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Rock On 2 strengthens my belief that it’s never a good idea to make a sequel unless there’s some unfinished business that the world needs to know about.
The second installment of the hit 2008 musical Rock On!!, starring Farhan Akhtar, Shraddha Kapoor, Arjun Rampal and Purab Kohli, seems terribly contrived and insipid. It isn’t backed by a solid script.
The magic and charm that were evident in the original film, which chronicled the reunion of a college band, Magik, are missing in its sequel.
Akhtar returns as the lead singer Aditya Shroff. He has turned into this remorse-filled recluse who gives up on music because he blames himself for a freak suicide of a young man. A tortured soul, he has cut himself off from the world and prefers to do philanthropy in a village in the North East. There’s a voice over by actor Purab Kohli, who’s the drummer from Magik, explaining the changes in an annoying philosophical tone. Rampal, who was the poor, romantic soul of Magik, is now the owner of a swanky nightclub and a reality TV show judge. They are all doing well, except for the tragedy that seems to have fallen upon Shroff.
Once again, he’s a tough nut to crack and his musician friends try to bring him back to the world of living. The dialogues that underline their camaraderie fill you with a nostalgic feeling. But their reunion lacks the same warmth. The twists seem forced and the introduction of the two new bandmasters seem unnecessary. Kapoor plays the troubled, aspiring singer Jiah Sharma, who is repressed by a conservative father, who just happens to be a classical music maestro. Her internal struggles, somehow, leave you unmoved. It’s not for her lack of trying, but it could be because she is trying too hard.
What is also surprising is that the band Magic, which hasn’t done much work in the last eight years, continues to be relevant among music fans in India. Their clout in an industry filled with aspiring singers defies logic. How are they able to sway public opinion is an answer that will elude you.
There’s also some poverty porn thrust into the narrative, all to prove that music can be used for a charitable cause.
As far as performances go, every one does their bit but they are let down by a confused story line. Watch this only if you are a Rock On groupie, otherwise skip it