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Rock On 2 is a 2016 musical drama film directed by Shujat Saudhagar, written by Abhishek Kapoor and Pubali Chaudary and stars Farhan Akthar, Arjun Rampal, Purab Kohli, Shraddha Kapoor, Shashank Arora and Prachi Desai. The film explores the life of Magik after the events of the first Rock On.

There was a very resounding complaint back in the day when Rock On came out. The complaint being, for such a fun and evocative film, the band has such an unoriginal name. Magik is indeed a very un-inventive name. But, that was the only unimaginative aspect about the previous film. It was loads of fun and excitement with exceptionally uplifting music. Rock On 2 however is anything but fun or uplifting. The unoriginality in the band’s name seeps into the film as a whole.

The film has some of the most depressing lead characters one can see. All 5 principal characters are sad for one reason or the other. They are trudging through their lives being unhappy and they carry their doom and gloom attitude throughout the run time. This carries into the music and visual style of the film. The music goes very dull for long stretches of time. Whenever a song resembling the film’s original rock music roots comes up, the audience member has been drained of so much energy that he/she finds it hard to get back to the state they song expects them to be in.

The one thing to like about the film however are its performances. The actors know who their characters are and embody them very well. A few of the tunes which are laced throughout the film, which are not a part of the film’s songs, are a joy to listen to. They showcase a lot of creative energy which  have may been flowing through the composers. But alas, those moments are few and far between. Those little moments of beauty are hidden between a non-stop onslaught of subplots and dull, hackneyed moments.

It’s hard to write about a film that has so little happening in it even though the film shows a lot happening on-screen. A good way to conclude this would be, every time the film references the first movie or plays a clip from it, as an audience member one might be nostalgic for all the good that film was. It is not a good nostalgia which makes one want to enjoy the story unfolding on screen. It only makes one compare and contrast, and highlights the flaws of the motion picture projected on the cinema screen.

It has always been said comedy sequels are the hardest ones to make as they lose the spirit of the original with their attempts to recreate a perfect storm of things that made the first one special. Maybe, movies which have bands forming or new musical acts coming to life are hard to make sequels too as well. If there is one thing this film shows, music is indeed magical and trying to recreate a specific feeling again is harder than just throwing a few songs together and calling it a new rock music experience.

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OVERALL SCORE – 1.75/5

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