Rock On 2 is a film that’s dependent on word-of-mouth and positive reviews from critics would have helped. Unfortunately, the early reviews that are coming in aren’t very positive and the film has also opened very poorly at the box office.
Rock On 2 Review by Indicine
Shujaat Saudagar takes over the duty of direction from Abhishek Kapoor and badly fumbles in his attempt. The music which was so omnipresent in the original becomes a bystander in the sequel as the main characters come to terms with their own fallacies. Also, Farhan Akhtar’s character becomes the de facto lead of the movie whereas the original was a completely ensemble movie. Rock On 2 is slow, it stutters and it takes time to get into its own but it ends things on a good note and does not end up as a total wildfire.
Rock On 2 Review by Bollywood Hungama
When ROCK ON 2’s promos were released, it only rekindled many memories associated with its predecessor ROCK ON!! In reality, ROCK ON 2 sings an extremely different tune (in literal sense). First things first. With absolutely no head or tail to the script (Pubali Chaudhuri, Abhishek Kapoor), the film lands up being a confused mish-mash of too many things. Also, because of the lack of a strong and convincing storyline, the film simply flows all over the place without any ‘direction’. None of the film’s characters are well etched or defined, and hence they fail to build any emotional bond with the viewers. As a result of this, the viewers do not feel sympathetic or empathic towards any of the characters. As the film drags endlessly, one just cannot help feeling indifferent to the happenings on screen. In an attempt to incorporate multiple issues in the film’s story, the film’s writers land up meaninglessly infusing story angles like social situation of the North East India, the divide between Indian and classical music, relationship struggles between father-daughter, husband-wife and even a stalker and his target. The film’s dialogues are very average with no outstanding one liners.
Rock On 2 Review by Manjusha Radhakrishnan on Gulfnews
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 bandmates 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 Magik, 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.
Rock On 2 Review by Renuka Vyavahare on The Times Of India
While most sequels are remakes of the original, credit goes to Shujaat Saudagar for showcasing a new chapter in the lives of the members of ‘Magik’, the Rock band that caught our fancy eight years ago. The cult musical drama swayed the aficionados of Hindi film songs, luring them to rock music. Abhishek Kapoor’s fresh take on friendship tugged at your heartstrings with its effortless storytelling and legit conflicts between characters and within themselves. He didn’t tell you what you should be feeling about the protagonists, allowing you to interpret their vulnerabilities and distinct personalities. Thus, you could relate to a Joe Mascarenhas, who is forced to compromise on his values and sensibilities to ensure he puts food on the table.
Rock On 2 Review by Sreeju Sudhakaran on Bollywood Life
What works well for Rock On 2, like the last time, are the performances. And once again it is Arjun Rampal who manages to impress you the most among the cast. Remember he had won the National award for the Best Supporting actor for the original flick last time? Though his performance is nowhere near that range, thanks to a very sketchy characterisation, he still towers the tallest among the rest with his histrionics, especially in the scene before the interval. Farhan Akhtar and Shraddha Kapoor are decent, but the latter scores better in the singing department. However there were a couple of scenes where Shraddha is trying too hard, especially in the scene where father confronts her on the phone. Purab Kohli is okay, however his philosophical voiceover is damn irritating. The cinematography is wonderful, capturing the beauty of Meghalaya, as well as the manic energy of the band performances. A couple of scenes do remain with you like when when Joe introspects after watching a reality contestant’s real performance, or when the original band is seen performing (It’s good to see Rob back, though in a rather unnecessary song).
Rock On 2 Review by Shalini Langer on Indian Express
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.
Review by Sukanya Verma on Rediff
Rock On 2’s frantic mood shifts between art, commerce, philanthropy, politics and personal life weigh down its potential to satisfy on a single front. Its need to be profound by addressing North East alienation in the narrative would be laudable if it wasn’t so ill conceived or cursory. Instead of energizing the scene, the newly introduced characters only prolong the dullness of a film that does more for the tourism of Meghalaya than it does for rock music.
Review by Raghav Jaitly on Zeenews
‘Rock On 2’ is a musical journey with hits and misses. The nostalgia factor here takes it a notch up on our entertainment scale. If you were impressed with the spirit of ‘Magik’ in ‘Rock On!!’ then ‘Rock On 2’ will prove to be an effective outing for you this weekend.
Review by Tushar Joshi on DNA India
There is a lack of energy in the overall screenplay. Everything just feels lethargic and the constant throwbacks and need to remind us of the first film is unnecessary and desperate. We come in wanting to experience a story of a band who symbolised breaking free and delivering some great tunes. Unfortunately, music is one the weakest assets of the film. Most of the songs seem situational but don’t manage to stay with you till the end of the film. The Meghalaya angle and subplot of Farhan getting involved with local welfare comes across as gimmicky and forced. Shraddha and Farhan’s relationship has no name, are they friends? lovers? more than just friends? There is a constant cloud of ambiguity hovering above these two. Farhan seems fatigued through half the film and his character doesn’t do much to retain our interest. Also the random cuts between Meghalaya and Mumbai seem to jolt us out of our senses.
Review by Ananya Bhattacharya on India Today
Rock On 2 scores high in the cinematography and photography departments. Half of that credit should go to the ones who actually decided to take the film to Shillong and Uminuh. In terms of making an impact on its viewers, Rock On 2 will do nothing. The one thing it will do is boost the Meghalaya tourism. In all, watch Rock On 2 for the picturesque locales of Meghalaya. Else skip it.
Review by Rohit Bhatnagar on Deccan Chronicle
Director Shujaat Saudagar’s attempt is noticeable. He is successful in taking the story which ended eight years ago ahead. Pubali Chaudhary, who has written the screenplay, is predictable yet refreshing. ‘Rock On 2’ will take you on an interesting journey since the film deals with emotions, conspiracies and social awareness. However, dialogues penned by Farhan Akhtar are not that impressive. The film could have been much better in several aspects and hence remains a decent one-time watch. The humour in the film is like a breath of fresh air. Marc Koninckx has visually captured North-East India beautifully, especially the folk performance by Usha Uthup towards the climax.
Review by Saibal Chatterjee on NDTVMovies
Sadly, the grunge band around which Rock On 2 revolves is led by a crooner (Farhan Akhtar) whose raspy voice sounds good only when it is drowned out by the surround sound. Farhan’s on-screen performance is steady and generally in sync with the needs of the screenplay, but in the absence of a conclusive reason for his initial world-weariness, his a-guy-who-needs-a-helluva-lot-of prodding act is less than satisfying. Shraddha Kapoor, who represents the younger generation in this musical clash of eras and cultures, does an infinitely better job with the songs that she lends her voice to. Her acting, too, passes muster without scaling great heights. As a musical, Rock On 2 does not hit rock bottom at any point. But for the most part, the film finds itself trapped in rocky terrain. So its flow is staccato.
Review by Rajeev Masand on News18
The men we meet in Rock On 2 are older, more cynical, and dealing with existential issues. Perhaps that’s why in addition to the disappointing music, the other big problem with the film are its lyrics…most unremarkable, to put it politely. There’s none of the cheekiness, the mischief of that earlier work. Also, the novelty of listening to Farhan Akhtar’s raspy voice has worn off now, and although Shraddha Kapoor also croons on this album, there’s nothing here to write home about. By the time the film inches towards a rousing climax in Shillong, it’s too little too late. There are occasional sparks of potential – like the celebrity-and-fan dynamic, and the rejection of fusion music by purists – but the script has little interest in digging deep. It has little interest in anything at all frankly, other than the character of Adi, who is at one point, portrayed as the sole messiah of a ravaged north-east community.
Review by Mayank Shekhar on Mid-Day India
The group’s front-man, played by Farhan Akhtar, of course, leads the set of grouchies — Purab Kohli and Arjun Rampal. As he puts it himself, he has a strange dilemma to deal with: Every time he tries to play music, some shit or the other happens in his life. Maybe, he shouldn’t play music then. Well, he doesn’t. This ex-corporate type, who’d turned a professional rock-star with Rock On, has now moved to Meghalaya to live all alone with recurrent nightmares of a fan who killed himself. Somehow, he feels responsible for that death. And as penance, or is it plain philanthropy, he runs a cooperative farm and a local school, in or around Shillong.
Review by Kunal Guha on Mumbai Mirror
Farhan Akhtar’s character may have saved a mum and child from a burning house in this film, but it would be fateful fluke if this one manages to see through the smog clouding the film’s script. As an actor, he’s committed as ever and tries his best to intensify this largely tiresome affair. Just when you think Arjun Rampal is impressive and subtle here, his character breaks into a screaming fit and throughout the entire sequence, he manages to hold the same expression — much like a lazily dubbed Chinese film — high-pitched dialogues accompanied by sedated facial expressions. Purab Kohli brings to screen Hindi cinema’s chirpiest character — who doesn’t need to be drugged to be consistently and exaggeratedly overjoyed about life. Shraddha Kapoor is India’s answer to Kristen Stewart, perhaps marginally more expressive, but channelling just enough daze.
Review by Vishal Verma on Glamsham
Farhan Akhtar performs well, he is a better actor then a singer in any case. Arjun Rampal is fine, Purab Kohli gets good scope and he is quite well in lighter scenes but in scenes which needs more power as an actor, Purab displays his limitations ( the Rohan suicide scene for example) Shraddha Kapoor plays her part well and yeah she can sing as well. Shashank Arora as Uday leaves his mark, Shahana Goswami is there for two scenes. Prachi Desai excels in that four scenes she gets. Her talent is still waiting to be trapped to her potential. Kumud Mishra is fine. Technically sound with Marc Koninck’s decent photography. Music by Shankar Mahadevan, Loy Mendonsa and Ehsaan Noorani is a big disappointment.
Rock On 2 Review by Indiaglitz
Director Shujaat Saudagar enters into the world of Hindi films after directing AD films for more than a decade. He manages to add an extension tale to the life of Magik group members but fails to enhance it. The movie ends up being a repentance drama between Farhan and Shraddha. The focus over other band members and their personal lives is hardly shown in the film. Almost every scene is dragged to the fullest and is presented in a slow manner. It’s a huge opportunity loss for this film maker and all the fans of ‘Rock On’. Shashank Arora, Kumud Mishra, Prachi Desai are wasted. Shahana Goswami ends up in a guest appearance. ‘Rock On 2’ is neither musically great nor does it have a gripping story to narrate. It’s just a bland music which has no existence.
Review by Manisha Lakhe on Nowrunning
The one saving grace to this movie is a khasi song ‘Hoi Kiw’ sung by the Meghalaya band Summersalt featuring Usha Uthup (she sings the Hindi lyrics). The sound is so new, you know you have to go seek more of their music. There’s enough time to do that in the movie because the rest of the movie has been such a drag you had sunk to the bottom of your multiplex seat and were almost asleep.
Review by Subhash K Jha on Bollyspice
Rock On 2 is rugged and engaging, its dramatic core blending into the fabric of music masti and magik (spelling intentional) with an elan that suggests the birth of a significant new mainstream Bollywood director.
Review by meeta on Wogma
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 hear more of her in the film. In the acting department, not a lot is demanded from her and she takes that load well.
Review by Anupama Chopra on Hindustan Times
Like the first film, Rock On 2 moves to a rousing musical climax. The lead up to it isn’t very convincing, but it will give you goosebumps to see the fabulous Usha Uthup on a stage singing the hybrid Khasi-Hindi song ‘Hoi kiw / Chalo chalo’. Shankar-Ehsan-Loy’s music in this film doesn’t match the brilliance of the original score, but the adrenaline is palpable. They create several high notes. So there are elements that you will enjoy, but the film is felled by the undercooked writing. The dialogue by Farhan Akthar doesn’t help to disguise the flaws. At one point, Jia turns to Adi and asks about the starving villagers — “Listen, gaonwale theek hain?” — as though she’s casually inquiring about an ill relative. The Meghalaya angle is, of course, entirely superficial. The local characters are paper-thin and we get little sense of their world. There’s just not enough to invest in.
Review by Jaidev Hemmady on Movietalkies
As for the film itself, let me say at the outset that if you loved Rock On, the sequel Rock On 2might slightly let you down. Shujaat Saudagar, who has directed the sequel, fails to provide a strong enough plot to hold the story together. The sequel, which revolved around problems in the band caused by ego clashes and creative differences, seemed more real than what the makers have come up with this time- the whole track about governmental apathy towards North Eastern regions and how Magik steps in to save the day, comes across as quite contrived and unrelatable. Also, Kohli’s voiceover, wherein he explains each and everything unfolding on the screen, gets quite irritating. If that was not all, the music of the sequel is not really as memorable as that of the original flick. Except for the ‘Woh Jahaan’ track, I couldn’t really remember the lyrics of any songs after coming out of the cinema hall.
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