It has been eight years since Rock On ignited a revolution in India’s music scene. The movie defined a generation’s desire to move on to the newer world of ‘crowd music’ and inspired secret singers to dream big. Hence, when a sequel was announced, red carpets were rolled out well in advance.
Rock On 2 begins with Kedar Zaveria aka KD (Purab Kohli) apprising us of the current whereabouts of the band mates. Joseph Mascarenhas alias Joe (Arjun Rampal) has become a reality show judge, who encourages slapstick performances to earn TRP.
Aditya Shroff (Farhan Akhtar), stuck with guilt and tragedy, leaves his career to live and work for a small, peaceful agrarian village in Shillong. KD is still hopeful of reuniting with his friends to resurrect their fallen band 'Magik'. Jiah Sharma (Shraddha Kapoor) makes a new lead singer to them, along with her friend Uday (Shashank Arora).
Fire disaster and harvest loss to Shillong farmers turn out to be a cause for team 'Magik' to reunite. By a grand multi-band performance under the banner 'Unite for Shillong', 'Magik' retains its golden age with two new singers and newer starts; enough and more for a spoiler.
With music all along the story-line, Rock on 2 has addressed many stigmas such as the historic clash between conventional and new music, patronage for everything that belongs to 'the (g)olden times' and judging reality show singers by the ridicules they manage to perform for ratings, and the like.
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy has done magic to the otherwise 'yet another youth-band-return movie'. Usha Uthup and her folklore track stand apart in the final multi-band performance, with her sheer potential of making good soda for a lime.
Soumyajit Nandi, with his subtle excellence in still photography, makes the hilly village in Meghalaya each viewer's homeland.
Thus, Rock On 2 manages to be a good spin-off, which has its own way of unfurling the fiction in the plot, harmoniously accompanied by pure hearty music.
Prachi Deshai's (Sakshi Shroff) vivid discomforts in her relationship with Aditya and the apparent entry of Shraddha Kapoor may make it look like another relationship cliche but director Shujaat Saudagar has done an appreciable justice to the music-bound plot without veering away too much.
As a whole, the movie is a good piece of art for a filmmaker's debut with enough drama, fiction, turnovers and fights, all accompanied with a dominant layer of music. While Rock On had left something for the viewers to take back home, this one is just about the band’s return and has little or nothing to relate with.
Much like Shraddha Kapoor says towards the climax, 'they wouldn't let Magik die twice'…and that's it.
Onmanorama rating: 3 out of 5 stars