Image from Wikipedia as per the link (Not mine)
I must admit that I was sceptical about this one seeing as how most sequels very rarely manage to live up to the success of their predecessors but I owed it to my younger self and the phenomenon of “Rock on” to catch it.
The movie takes you 8 years forward in the lives of Adi (Farhan Akhtar), KD (Purab Kohli) and Joe (Arjun Rampal) with flashes of the past when Robbie (Luke Kenny) was still making music with Magik (You recall that he dies in Rock On I, battling cancer…sigh…). Adi retreats into his shell, living away from a city life and in the lap one of Shillong’s tiny villages, helping the local community with establishing and running a farmers’ cooperative and primary schooling facilities. KD now manages most aspects of their music label and works on creative projects for clients who expect him to follow their creative briefs about the music they want but know zilch about the concept of music. Joe has become a successful reality show judge and a partner for a club, no longer a frustrated man because of money troubles (but he still looks frustrated all the same…won a national award for it last time.. 😛 ).
Adi is constantly haunted by an unpleasant incident, plagued by guilt over the suicide of a young boy who’d come to Magik and Adi numerous times, to showcase his musical talent (Eminem’s “Stan” anyone? I thought so…). To make matters worse, Adi runs into trouble with the government officials after a forest fire destroys almost everything that he had worked on with the villagers. In a vulnerable moment, riddled with the pain and anguish of the villagers, Adi is saved by Jiah (Shraddha Kapoor), a keyboard player and singer who lives with her father, Pandit Vibhooti (Kumud Mishra), a renowned classical singer. Adi, now back in the city (Mumbai) is pleasantly surprised to meet Jia at their music label headquarters. Jiah and her friend, Uday (Shashank Arora) end up becoming members of Magik with a reboot performance slated in Joe’s bar. Something goes wrong, Jiah freezes and is shown to be disturbed by something. Slowly but predictably, it is revealed that Jiah is still grieving the loss of her elder brother, Rahul, the very same boy who kept asking Adi to listen to his music. What ensues is a complex unfolding of emotions, from guilt, anger, frustration and rebellion to one of forgiveness, realisation, redemption and reparation of broken souls. Music becomes the glimmer of hope as it truly is, touching the lives of the characters in different ways.
Though the story line is not as engaging as I’d like it to be, the way it is done truly breathes new life into a predictable story line. Purab Kohli, Shraddha Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar are outstanding in their roles each. Not only does the movie deal with grief and loss in a very real and mature way, it also makes a serious attempt at bringing the Northeast part of the nation into the daily life by setting the major plot in Shillong, highlighting the problems faced by the local communities there. An interesting take is that the antagonist(s) in the movie are shown to be thugs hired by the government officials of local area, so there are good guys and bad guys from the same local community and there are these outsiders (Adi and his friends) trying to do some good too. Go for it, you’ll definitely find something worthwhile in the movie. 🙂