जो भी मैं, कहना चाहूँ;
बर्बाद करें, अलफ़ाज़ मेरे
This post will have plenty of spoilers, I want to talk about the movie. Have been itching to think about it aloud.
Also, before you read any further, you should know that I had a positive predisposition towards the movie even before I had seen it. I have been watching over it like an eager fan (weird since I am not quite a Imtiaz Ali or a Ranbir Kapoor fanboy) since production began.
I had read an article which mentioned Piyush Mishra (I think, or Anurag Kashyap, don’t remember who actually, someone I respect) talking about Rockstar as a challenge that Imtiaz Ali has accepted. A challenge saying, “Why can’t there be intelligent films in commercial bollywood?” As in, great that an indie culture is being established, highly individualistic film-makers are making some brilliant films, but these are small budget, targeted at an elite niche.
When will a commercial film with big bucks be smart?
Imtiaz Ali & team has put their heart, soul and belief into the film.
Some of the reactions to the film however, have been proof incarnate why the above challenge is not taken up by worthy film-makers.
Perhaps my fellow discerning movie watchers who did not like the film would have liked it better if Imtiaz had called it Pyaar Kaise Hota Hai. The fact that the movie does not closely follow the meteoric rise of Jordan’s musical career (and instead just delves in as a sort of a background to his life, which Jordan runs from, periodically) is being peppered as a lack of narrative, and “unbelievable how he became rockstar just like that”.
The film maker has chosen to NOT focus on that part of the story. The hero is not heroic in what the film-maker has chosen to focus on. He need not be. That is poetic license!
I don’t even think, that apart from the songs Sheher Mein and Sadda Haq, which were songs FOR the crowd, any of the other brilliant compositions was even meant as songs that took Jordan to his Rockstar heights. These songs are his thoughts, his forays, his insomnia, what he does when he doesn’t know what he is doing. There are umpteen moments in the movie where right in the middle of singing something, Jordan has woken up from a reverie, a frozen moment where he does not know what just happened!
ये जोर्डन है कौन?
कुछ ऐसे लोग होते हैं ना, जिनका दिमाग हमेशा कहीं और होता है
Jordan, the movie’s hero is a very ordinary person, with human desires and failings. He doesn’t comprehend where his art and talent comes from, he is surprised by people’s reactions to it (Jim Morrison, उसने स्टेज पर सबको ये बीच वाली ऊँगली दिखा दी, ये, और चारों तरफ तालियाँ, कि भाई क्या काम कर दिया वाह, और मैं बस स्टॉप पर खड़े होके बजा कर लोगों का मनोरंजन कर रहा था तो मुझे चमेट पड़ी?). His moments are just when he is playing without thinking, and usually he is thinking about himself, and love’s reactions.
Jordan, the Rockstar stands for nothing, he is marketing. He is empty.
He does not feel for God (sits around all day in the dargah, joins in the singing, because it is there!), there’s no inherent rebellion against authority until they make it difficult for him to meet the girl (Sadda Haq! The unveiling of this song in the movie had about the same effect on me as the title song of Love, Sex aur Dhokha. I had been a big fan of both the songs before I went into the respective movies, and watching the usage of the songs in the film stunned and shamed me. Not that I like the songs any lesser, yet). Free Tibet is incidental, all of it is background.
The music does not originate from spirituality (sufism), rebellion (Dylan, Morrison), and representing communities, or an attitude.
The music just bubbles out of him. None of the other things matter.
The only thing that matters however, is the girl.
He seeks development of his talent at the beginning of the film through a falsehood of heart-ache, and is exasperated while he bites into a samosa in trying to get his grips onto real love.
The film reverses the situation by the end, when at the cusp of his fame and popularity, with cops waiting to take him from the hospital, he begs his manager that he doesn’t want any of it, just let him have the love. That the film and Ranbir Kapoor manage to make both credible is what makes this movie exquisite.
The way the love story progresses, the way each touch is established, how tender Hina (Nargis Fakhri) looks (one can readily understand the heartache from having that taken away from you) is done in a way that cannot quite be summed up in words. Not at least in mine.
I’m still overwhelmed by the smouldering gentleness of it all.
Such an unexpected film.. does not take any easy route.. does not become a clap trap or a crowd pleaser.. It’s just so heartfelt..
Rockstar is unlike most films.. no cacophony of sounds.. quiet.. no unnecessary background to propel it forward..Ranbir is just awesome.
I cannot write much more tonight apart from thanking everyone who has worked on the film. Thank you for working on it with such conviction. Overwhelmed. Must watch it again, as soon as possible.
Update : Another brilliant write-up by Reema Moudgil at Unboxed Writers. She captures the essence of love in Imtiaz Ali’s cinema beautifully.