Saturday, November 12, 2011

About Rock Star ...

After a lot of anticipation, I saw the movie Rock Star yesterday. I will get to its review in a bit, I first wanted to spend a little time on its music. Before I go on - I must tell you - that this article is for romantic dreamers - if you aren't one of those - then I think you'd find this post hard to relate.

Most of you by now, must have heard the iconic song "Tum Ho" from this film - sung by Mohit Chauhan - I have heard people say its "nice" and "awesome" and "amazing" - But no one has done it justice so far. So - I am going to suggest you an experiment. Heres what you do :- 

Imagine the first time you were compulsively attracted to a person. Imagine a real person, not a celebrity. Doesn't matter if you ended up with that person or not - just think of her. You should be able to picture her in your head - what was the hair like, how was the laughter, what did the perfume smell of - color the image with detail. Ok, now put your cynicism and realism aside for a while and go along with me. Imagine a perfect world - where you fall in love with this person through marvellous chemistry and incredibly fun dating. And she has fallen for you just as much. And you leave for an unannounced vacation.

You don't have to worry about money and work - and no one is watching over you two. You don't have to call anyone - or answer to anyone and you have just left. YOU are completely free. Let me spell it out - that means you don't care where you go or how long it takes to get there. It means you don't fret one second over stupid worldly affairs - you don't dampen your adventure with safety - you are free from all constraints. You can make coffee at 4am and go take a bath in the beach - then make crazy, intoxicated love and fall asleep. Or you can be perched atop a mountain with an incredible view with no one else to disturb you. You have the liberty to enjoy each moment with your entire being, with your mind and body fully present. In other words it is the total embodiment of every romantic desire you've ever had. Now hold that image in your head and listen to this song with your eyes closed - on good headphones please!! 

If you did it right, it will twist your stomach and almost make you scream. Mohit Chauhan has infused this song with such surreal 'nasha' that you can get drunk just listening to it. It should shake, shudder and ignite your core. This is simply speaking divinity captured on tape. 

It is love in the absolute true form. When you want, crave, adore and obsess a person physically, mentally and spiritually. It happens with only a few - and even with those - it happens only once. How exactly does it happen is unknown to me - what I do know - is that this kind of love demands extreme courage in you. It is so powerful that when you first feel its wildness, it will scare the brains out of you. And you will very seriously consider simply running away. This is a force that does not yield to will power or ego or arrogance and pride - nor cares for laws and boundaries. And if you surrender to it - one thing is certain: no matter what the outcome - your life and you as you knew yourself are over! Things will never go back to before - its a unidirectional, irreversible change.

So let me ask you this - when was the last time you kissed and felt it all over - a kiss that stiffed your feet and convulsed your body. Have you ever - after one simple touch of fingers - felt the hair stand up under your sleeve. Or with one glance at a person, simply forgot every single thought in your mind. It is the kind of love that will set your soul on fire and light you from within! 

It is that love that Rock Star tries to capture - tries and fails. There are decent movies that become great when made well and then there are great movies like Rock Star that are so poorly made, it drives you nuts. Ranbir Kapoor pulls off his best performance to date and he really deserved a lot more support from the movie. Regardless, this movie will firmly establish him as an actor with some serious gravitas. 

Also worthy of undiluted admiration is A. R. Rehman's music - not since Rang De Basanti have songs flown in such quixotical manners. The film will also bring a lot of change for the singer Mohit Chauhan. Unfortunately it means - for the fans of his original self - of Guncha and Sabse Peeche Hum Khade - its an end to substantive music. Now it is pointless populism and him singing incredibly sad, meaningful songs being raped and remixed at concerts - while an idiot and illiterate public go crazy in the crowd. 

Mohit Chauhan is to be enjoyed with tear induced whisky in the middle of the night in blissful solitude. His song "Tum Ho" will forever establish his signature. It is one of those songs  that no other singer can ever hope to mimic and if and when they do - they'll look like morons. Not since Atif Aslam's  tere bin - has a song hit me so hard. Hatts off to him. 

This film is mainly of unfinished love. If you are of this crazy and foolhardy population willing to risk all on one coin toss - You might just forgive Rock Star for all its flaws and see it for what it could possibly be trying to say. 


- Sanket

Afterthought:: One of the key messages of the movie (which like everything else will be lost) is of how we treat our artists. They are celebrated and adored - but also objectified and abstracted as iconic statues - never humanized. It should give us a pause and make us think. That may be just may be may be - beyond the job of entertaining and performing in films, a star like Kareena Kapoor or Deepika or Ranbir might be a real human being at the end of the day. Capable of the same mistakes we all make, who laughs and cries and falls in love in real life as well. And may be - who they date or don't - or how to define their love - is NONE OF OUR DAMN business. 


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