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 back together to perform again. Although all three choose separate paths and designed their own course of lives, they share a wonderful comradery amongst them. One does get clue that ‘Magik’ no longer performs 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 Sakshi (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), Uday (Shashank Arora, Titli fame), and Pandit Vibuthi (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 Uday 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 Uday does make his presence felt. Kumud Mishra as Pandit Vibhuti 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.
The music is certainly used as 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. Music can create wonders by uniting people. The film does talk about how a veteran who has mastered and worshiped 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 Shraddha Kapoor steals the show is Jiah’s conversation with her father.
The cinematography by Marc Koninckx is excellent, Meghalayan 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.
Rating: 3.5 / 5 (Good +)
Image courtesy:Facebook Page and twitter handle of Rock On 2. Here are the links: https://www.facebook.com/RockOn2TheFilm/?fref=ts and https://twitter.com/RockOn2TheFilm
Cast and Crew Details (Source: Wikipedia Page)
Cast: Farhan Akhtar (Adi), Arjun Rampal (Joe), Purab Kohli (KD), Shraddha Kapoor (Jiah), Prachi Desai (Sakshi), Shashank Arora (Uday), Shahana (Debbie), Kumud Mishra (Pandit Bibhuti)
Direction: Shujaat Saudagar
Produced by: Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani
Written by: Abhishek Kapoor, Pubali Chaudhari
Cinematography: Marc Koninckx
Edited by: Anand Subaya
Production Company: Excel Entertainment
Distributed by: Eros International
Release Date: 11th November, 2016
Duration: 139 minutes