Rockstar is a 2011 Indian Hindi-language musical romantic drama film written and directed by Imtiaz Ali and produced by former Eros International head Sunil Lulla and Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Limited chief Dhilin Mehta, starring Ranbir Kapoor and Nargis Fakhri with music composed by A. R. Rahman. The film also features Moufid Aziz, Aditi Rao Hydari, Piyush Mishra, Shernaz Patel, Kumud Mishra in supporting roles, and also Shammi Kapoor, who makes his last silver-screen appearance.
|Directed by||Imtiaz Ali|
|Written by||Imtiaz Ali|
|Produced by||Sunil Lulla|
|Edited by||Aarti Bajaj|
|Music by||A. R. Rahman|
|Distributed by||Eros International|
|Box office||₹108 crore|
Rockstar was released on 11 November 2011. On the day of release, Tibetans in Chennai and Dharmasala protested against the Central Board of Film Certification asking the film-makers to censor scenes featuring the Tibetan flag. Upon release, the film received generally mixed reviews. Critics highlighted Kapoor and Rahman as the stars of the film, but criticised the plot. It was one of the top grossing films of that year, managing to appeal the youngsters in the cities. Made on a budget of ₹410 million (US$5.4 million), Rockstar grossed ₹1.08 billion (US$14 million) worldwide. The album of the film is often termed as the best music album of the decade.Kapoor and Rahman received numerous awards for their work in the film. Over the years, the film has gone to achieve a cult following.
A flashback reveals the story of Jordan, whose real name is Janardhan Jakhar a.k.a. JJ, a Jat boy from Delhi. He is studying at Hindu College and dreams of being a rockstar like Jim Morrison, for which he is often laughed at by his friends. Khatana, the canteen owner, tells JJ that one thing common among all artists is a life-altering heartbreak. JJ jokingly tells himself that since that hasn't happened yet, he won't be able to reach his idol's status. He watches the dance performance of Heer Kaul, a beautiful girl from St. Stephen's College during a contest, and overhears that she is the "perfect-heartbreaking-machine." Remembering Khatana's words, he decides to propose to her but suffers humiliation, which he sees as the perfect method for enduring the heartbreak needed for stardom. Over time, he and Heer become good friends, often going on adventures and engaging in risky behavior.
Heer marries a man named Jai in Kashmir, after which the couple moves to Prague. During this time, she develops feelings for JJ and coins the nickname "Jordan" for him. JJ finds himself thrown out by his brothers for allegedly stealing family money. He takes refuge for two months in the nearby Nizamuddin Dargah, singing qawwalis, and then moves into Khatana's home. Ustaad Jameel Khan, a renowned classical musician, hears JJ's singing at the Dargah and prompts Dhingra, the owner of "Platinum Records," to sign him. Sheena, a journalist, interviews JJ and hints to him that Dhingra is sending artists to Prague for a Europe tour. JJ volunteers to work there, in the hopes of reuniting with Heer.
Heer, meanwhile, suffers from continuous health problems. She meets JJ in Prague and they reconnect, but when he tries to profess his love for her, Heer, being married, spurns him. Despite this, their relationship gets intimate, and Heer feels guilty. As soon as Jordan's Prague tours are over, she leaves him. JJ tries to visit her one last time before departing to India but is arrested on trespassing charges filed by Heer's husband. While JJ is being taken away, he sees Heer collapse. Upon being deported back to India, he is overwhelmed by the attention he receives, and clashes with the media and the Indian police, resulting in a jail term. The event garners enough publicity to make Dhingra decide to release JJ's recordings; the album does well, throwing JJ into the limelight.
After being released, JJ terminates his contract with Dhingra, embarks on a country-wide tour, and finally morphs fully into "Jordan", the rockstar he had aspired to be. He turns bitter, arrogant, and lonely as time goes on, but remains a highly popular artist.
Jordan meets Heer's younger sister, Mandy, during one of his concerts, and she asks him to help Heer, who has been diagnosed with aplastic anaemia. Jordan's presence causes Heer to somewhat recover and her blood level rise. He starts disregarding his musical obligations to spend more time with her, and Khatana, his manager now, asks Heer to persuade Jordan to attend his concerts. Heer does so, and JJ resumes his tour with his first concert at Himachal Pradesh. During their stay at Himachal, they have sex, due to which Heer gets pregnant and the blood loss after she returns makes her fall into a coma. When Mandy informs Jordan of Heer's condition, he leaves one of his shows midway and goes to her hospital bed. He tries to wake her up but she remains non-responsive. Jordan realizes that she will not survive and goes numb, while the media continue to probe him. His grief further turns him a "bad boy" of rock and he shows his right middle finger to them, also beating up the police, but he finally attains international fame like his idol.
The film cuts back to the concert in Verona and while performing, Jordan sees a vision of a smiling Heer walking towards him. The ending suggests that Heer has died in a coma and the naive falcon (Nadaan Parinda - Heer) has returned home (reunited with Jordan, not physically but spiritually). The film ends with a line from the poet Rumi's poem; translated, it means: "Away, beyond all concepts of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there", which the film began with.
- Ranbir Kapoor as Janardhan "Jordan" Jakhar / JJ
- Nargis Fakhri as Heer Kaul (Mona Ghosh Shetty as the Hindi dubbing voice)
- Aditi Rao Hydari as Sheena
- Kumud Mishra as Khatana
- Piyush Mishra as Dhingra
- Moufid Aziz as Jai
- Shammi Kapoor as Ustad Jameel Khan
- Shernaz Patel as Neena Kaul
- Aakash Dahiya as Janardhan "Jordan"'s Friend
- Jaideep Ahlawat as Jordan's brother
- Shreya Narayan as Jordan's sister-in-law
- Nizami Bandhu - as Qawwal from Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah
- Sanjana Sanghi as Mandy Kaul - Heer's Younger Sister
Ranbir Kapoor plays the male lead of Rockstar, with whom Eros International worked previously on Anjaana Anjaani. His role of Jordan is loosely based on Imtiaz Ali's Jat friend, who lived in a small settlement in Pitam Pura. He had seen Kareena Kapoor's performance in his Jab We Met and wanted to cast her in the film. However, the script required some romantic scenes between the leads. As Ranbir and Kareena happened to be cousins, this was touted as a problem. Moreover, the filmmakers did not want to replace Ranbir with any other actor as the character he portrayed was reportedly suitable only for him. They then made a joint decision to replace Kapoor with Nargis Fakhri, after initially approaching Deepika Padukone and Diana Penty for the replacement. The film marked Shammi Kapoor's last appearance in a feature film; he died on 14 August 2011.
The shooting for Rockstar began in May 2010. A major part of the shooting took place in Kashmir at Kulgam, Kupwara , Pahalgam and Srinagar, while the last phase was shot in Delhi at places like the Kotla Mubarakpur, Nizamuddin Dargah, Greater Kailash, Munirka, Indira Gandhi International Airport, Amity School (deleted scenes), Connaught Place, Shri Ram College of Commerce, BL Kapoor Hospital, Rajendra Nagar, St. Stephen's College and Hindu College, which was Imtiaz Ali's alma mater.  
Foreign sequences were shot at Wenceslas Square, Charles Bridge and the Old Town in parts of Prague and in Liberec (at Dr. Beneš Square, in front of the Liebieg Villa). The film was shot in reverse as the crew didn't want to break the continuity of Ranbir's hairstyle. The climax with long hair was shot first. Kapoor had to transform himself into a rockstar: he practiced guitar at A. R. Rahman's studio in Chennai for many days, read Kurt Cobain's biography and familiarised himself with Jats.
Rockstar's costumes were designed by Aki Narula and Manish Malhotra, who dressed Ranbir in "small-town denim-and-sweater combination and later, Pathani-style kurtas with arm bands", thus completing the rockstar look. Nargis Fakhri, who plays the role of a Kashmiri Pandit girl, wore a traditional Kashmiri Pandit wedding outfit in the wedding scene, which included Pandit Pheran, Dejhor (ear ornament) and Taranga (head cap worn underneath the veil). This also happens to be the first time in Bollywood that a Kashmiri Pandit wedding was shown.
The soundtrack features 14 tracks, with all lyrics penned by Irshad Kamil. The recording of the album took place in Chennai, London and Mumbai. Mohit Chauhan had lent his voice for nine songs. The audio rights were bought by T-Series. Upon release on 30 September 2011, it received highly positive reviews from critics. "Sadda Haq" became the most popular song of the album and was named as a "youth anthem".
Rockstar released on 11 November 2011 and saw a good advance opening at multiplexes closer to educational institutions. The film released in 2,500 screens, and saw cinema halls running 14 to 15 shows in a day.
Major parts of the song "Sadda Haq" were shot at the Norbulingka monastery in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala and people waving the free Tibet flag in the backdrop were shown in the song video. This triggered a dispute between Central Board of Film Certification and Imtiaz Ali when the Board asked Ali to blur the flag before the film hit theatres, but the director refused to do it. Imtiaz Ali said, "I am not concerned at all. I have been out of India for long and don’t know what is going on, but I don’t see anything controversial in the intention portrayal in the movie. The purpose of the movie is not to make any social message, its more about personal freedom rather than a geographical issue." However, he had to remove the sequence from the video to get the film's censor done. Later an official from the Board stated: "The Censor Board chief explained to them that all the cuts were made by the director voluntarily, and he had the option of appealing to a review board which he didn’t do. There were certain discussions between (Imtiaz) Ali and the Board regarding retaining a kiss between two actors (Kapoor and Fakhri), but there has been no disagreement regarding deleting the flag from the frames." The controversy sparked protests among the Tibetan diaspora in Dharamsala and Chennai. Later television broadcasts blotted out a "Free Tibet" banner featured in the song.The scenes demanding independence of kashmir and punjab by Imtiaz Ali were controversial.
Raja Sen of Rediff gave the film 4 stars out of 5 and wrote, "Rockstar is a simple, unspectacular tale, sometimes even predictable, but director Imtiaz Ali masterfully weaves in details that draw us in." Aniruddha Guha of DNA too gave the film 4 out of 5 saying that the film was "like an effective crescendo that leaves you wanting more." Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India also gave the film 4 out of 5 and stated that "The highpoint of Rockstar is its high tension, high-on-passion romance between two unlikely people". Sukanya Verma of Rediff rated it 3.5 stars out of 5 and said, "Rockstar is flawed but fabulous." Mayank Shekhar of Hindustan Times also gave a rating of 3.5 out of 5 and noted "The canvas is wide like early Sanjay Leela Bhansali's; bird's view of the stunning bridge is very Mani Ratnam; witty, earthy dialogues are so Vishal Bhardwaj. Director Imitiaz Ali manages to retain a personal, auteur's touch in a genre vastly commercial, mainstream. This is a rare feat." Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave the film 3 out of 5 stars, and said "On the whole, Rockstar does not live up to the confidence and expectations from the otherwise very skilled and accomplished film-maker Imtiaz Ali." Hrithik Sharma of El Viaje Reviews included it into his select list of Bollywood classics and says that "Rockstar is a unique cocktail of 50% drama, 40% romance and 10% comedy. What stands out is the music by A. R. Rahman. Each song in the film is a masterpiece and fits very well into the plot. Cinematography is realistic but pre-possessing indeed. The film gets a 10 on 10 in this department. There are certain scenes in the film that may seem unrelated to the plot but those would be the scenes that would stay with you longer." Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN also gave 3 stars out of 5, commenting "Imtiaz Ali's Rockstar is a far-from-perfect film, but it has honesty and depth, which is mostly missing in Hindi movies today."
Sumit Bhattacharya of Rediff gave a rating of 2.5 out of 5, saying that "Rockstar is what is called a one-time watch", and highlighted that the film "is more Devdas than Jim Morrison". Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV too gave the film 2.5 out of 5 stars, and said "Rockstar has a Sufi soul. If only it had been set free and allowed to go the whole hog!" Komal Nahta of Koimoi again gave the film 2.5 out of 5, and said, "Rockstar will meet with a mixed response: one section of the audience (mainly youngsters in the cities) will love it while another section (mainly the single-screen audience and public of smaller cities) will find it ordinary." Kaveree Bamzai of India Today gave the film 2 out of 5 stars and said "AR Rahman's music is the soul of the film. What is missing is the spine, leaving just a jelly in place." Yahoo! gave the film 1 star out of 5, and said "Rockstar drives home an unscientific hypothesis that people who’ve endured sufferings/heart break etc will reach their creative best." A reviewer from Reuters commented that Rahman and Kapoor are the stars of the film while saying "Rockstar works on so many levels, but it fails miserably on so many more.". Anuj Kumar of The Hindu said "Imtiaz Ali's latest is yet another good-looking product where a promising new-age director fails to translate his thought into something convincing."
Upon release, Rockstar had a very good opening. The film opened to a good response at multiplexes with bookings averaging around 60–70%, and single screens witnessed a lower capacity at around 30–40%. It collected ₹100 million (US$1.3 million) nett on its opening day, thus becoming the second highest opener in a non-festival season after Ready. The good opening was attributed to the multiplexes across cities, the "star power" of Ranbir Kapoor as well as the youthful theme of the film. The film showed growth on Saturday by grossing ₹112.5 million (US$1.5 million) nett, therefore taking its two-day net total to ₹205 million (US$2.7 million). A similar growth was seen on Sunday, and hence the first weekend collection ended at ₹337.5 million (US$4.5 million) nett, the majority of which was collected from Mumbai, Pune, Delhi & Bangalore.
Rockstar opened well on Monday collecting around ₹57.5 million (US$760,000) nett, with 40% drop as compared to the first day collections, thus taking the four-day total to ₹390 million (US$5.2 million) nett. The film collection saw another noticeable fall on Tuesday as it collected around ₹42.5 million (US$560,000) nett, with five days collection totalling to ₹432.5 million (US$5.7 million) nett. At the end of first week, the film had a good collection by grossing ₹474.6 million (US$6.3 million) nett, though the film had found appreciation only with a small section of the audience. In the process, it was ranked ninth in the list of all-time first week domestic collections.
Rockstar grossed ₹25.0 million (US$330,000) nett on second Friday, with a 75% drop as compared to the first day. On Saturday, the film collected ₹32.5 million (US$430,000) nett, and ₹42.5 million (US$560,000) nett on Sunday, taking the second weekend collection totalled at ₹100 million (US$1.3 million), representing a 70% drop from its first weekend. As of ten days, the film had collected approximately ₹574.6 million (US$7.6 million) nett. Rockstar made ₹158.5 million (US$2.1 million) nett in the second week, declining by 67% and taking the two-week collection totalled at ₹633.1 million (US$8.4 million) nett. The film on week three managed to earn ₹29.6 million (US$390,000), and hence taking three weeks collections to ₹662.7 million (US$8.8 million). By the end of its fifth week, the film netted ₹780.9 million (US$10 million).
Rockstar managed to gross $3.3 million from all overseas markets overall and was termed as below the mark. The film collected £185,000 in the UK, $612,000 in North America, $370,000 in UAE and $100,000 in Australia.
- "Rockstar : Complete Cast and Crew details". Bollywood Hungama. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
- "ROCKSTAR (PG) – British Board of Film Classification". 8 November 2011. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- Lalwani, Vickey (19 August 2011). "Ranbir Kapoor's Rockstar goes over budget". The Times of India.
- "Rockstar". Box Office India.
- "Rockstar movie reviews". ReviewGang. Archived from the original on 13 April 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
- "top grossing movies of 2011"".
- BOI Trade Network (12 November 2011). "Rockstar Has Excellent First Day". Box office India. Archived from the original on 14 November 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- "Top All Time Worldwide Grossers Updated 11/5/2012". boxofficeindia. Archived from the original on 7 October 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- "Best Hindi film albums of this decade".
- "9 Years of Rockstar: did you know Deepiki Padukone".
- Priyanka Jain (6 October 2011). "Ranbir's Rockstar character inspired from Imtiaz's friend". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 8 November 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
- "Imtiaz wanted Kareena Kapoor for Ranbir's Rockstar". Oneindia.in. 4 November 2011. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
- Indo-Asian News Service (10 June 2010). "Still looking for female lead for 'Rockstar': Imtiaz Ali". NDTV. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- Rockstar was offered to me first: Diana Penty Archived 23 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Hindustan Times (21 July 2012). Retrieved on 2013-12-06.
- IE Agencies (11 September 2011). "Ranbir describes 'Rockstar' to be a musical journey". The Indian Express. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
- Filmapia. "Shooting Locations for Rockstar". Archived from the original on 29 July 2014.
- Diksha Kamra (5 March 2011). "Ranbir's Rockstar leaked". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
- Garima Sharma & Diksha Kamra (30 December 2010). "Ranbir's busy shooting in Delhi". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 20 September 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
- The Hitlist Team (31 August 2010). "Dancing with gypsies". MiD DAY. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
- Harshikka Udasi (21 October 2011). "Rock and role". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 29 April 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
- Aastha Atray Banan (1 October 2011). "FASHION: How to Dress a Rockstar". Tehelka Magazine. Archived from the original on 24 September 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
- IANS (15 October 2011). "Imtiaz Ali Brings Kashmiri Visuals on Screen". NDTV. Archived from the original on 17 October 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
- "Nargis Fakri turns into Kashmiri Bride for Rockstar". 18 October 2011. Archived from the original on 20 October 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
- "Official Tracklist". www.arrahman.com. Archived from the original on 23 September 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
- Tushar Joshi (7 April 2010). "Ranbir-Rahman get jammin". MiD DAY. Archived from the original on 20 August 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
- MiD-DAY (26 September 2011). "Battle Royale for Ranbir Kapoor!". NDTV. Archived from the original on 31 December 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
- BOI Trade Network (10 November 2011). "Rockstar Has Good Advance at Multiplexes". Box office India. Archived from the original on 12 November 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
- IANS (14 November 2011). "Bollywood bids for larger screen space". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 November 2011.[dead link]
- Banerjee, Soumyadipta (Mumbai) "Protests over Tibetan flag deletion In film continue" Archived 2 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine Daily News and Analysis. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2011
- PTI (Chennai) "Tibetans in Chennai protest against deletion of scenes in Rockstar" Archived 12 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine Daily News and Analysis. 10 November 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2011
- Raja Sen (11 November 2011). "A Rockstar worth rooting for". Rediff. Archived from the original on 13 November 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- Aniruddha Guha (11 November 2011). "Review: Rockstar is as fulfilling as an effective crescendo". DNA. Archived from the original on 13 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- Nikhat Kazmi (10 November 2011). "Rockstar review". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 25 November 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- Sukanya Verma (11 November 2011). "Review: Rockstar is flawed but fabulous". Rediff. Archived from the original on 13 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- Mayank Shekhar. "Mayank Shekhar's review: Rockstar". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 11 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- Taran Adarsh (11 November 2011). "Rockstar – Review By Taran Adarsh". Bollywood Hungama. Archived from the original on 23 May 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- Hrithik Sharma (12 November 2011). "El Viaje Reviews : Imtiaz Ali's Rockstar (2011)". El Viaje Reviews. Archived from the original on 2 February 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- Rajeev Masand (12 November 2011). "Masand: 'Rockstar' deserves a watch". CNN-IBN. Archived from the original on 13 November 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- Sumit Bhattacharya (11 November 2011). "Review: Rockstar is more Devdas than Jim Morrison". Rediff. Archived from the original on 13 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- Saibal Chatterjee (11 November 2011). "Review: Rockstar". NDTV. Archived from the original on 13 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- Komal Nahta (11 November 2011). "Rockstar Review". Koimoi.com. Archived from the original on 12 November 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- Kaveree Bamzai (11 November 2011). "Rockstar movie review". India Today. Archived from the original on 11 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
Rockstar movie review: All soul, no spine
- Kunal Guha (11 November 2011). "Rockstar review – Yahoo". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on 14 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- Shilpa Jamkhandikar (11 November 2011). "Rockstar: Ranbir, Rahman are the stars". Reuters. Archived from the original on 12 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- Kumar, Anuj (12 November 2011). "Rockstar: Hype and reality". The Hindu. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
- BOI Trade Network (12 November 2011). "Rockstar: Good In Multiplexes Lower In Single Screens". Box office India. Archived from the original on 14 November 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- BusinessOfCinema.com Team (12 November 2011). "Rockstar one of the biggest openers after Ready in non-festival season". BusinessOfCinema.com. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- BOI Trade Network (13 November 2011). "Rockstar Shows Growth on Saturday". Box office India. Archived from the original on 15 November 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- BOI Trade Network (14 November 2011). "Rockstar Has Very Good Weekend". Box office India. Archived from the original on 18 November 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
- BOI Trade Network (15 November 2011). "Rockstar Has Very Good Monday". Box office India. Archived from the original on 17 November 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- BOI Trade Network (16 November 2011). "Rockstar Has A Fall on Tuesday". Box office India. Archived from the original on 17 November 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
- BOI Trade Network (18 November 2011). "Rockstar has good first week". Box office India. Archived from the original on 19 November 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
- BOI Trade Network (18 November 2011). "All Time Top Ten Domestic First Weeks ROCKSTAR Ninth". Box office India. Archived from the original on 19 November 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
- BOI Trade Network (19 November 2011). "Rockstar Second Friday Business". Box office India. Archived from the original on 21 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- BOI Trade Network (21 November 2011). "Rockstar Has Decent Second Weekend". Box office India. Archived from the original on 24 November 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- BOI Trade Network (25 November 2011). "Rockstar Holds Up Well in Week Two". Box office India. Archived from the original on 29 November 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
- BOI Trade Network (5 December 2011). "Rockstar Week Three Territorial Breakdown". Box office India. Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
- BOI Trade Network (16 November 2011). "Rockstar Below The Mark Ra.One in Top Five of All Time". Box office India. Archived from the original on 17 November 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2011.