This review has been taken straight from timesofindia.com:
Rock On traverses the simple ‘spirit of winning’ path that is usually followed by films of the sports genre like Chak De India , Goal or for that matter the director of this film, Abhishek Kapoor’s previous attempt Aryan. The plot outline is obvious for this variety. There’s a committed individual or a team who can’t make it big for the first time. Life gives a second chance and this time is the phase to prove credentials. What matters in such endeavours is the conviction in direction to connect with the audience. Rock On scores on that level.
Four friends share a common passion for music and form a rock band called Magik. Aditya (Farhan Akhtar) is the lead vocalist, Joe (Arjun Rampal) is the guitarist, KD (Purab Kohli) is the drummer and Rob (Luke Kenny) handles the keyboard. They get a chance to cut out an album but things don’t work out and the group splits to go their separate ways.
A decade later Aditya’s wife Sakshi (Prachi Desai) attempts to reunite the group. After some initial hiccups and ego clashes, the band members bond and blend to brew good tunes. Predictably the climax is set in a rock concert where the band performs to perfection.
Despite such patented predictability, one still relates to Rock On . You noticeably know that Arjun Rampal would make a late entry in the climax concert but your heart still goes out on his appearance. You aren’t surprised when one of the band members is diagnosed of cancer but you still feel for him. That’s because the simplicity and sincerity of the direction and performances touch you.
The storytelling is somewhat slow and drags in the preliminary portions. The film gets into frequent flashback episodes and at times you are caught unaware on the instance where it ends. Even the back-story takes a tad bit long to reach to the point where the band disperses. Unimaginatively the screenplay uses the same scheme of a rock concert for its first key plot-point and also the climax. But seemingly that was inevitable since the genre of the film restricts its creative scope. Also Farhan Akhtar’s breakup with his girlfriend doesn’t come across quite convincingly.
On the upside, the musical theme of the film is ably supported by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s rocking score. For once you don’t feel that songs are forced in a Bollywood film. There’s also a splendid spoof on how the band merges rock with dandiya to gain some quick money. How one wishes the film had more of such lighter moments which would have accentuated the youthful appeal to Dil Chahta Hai extents. The director also manages to pull off a subtle satire on Anu Malik, while casting him at his own expense.
Rock On seems to be clearly designed by Farhan Akhar as his own acting debut and he doesn’t let himself down. Lending voice to all his songs helps him to get into his character with effortless ease. One could certainly overlook the lisp in his dialogue delivery. Arjun Rampal looks mature in his character but isn’t quite credible while handling the guitar. Purab Kohli has a natural flair for comedy and Luke Kenny is persuasive in his role. From the female leads Shahana Goswami as Arjun’s wife comes up with the most compelling act and adds some depth to the drama. Prachi Desai justifies her poised presence.
It’s interesting how director Abhishek Kapoor attempts to make commercial entertainers on subjects that are not much prevalent in our country. His last film Aryan was on boxing, a sport not much popular in India and now he tries his hands on rock culture, which again isn’t much recognized here. At least this time he succeeds in creating a realistic rock feel.
Rock On strikes a chord on that note.