Movie review: Rock On – 2.
by Hiba Usmani.
One of the biggest mistakes that filmmakers make is, choosing to let their sequel induce nostalgia for the original movie. While it may bring audiences to the cinemas, it is unlikely to impress them and/or the critics.
It only serves the purpose of reminding the audience how much better the original movie was. This is part of what brings Rock On 2 down; that and the far too heavy and emotional plot.
Picking up five years after disbanding Magik, we are reintroduced to the gang. As close as always, everyone seems to have moved on to more appropriate career choices: Adi (Farhan Akhtar), wracked with guilt over the death of a young musician that he indirectly caused, is now living in a village and runs a school and a farmers cooperative, Joe (Arjun Rampal) now owns a successful club and is a judge for a reality show, and KD (Purab Kohli) composes jingles for a living.
Added to the ensemble is Jiah (Shraddha Kapoor), an aspiring singer whose father believes that any music different to his own almost equals blasphemy. The characters come together to host a charity concert during which they face a journey of struggle, both internal and external, and self-discovery.
Rock On gave us real people: the characters were three-dimensional, fleshed out people who endured conflicts with appropriate pain but also took out the time to be young mischievous men. Rock On 2, on the other hand, has given us characters that do nothing but moan and hate the world like a 60 year old man hates children on his lawn.
Farhan Akhtar puts in all the effort he can to make his character believable, but the poor writing and his own congested vocals don’t offer any support. Arjun Rampal exudes exaggeration in this film; his character is constantly spewing emotional dialogues and yet they are said with the most emotionless face.
Purab Kohli is the polar opposite with his character, seeming to never have a sad moment throughout the 143 running time. Like Rampal, Shraddha Kapoor also fails to change her facial expressions to match the intensity and emotion of her dialogue.
Nevertheless, the actors do their best with what they are given, which isn’t much. The scriptwriting failed to offer any real interest or enthusiasm to the plot; the dialogues are flat and long-winded and none of them actually help make the characters less two-dimensional.
Furthermore, for a music movie, Rock On 2 lacks heavily on good tunes. The songs are fairly similar to one another and none of them are particularly memorable. The positive side of the film lies within cinematography, that gives us gorgeous views of the village, Meghalaya.
If the purpose of Rock On 2 was to have one leave the cinema with a severe desire to relive the fun and excitement of the previous movie, especially the tunes, then the movie succeeded in every way.