Film: Rock On! 2
Cast: Shraddha Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, Purab Kohli, Shashank Arora, and Prachi Desai
Director: Shujaat Saudagar
The idea of a sequel can only be validated if it has something substantial to offer the audience. Rock On! 2 has little on offer and the few fresh inserts are not amiable enough to make your trip to the theatre worthwhile – especially under the trying circumstances that demonetization has wrought.
‘Magik’ the band that reunited to steal a thousand hearts with its fluent, affecting music and performance is cobbled together again- this time though there’s a fresh young lead singer aspirant Jia Sharma (Shraddha Kapoor) and new songs to draw you in. But neither the performances, nor the songs can rev up the mood here.
The story is as hackneyed and contrived as they come. Aditya Shroff (Farhan Akhtar) has turned recluse, living in far-off north east doing social work – he feels guilty about a suicide by a fan. KD (Purab Kohli) who was the drummer for Magik, basically is the narrator who tells us what’s going on now and how the past affected the present. But frankly we don’t want to know. His tone and delivery makes the telling dreary.
Joe (Arjun Rampal) has gone up in the moolah stakes becoming a nightclub owner and a judge at a reality TV show. Aditya’s friends want to bring him back to the world of music. But for that they have to mine nostalgia and hope the happy memories will be enough to overcome the trauma of a nightmarish incident that happened 5 years ago.
Of course the character Rob (Luke Kenny) is not around given that he got faded off unceremoniously last time round. So it’s just the three guys setting up again after a 8 year long hiatus, brought together by popular opinion (improbable in my book) and then looking for two new additions to lend the band some flexibility and glamour. Jia’s intrusion into their musical career though, might be much more of a complication than just a musical addition.
Shraddha Kapoor is a troubled, aspiring singer repressed by a conservative classical music inclined father, and is superficial at best. Arjun Rampal’s Joe is well defined and Akhtar’s Aditya though author-backed, lacks depth and significance. Purab and Prachi are mere props here.
The film has no effect on your senses. The drama appears alien and the music doesn’t have the suppleness and beat to make the experience affective. Director Shujaat Saudagaar proves he isn’t quite cut out to mine nostalgia for a fancied re-telling!