EROS INTERNATIONAL, Rs 299
Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, Purab Kohli, Shraddha Kapoor, Shashank Arora, Kumud Mishra, Prachi Desai, Shahana Goswami
Director: Shujaat Saudagar
If one is to compare 2008’s Rock On and Rock On 2, the latter is way short of the first feature that not only had a pulsating score, but a story to remember. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy who are known for some unforgettable music, have sadly brought in a score that you won’t want to replay. The only time you find yourself tapping your feet is when you hear snatches of the hit tracks from the earlier film.
Picking up five years after they disbanded the rock band Magik, the members are doing their own thing in life. Joe (Arjun Rampal) runs a successful club and judges a reality show. Aditya (Farhan Akhtar) has retired to a village in Shillong where he helps run a local school and a farmers’ cooperative. Sakshi (Prachi Desai) is concerned for him and tries to mend their relationship. Kedar “KD” Zaveri (Purab Kohli) composes jingles for a living while Rob (Luke Kenny) is seen in a flashback song.
When Joe, KD and Sakshi drop by on his birthday, wanting him back in Mumbai to return to music, Adi is reluctant to leave the tea plantations and the community. The past and the nightmarish sense of responsibility he takes for the death of a wannabe singer, stalls him from starting all over again.
When a forest fire burns down all Adi has built, he decides to return to Mumbai with new bandmates Jiah (Shraddha Kapoor) and bass player Uday (Shashank Arora). Magik looks to have a fresh start, but it won’t be easy as Jiah’s classical musician father (Kumud Mishra) is allergic to modern and fusion music.
Joe tries to let Jiah take centrestage at his club, but when she does the disappearing act, he is dejected. Add to that, Adi’s sudden exit from Mumbai to Shillong on an emergency, all bring the dreams of the band to end.
On his return to Shillong, Adi finds out that a local politician has cheated the people of funds. He plans to raise funds through a music festival and turns to his bandmates for help. Adi, Joe and KD have to bring back the village locals’ lost glory. Can they outwit the odds and ‘rock on’? Or will the local goons ruin the fundraiser?
Shot in Shillong, ‘the rock capital of India’, the beauty and the picture-postcard scenes of Meghalaya are refreshing. That is the best part of the film, with the plot a close second. Sadly the DVD has no Bonus Material.
Verus Ferreira is a freelance music journalist for over three decades, contributing articles to various newspapers and magazines. He is the author of The Great Music Quiz Book and The Great Rock Music Quiz Book. Besides being a music aficionado, he is also a photo-journalist. He contributes to Musicunplugged.in.