Home > Movies > Why I loved the movie “Rock On!!”

Why I loved the movie “Rock On!!”

Winding back about two months, I saw a teaser trailer on MTV and instantly knew the movie would at most gather a cult following (me included) and wash out soon. These kind of movies appeal to me a lot because they’re stripped free of most commercial money raking techniques and they display excellent sense of movie-making as a complete package. I’m glad I was not entirely spot-on.

But before I begin any further, let me lay down the plot very briefly. The content of Rock On!! highlights emotions, solidarity, egoism and passion for the most part. The plot follows the lives of four friends who have united their individual talents to form a rock band simply called “Magik”. They kick off their hopes of stardom and achievement when they win a local battle-of-the-bands sort of thing and earn themselves a studio album complete with a music video sponsored by a big-shot music producer. But this also brings about the start of their problems because the contract injects egoism into the whole concoction and that is what stems the whole premise of the movie.

To be honest, I never thought the movie had the potential to be a box-office success in India because it was a product that was not highly demanded by the Indian movie-viewing audience. These are the type of movies that make up the bottom portion of the commercial success list, but gain top marks when it comes to critical acclaim (mostly). After viewing the first trailer, I was certain the fate of the movie would be not different; but I was glad to be proved wrong. Surprisingly, the Indian audiences welcomed and appreciated the movie. So, following is a list of things which made me admire the movie a lot:

Despite being strong, the storyline was fresh and original; which is more like a luxury good because most of the material that currently pose as a script are nothing but recycled cliches, which apparently the audience is not bored of watching yet (Note: Keep in mind that I am specifically referring to the Indian Film Industry). Therefore, the blame cannot be thrown on the movie-makers entirely because in the end they’re simply supplying what their consumers are demanding. But, we also have to shine some spotlight at the product here. This is not something people buy as a necessity, it’s something they look for to fill in as entertainment and the movie-makers should not spoil the equation by throwing gunk out there with the sole intention of raking in as much profit as possible. They should take it upon themselves to contribute some creativity to the industry and not convert the glamorous Indian Film Industry into a commodity producing plant. Wow, I deterred away from my point completely here. So, I’m not going to sit and type out the entire plot to explain how good it is because this is not a review but a mere explanation of why I think movies like these deserve recognition for actually providing something to the industry rather than being another cog that produces profit.

Drifting away from the regular marketing (or promotional) strategies, the movie was conveyed through with much subtlety. Recently, the trend of movie characters showing up on reality shows as guest judges has become the norm; I’m glad this did not apply to Rock On!! Rather, keeping with the story, the music was promoted very elegantly. Let me explain. The actors in the movie who formed the band actually scheduled a few live rock performances in a few Indian states to really drive the message to their target market rather than blatantly targeting each segment of the audience in hopes to convert non-rock music listeners. In a way, they produced a niche product for the niche (rock music listeners) in India. A brave move.

The Characters
Another aspect that is highly lacking in many Indian movies (which eventually have gone on to be huge commercial winners) is character development. Rock On!! focused the right amount on each character to bring in some depth to them and the movie. This really set the mood early on because the viewers really want to understand the motives behind the character’s actions rather than just following their story for what it is. Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule, but they should be backed by a very solid reason rather than keeping that end open and expecting the viewers to accept it.

Music is very important to Indian movies. Roughly 15% of movies released into the Indian Film market do not have an original soundtrack. I’m not going to type down the whole soundtrack market strategy down, and will probably save that for a post later on. Moving on, the concept of the storyline can be applied here because many Indian music directors have been infamous for lifting music from elsewhere and selling it as their own. That being said, the soundtrack for Rock On!! was literally spot on. Shankar Ehsan Loy have been responsible for releasing a plethora of songs each year and while I’m not a very big fan of theirs, I have to admit, I really fell in love with the songs from this movie to say the least. Furthermore, the manner in which the songs were delivered in the movie could not have been better either. It is something you really would have to see to experience. In every sense, it was truly “magical”.

I might be missing a few points of detail in this article, but I’ve basically summed up what the strongest points of the movie were, in my opinion. As you might have noticed, I have not gone into much detail by shining light on the direction or action because I did not want to write a movie review and many number of articles circulating the internet currently do that much better than I could. But I really want to mention I enjoyed watching the amazing performances displayed by all the actors and was highly impressed (and inspired) by Farhan Akhtar. We definitely need more movies like these to raise the bar.

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