Barring certain highly unfortunate ones, who does not dream something positive in his / her childhood, adolescence and youth ? It’s a gift of the Almighty to us that we can dream for something and then be guided towards it according to the level of sincerity and belief on our part. The Law of Attraction and the theories pertaining to the subconscious mind underscore this fact that if you dream sincerely, that sincerity will accumulate all the forces of the world to bring it true. Then why should we renounce our dreams even when the odds are against us ? The world has always been cruel towards the unsuccessful ones. And until we are able to convert our dream into a reality, we are likely to be mocked and criticized. But that’s the lookout of the others. While enduring all the negative talks, taunts and scoffs; let’s not forget that the dreams are ours and therefore, they are to be cherished by ourselves only. The way some goals are so worthy that it’s glorious even to fail, the same way some dreams are so lovely that even when they are not turning into reality, we should live them and allow them to live in us. And to the extent possible, we should pursue our dreams which are positive for us and negative for none. That’s what is the message of Rock On (2008).Rock On tells the story of four friends who had dreamed to make it big in the world of music when in their early twenties – 1. Aditya Shroff aka Aadi (Farhan Akhtar), 2. Joseph Mascarenhaas aka Joe (Arjun Raampaal), 3. Kedar Zhaveri aka Killer Drummer aka KD (Poorab Kohli), 4. Robert Nancy aka Rob (Luke Kenny). They participated in a contest whose prize was an opportunity to make own music album. These foursome known as Magic won the contest and then set to get own music album recorded. But the so-called practical world is populated less by the innocent dreamers like them and more by the manipulators who occupy chairs of power and authority to dictate terms to them despite not having an ounce of worthiness for that. And the truly deserving, talented ones have to listen to them and follow their dictates because the moment of time is on their side. These youngsters also had to endure everything and swallow all the bitter pills thrown at them by the chair-holders who controlled the resources. Aadi being more practical and adjusting, digested everything so that the way towards the arrival of their first ever music album is paved. However Joe being a short-tempered man of self-respect, fell prey to the irritating situation leading to end of everything for these dreamers including their association.
A decade has passed. Now these four friends are no longer a foursome. Each one of them is leading or struggling in his individual life. Aadi and KD are leading their lives which are comfortable though not internally satisfying whereas Joe and Rob are still struggling in the lines chosen or forced on them to make both ends meet. Aadi is a successful investment banker and happily married to Saakshi (Prachi Desai) who feels that her husband has been hiding something as high and heavy as a mountain in his heart, not allowing herself to see it. He attempts to appear as happy but his inner reality is something else. She does not know that her husband is carrying the burden of a broken dream within him. KD is associated with his father’s jewellery business being out of alternatives for himself. Rob is still struggling in the world of music and keeps in touch with Bollywood composer – Anu Malik. The most pathetic situation is that of Joe who has been fortunate enough to marry the love of his life – Debbie (Shahana Goswami) but the struggle for him to earn a living and raise his family continues from day to day. Joe who wanted to be a great violinist, is forced to sing here and there to get some money whereas Debbie who had dreamed with Joe to become a fashion-designer, is taking care of the small scale fish business of his family which is the main source of income for them.
Fate makes KD meet Saakshi and then Saakshi comes to know of the bygone era containing the shattered dreams of the foursome. She tries to bring the separated friends together again and her success in this regard not only rekindles the hopes of the friends to do something worthwhile in the world of music but also bridges the decade old rift between Aadi and Joe. Debbie, being too much concerned with the poverty-stricken condition of their household, arranges an overseas job for Joe but destiny has other plans. The Magic band is revived but when it is about to take the stage for the second opportunity given to it by fate, Joe has to board the ship and Rob has to face death (because he has been suffering from a fatal disease for long). The climax takes place on a highly emotional note and when the movie is over, the viewer feels a throbbing in his / her heart.
I was also living a dream when I watched Rock On on 21.09.2008 in PVR Satyam Cineplex, Delhi. I was sick on that day but I decided to watch the movie and the movie revitalized me like anything. I could feel the sentiments of first Joe and thereafter his wife, Debbie and their son when the climax of the movie was underway. Prior to that a couple of my dreams had shattered (forever) but for the past some time, I had been harbouring a fresh dream under a hope that life would give me an opportunity to chase it and get it. My hope and my will to go for that found new strength from this movie. Now after passage of a substantial time since then, that particular dream also appears to be out of my reach but courtesy Rock On, I have lived it.
Rock On is a movie with its heart in the right place. It’s a movie with a soul. Despite certain flaws here and there and the fact that the musical score of a movie based on a rock band should have been far superior to that of this movie, let me assert loud and clear that Rock On is a superb movie. Very few mainstream movies are made in India with this level of sincerity. Director Abhishek Kapoor in combination with the screenplay writer – Pubali Chaudhury has presented a heart-warming sentimental drama which soothes and moves at the same time. It’s a tale of dreams. It’s a tale of relationships. It’s a tale of determination. It’s a tale of survival in the cruel world.
The style of narration is simply mindblowing. Cutting the narrative back and forth in the past as well as the present without even a drop of confusion, deserves lots of applause. This movie appears to be on the lines of Dil Chaahta Hai (2001) which was the maiden directorial venture of Farhan Akhtar but despite some similarities, the mood of Rock On is quite different from that of DCH. Technically the movie is outstanding. Music though good, should have been much better.
All the principal actors have done superbly. I choose Shahana Goswami as the best performer and Arjun Raampaal after her. But the others are no less. Even supporting ones like Koel Purie (Saakshi’s friend whom KD falls for) and Nicollette Bird (the ex-girlfriend of Aadi) have done complete justice to their roles.
Rock On is a must watch for every dreamer. Fulfillment of dreams depends on certain external factors too and everybody is not fortunate to have his / her dream fulfilled. However our dreams are our babies only. Let’s not abandon them. Even when unfulfilled, they have given us a lot and hence they deserve to be cherished in our hearts. And if there is still any scope to turn our dreams into reality, let’s believe that it can be done.
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