kunfu yoga - Review

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV (?)
quick review:

What's done well is done pretty neatly, what's not is pretty average, even mediocre. And yet, the entire set-up kind-a, sort-a works.

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Wogma Review

Usually when a film mixes genres and/or issues, it gets annoying because it doesn't manage to do justice to any one of them and spreads itself thin. Rock On 2 however, manages to subtly touch upon many a point relevant to the world we live in today. Now, if only its writing didn't rely so heavily on coincidences and a generally sloppy plot.

Rock On 2 shows glimpses of both urban and rural dystopia. One corrupted by consumerism among other things and the other by corruption itself. The disconnect between the two worlds can be felt when Adi (Farhan Akhtar) visits Mumbai after a long hiatus from the city. He seems to immediately long for the world he got out of, even if he left it when it was in dire straits. The universal societal issue of generation gap is touched upon too, even if it has a rather unsatisfying climax. And of course, there is friendship and the strains that a true friendship can wade through.

As you'd imagine there is no respite from seriousness, as hard as KD (Purab Kohli) might try. Rock On 2 has a very intense air about it. So glum are three out of the four leads through the film, that you barely get a smile out of them - other than maybe in a flashback, which makes it sorrier because now, you too wish their past returned unbroken.

The transitions from one thread to the other are seamless. Thus it doesn't feel like the writers have taken on a lot and aren't able to be fair to any one sub-plot. This doesn't make the use of voiceover from start to finish or the ridiculous coincidences any easier to digest. Also, despite the seamless switches, the film has uneven writing.

For example, the parts that sew the first part to this sequel are written well. For a change, a sequel feels like a sequel – characters have aged and grown up and yet they give you a sense of “nothing has changed”. On the other hand there are those jerks in story-writing that the smooth screenplay covers up for. Efficient direction tries to mask some of these shortcomings, but in that attempt, the film becomes a little too long. Individual scenes/sequences linger on a little longer than needed thus reducing the effect and increasing the length. This also makes the film seem like it wants to say something, make a point, in every minute of the film, instead of just telling a story.

For a film that relies heavily on music, the music is well below average. The songs of course, appear more or less randomly, the music they are set to doesn't have a punch or repeat value. The lyrics of “woh jahaan” are worth looking up again, but the rest of the songs seem to have taken the beaten path. The grand climax starts of well, but loses steam till Magik takes stage. Interestingly, the finale does make you feel like you are at the rock show but it is not shot half as well as “jaago”.

Also, it is ironical that Farhan Akhtar's voice as a singer was heard so often during the film, despite it being so flat. Shouldn't a better singer have gotten a chance for playback? His character, Adi is right though, their band, Magik does need a new lead singer.

The actors all do well even if they are at the borderline of looking like they are trying a little too hard to be casual, serious, anxious, morose and so on. But it can pass. Even Arjun Rampal does his bit convincingly. It is nice to see Shashank Arora on this stage even if he's playing a character who seems to be lost – it gets a tad repetitive but will do till his next film. Shraddha Kapoor has a lovely voice and I wish we had heard more of her in the film. In the acting department, not a lot is demanded from her and she takes that load well.

In fact, there's this one scene that has little to do with her but it tugs at your heart. The events around her shock you and you see it reflected in her reactions. There is this other scene with Arjun Rampal reacting in a similar way and you sense a lump in your throat. Who would have thought he could have that effect on you.

There are a few, little surprises of this kind in the film. Also, it feels so good to see so many North-Eastern actors (even if some of them are non-actors) in a mainstream film. If only, Rock On 2 had better music and a little more effort in the parts of the puzzle that bring the film together.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 3
  • Story: 3
  • Lead Actors: 3.5
  • Character Artists: 4
  • Dialogues: 3
  • Screenplay: 2.5
  • Music Director: 2
  • Lyrics: 3

kunfu yoga - Movie Details

kunfu yoga - Trailer

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Comments (1)

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Anuj:

DCH in 2001 was a fresh and innovative movie from the Farhan school of film-making. Mold the plot and add a bit of music, we got a repetitive yet entertaining and endearing Rock On! in 2008. Mold a bit more, add a few rich brats with their "ultra urban metropolitan" problems in life and we got a decent one time watch in ZNMD in 2011. Now how many times would one possible mold, twist, turn and rehash the same done to death formula? If the Johar's and Chopra's of the world have flogged a dead horse, EXCEL entertainment with their formula films is no different!

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