Would Be Archived
The rockers themselves could’nt have made such an entertaining movie about themselves.
Anyway, don’t mean to write a review. As a person who had undertaken a study of this niche form of music a couple of years back at JU-Kol, I wish to record my memory of a day when something good happened for Indian alternative music.
Although I agree with rock fans like Alok Meshram* et al that the imagery is clichéd, music is synthetic make-believe rock, yet the story about how these people live is convincing. Somebody in Yahoo had written that when she watched it she had felt that these people existed. O yes, but they do! Go to Kolkata, or to Bangalore, the northeast – you would see that they do!
People like Sidhu aka Dr Siddhartha Ray, Pinky aka Kanishka, Sanjay (Abraham reminds me of this erstwhile lead guitarist of CACTUS , one of the most popular Rock Bands of Kolkata), Sumit, lyricist of erstwhile Abhilasha , Lokkhichhara, Fossils are working night and day to make a place for their niche music. Some of them are not just good; they are brilliant and have actually changed the idioms in the regional languages they sing in!
While like most I appreciated the acting, enactment, direction, casting, costume, script, cinematography, would have liked the music better if real rockers had done the composing. There are guitar wizards like Amit Dutta in Kolkata, drummers like Nandan Bagchi in Delhi, real urbane rock lyricists…practising rockers could have made the experience intense, soulful. Remember Bangladeshi James’s rendition of Life in a Metro songs?
Maybe in future, some courageous music director would. Like Anurag Basu had (Gangster, Life In A Metro). But they had initially forgotten to mention that the tune was borrowed from Mohiner Ghoraguli who had composed the original in Bangla (‘Prithibita Naki Chhoto Hotey Hotey’) thirty years back for that famous Hindi translation ‘Bhigi Bhigi’ (A Song from Anurag’s movie Gangster.)
One Mohiner Ghora holding up a picture of Another Mohiner Ghora: Gautam Chatterjee.
There is MORE where that one came from. In fact, people aspiring to make movies on similar subjects would lend credibility to their craft if they used genuine stuff in the process giving credit where it is due plus doing much needed service to the artist community. It would be a graceful gesture from practitioners of one art form to those of another.
I think Rock On!! would be archived as:
1) one of the first significant contemporary responses to the Rock phenomenon in Indi (who made it, who saw it, who approved).
2) as a milestone in the field of regional rock documentation (subject).
3) as the first to introduce a niche music format onto Pan Indian Hindi Blockbuster platform – successfully. People had missed the point in Jhankar Beats because of its treatment (treatment).
Somebody had to stand up out there and take it up for these Rockers struggling their asses off. It is time listeners acknowledge that they are not simply aping the West anymore than Mahnish Bahl is, with his western ensemble.
Through their music these regional rockers pulled the regional languages to a new stature. By rocking in it, THEY MADE THE VERNAC ROCK boosting regional language like nothing ever has done before.
I wish, now, post Rock On!! there would be a MUSICIANS COMMUNE of some sort protecting the intellectual property rights and interests of these groups. The consortium could also help get this sector organized so that music directors, record companies, event managers etc can tap into the vast potential of this form that is evolving, and is as alive as the time itself. Isn’t that what rock music was meant to be?
CACTUS Sanjay seen accompanying his wife here in a private project after he broke up with the band, at Planet M, Kolkata