Rock on 2 movie review: Farhan Akhtar film flounders in its own depth

Rock On 2 movie review: Rock On 2 was all about a generation, about love, about growing up, even chasing dreams. But this time round, Farhan Akhtar, Shraddha Kapoor, Arjun Rampal and Purab Kohli film has other plans in place.

Rating: 2 out of 5
Written by Shalini Langer | New Delhi | Updated: November 11, 2016 7:13 pm
Rock on 2 movie review, Rock on 2 review, Rock on 2, Farhan Akhtar, Shraddha Kapoor, Rock on 2 IMAGE Rock On 2 movie review: Why drag Meghalaya in this Farhan Akhtar movie? The only fault of this tiny northeastern state is its shaky reputation as “India’s rock capital”.

Rock On 2 movie cast: Farhan Akhtar, Shraddha Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Purab Kohli, Shashank Arora
Rock On 2 movie director: Shujat Saudagar

It was never about the singing, but it was always about the music. Eight years ago, Rock On!! ticked all the right boxes for its songs and lyrics that spoke about a generation, about love, about growing up, even chasing dreams, quite uniquely, like Sinbad the sailor.

WATCH VIDEO: Rock On 2 Audience Reaction: Farhan Akhtar’s Movie Impresses People


Adi (Farhan Akhtar), Joe (Arjun Rampal), KD (Purab Kohli) do grow up, as they must. And for a while, it seems the scriptwriters – Pubali Chaudhari and the original film’s writer-director Abhishek Kapoor (who had to go to court to get credit as co-writer) — have a sharp-eyed take on the music industry as it exists today. With reality shows and music clubs (judges as owners, owners as judges, and no conflict of interest baggage), rich clients who may open doors, and poor musicians who can be shown out.

Then, Meghalaya enters the picture. Or rather, is dragged in, to give Akhtar, who perhaps is not satisfied being the film’s lead actor and singer, dialogue writer, and producer — only a grey hair or two short of a regular messiah — a chance to show up bureaucracy and come to the rescue of hapless denizens in the tiny northeastern state whose only fault appears to be its shaky reputation as “India’s rock capital”.

Also read | Rock On 2 movie audience reaction: Music is the biggest let down

In five years of bearing the guilt of having caused a young musician’s suicide, through not giving him the time of day, Adi has built a school, formed a cooperative society of farmers, and earned some very loyal friendships in a Meghalaya village. These don’t break even when he ups and goes after a tragedy strikes.

This is, of course, all eased along by the view from the sea-facing penthouse he inhabits in his alternative universe in Mumbai. The aforesaid penthouse presumably eases wife Sachi’s (Prachi Desai, shorter hair than Rock On!!, same grouses) pain too largely, and allows their son to be remarkably calm about his absentee father’s parting advice of “only watching TV Saturday and Sunday”. Before that, Sachi has told Adi that the idyllic, wooden-lined, artistically decorated and candle-lit house in Meghalaya is alright, but she must head back to Mumbai for son Rob has an “art assignment due on Monday”.

Watch | 5 Reasons To Watch Rock On 2


In other times, that would call for a song. It’s not that the characters of Rock On 2 aren’t keen to break into one either – on the contrary, the desperation to do that every time the film sags is quite evident, as is the tendency to hark back to the golden time of eight years ago. It’s that it’s hard to decipher what any of those songs are trying to say through lyrics that are a lot of heavy-minded words thrown together and floundering in their own depth. Even Jaago, with its lyrics (deciphered through Net), calling the youth to rise against all that is expected or demanded of them, drowns in Akhtar’s jumping theatrics.

The heaviest burden of the mouthful lyrics is borne by Shraddha Kapoor, who as a closet singer does an otherwise decent job of a girl tentatively exploring her talent and giving her vocal chords a try. In the so carefully careless look borne by the rest of the stars, particularly Akhtar, and at times Rampal, hers is a very interesting take of a girl experimenting with clothes and make-up, and struggling to decide on one. Kapoor or Jiya’s story is a father, a classical musician, who treats every music that doesn’t confirm to his purist tastes as blasphemy.

Also read | Can Farhan Akhtar, Shraddha Kapoor-starrer Rock On 2 recreate the Magik?

That too could have been a story. But that is far removed from Meghalaya, and Rock On 2 unfailingly keeps making its way there, even via a relief camp where a chap announces his entry by running down shouting “Adi aaya, Adi aaya”, in chaste Hindi.

The only time Rock On 2 hits some ‘Magik’ – the name of their band, remember – is when it lets its hair down and sings, decked all Beatles-style, at a perfect wedding, ‘You know what I mean?’.

Do you? Know what I mean?

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First Published on: November 11, 2016 11:14 am
  1. P
    Nov 21, 2016 at 3:35 pm
    Had solo Santoor pla longer.Story interrupts mood of music.good one.hope one day only music could be pla in Cinema hall.
    1. A
      Nov 12, 2016 at 9:55 pm
      Absolute Bakwas movie... don't waste your money and time.
      1. A
        Nov 13, 2016 at 6:17 am
        Not upto the expectation. Rock on 1 was awesome. I wanted to see more of rock band performances , getting back and doing music. This was something totally different. Nothing to do with rock band life.
        1. A
          Nov 11, 2016 at 9:40 am
          Faltu review by Indian Express
          1. A
            Nov 20, 2016 at 9:55 am
            dont waste time full faltu movie
            1. J
              Nov 11, 2016 at 9:53 am
              Faltu review. Total waste
              1. J
                Nov 13, 2016 at 6:11 am
                I generally dont see Hindi movies much as i dont enjoy much and i have not seen rock on 1, but yesterday went to see Rock on 2 as friend insisted and I would say it was Entertaining. Movies got quality rock music
                1. G
                  Gautam fan
                  Nov 20, 2016 at 7:34 pm
                  please watch rock-on 1 and then you will comment on your comment only "what a waste of time and money"
                  1. P
                    Nov 11, 2016 at 1:50 pm
                    Has Indian Express given 2 rating to any movies so far?
                    1. M
                      Nov 12, 2016 at 4:24 am
                      Es news editor ko kewal khans ki movie acchi lagati hai
                      1. B
                        Nov 12, 2016 at 2:53 am
                        Any time a movie is about "rich youngsters having fun" it can be safely avoided as being a total waste of time.
                        1. C
                          Nov 14, 2016 at 10:49 am
                          for me ..................bakwas movie of 2016
                          1. S
                            Suman Das
                            Nov 11, 2016 at 4:05 pm
                            Total waste of time, guys. Don't watch this movie. It's all about Shraddha Kapoor. Magik's magic is lost.
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