Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
London Dreams: Falls short of promise
One of my favourite films from 2008 was Abhishek Kapoor’s ‘Rock On’, the story of four rock band members who have a bitter fall out only to regroup years later.
It was a coming of age story that managed to stay in my heart for a while.
The story revolves around two friends – Manjeet (Salman Khan) and Arjun (Ajay Devgan) – who grow up in Punjab’s Bhatinda.
Even as a child, Arjun is driven by an all consuming passion to make it big in music.
He dreams of having a concert at the Wembley stadium in London and works with single minded dedication towards that goal.
Manjeet on the other hand, has no ambition in life and prefers idling away time spying on girls to learning music.
After his father’s death, Arjun goes to London with his uncle and tries to make it as a singer.
On a visit to his hometown, Arjun hears Manjeet sing and decides to take him back to London and make him a part of his band.
The inevitable (in films) soon happens, and it is clear that Manjeet is a better singer than Arjun.
Angered by Manjeet’s success, Arjun vows to get his fame back.
The film is replete with sweeping scenes of rock concerts and is shot all over Europe. Shah tries to lend an epic, grand feel to his film, but is not supported either by the script or the performances. The music also doesn’t stay with you.
Ajay Devgn tries hard to make his character work, but doesn’t fit naturally into the role of a rock star as the protagonists of ‘Rock On’ did.
There is a certain charm in Salman Khan’s performance with the occasional humorous scenes thrown in. Unfortunately they are not nearly enough to salvage the film.
Watch it if you are a die hard Salman Khan fan.