Rock On 2: Magic Of Landscapes Score Over Music Of Magik
Remember the last few minutes of the film, when Arjun Rampal’s Joe Mascarenhas walks out of the taxi with his guitar and reaches the final concert. His untied hair flying as he plays the guitar on stage; the song played is Sindbad the sailor. That was Magik’s last gig befor Rob (Luke Kenny) died. The drama, the thrill, the music, the magic! None of that is there in Rock On 2.
To say Rock On 2 does not have its own Sinbad would be wrong. It has. It is Aditya Shroff (Farhan Akhtar). But then Magik does not quite spell the charm anymore. The music is just not what it was in Rock On. Unlike the first film in the franchise, which has remarkable songs that are popular to date, the best song you will hear in the film is not a part of the OST of the film. Instead it is a Hindi-Khasi song performed by the amazing Usha Uthup along with the band Summer Salt from Meghalaya. The song is a part of the final concert.
Rock On 2 is as much a musical journey as its predecessor. It has the same characters and more. The story here starts eight years after the final performance of Magik, with Rob. Aditya has moved to a village new Cherrapunji, Meghayala. He stays alone and is trying to forget something that happened a few years back. Why he chooses to stay in a quaint village in the northeast of the country, other then the fact that its spectacularly beautiful, is unknown. Joe is celebrity judge at a reality show and runs a club. KD (Purab) is still composing music albeit for commercials, and still cracking bad jokes. While the other two retain their wives, KD somehow is back to being single. No explanations provided. The new kids – Jiah and Uday. Uday is a struggling musician who pays the sarod like a magician, while Jiah is the daughter of famous classical musician (Kumud Mishra). She composes music but keeps it for herself rather than letting her unapproving father know that she composes music too.
Much of Rock On 2 is narrated by KD, his voice coming in at various points in the film. Debutant director Shujaat Saudagar seems to find it an easy way out to tell his story. The screenplay, written by Pubali Chaudhari, who earlier wrote screenplay for Rock On and Kai Po Che, falls short in adapting the essence of her first film. Rock On 2 becomes more about one heroic man, Aditya, than the entire band. Aditya not only saves a village in Meghalaya, he also gets Jiah to accept her talent and that she should perform for the world not just in her garage. Of course there is the team too, but this time they are not quite as much the heroes.
One thing that remains constant is the performances. All the actors put in their best. Arjun Rampal, who had won a national award for the first one, does well. Farhan and Purab are perfect. Shashank is earnest. They even guys even play their musical instruments perfectly. Such a delight! But the best of the lot of Shraddha, who after long is bearable and not shrieking her dialogues out. The usual shrillness of her dialogue delivery is replaced by a softer demeanor, reminding us that she could well be the performer that she promised to be when we first saw her in Teen Patti.
Rock On 2 falters at too many levels. The music and the lyrics do not quite stick to us after we leave the theater. It does not have the best beginning, it does not have great end. And there are hardly any goosebumps moments, unless you get high on the scenic beauty of Meghalaya. Yes, that’s possibly the biggest draw of this film – the beautiful landscapes. Watch it for the landscapes, the fantastic track by Usha Uthup and SummerSalt more than Magik.