversation with her father.
The cinematography by Marc Koninckx is excellent, mMeghalayan landscapes are beautifully captured.
Rock On 2 rocks. The music is certainly the backdrop of the film, but what rules the film is the concept that music needs to be set free for it to flow freely. The film does spread its wings to much broader horizons using the tremendous power attached to music. Indeed, every generation finds its own voice. Watch the film for its intense performances.