Imtiaz Ali's choice of narrative in 'Rockstar' makes it quite obvious that he was ready to take a risk with this film. It's evident that he had decided from the very beginning that the storytelling in this film will not be conventional.
Raja Sen in his review mentions how Ali's plot "weaves in details that draw us in":
There is much to admire as the film leaps dispense with linearity, starting with a concert in Rome and then flashing back and forth to fill in the backstory of Jordan -- christened thus by his luscious ladylove. It is a simple, unspectacular tale, sometimes even predictable, but Ali masterfully weaves in details that draw us in while his leading man basks magnificently in the glow of a bespoke script.
Like Sen points out, the brilliance of the script lies not in the things that are stated but in the ones that are left unsaid:
It's remarkable how much narrative detail Ali leaves to the asides, to margin notes not underscored and overwhelmed by AR Rahman's grand, lovely soundtrack.
Nikhat Kazmi's review says that Rockstar is a beautiful experience that needs to be savoured:
Leave it to Imtiaz Ali to take a love story and present it in a manner that's completely different from run-of-the-mill Bollywood. Romance, under his creative vision, becomes a multi-layered, sensitively nuanced, monumental experience which has more to do with serenading your soulmate rather than a stereotypical marriage partner. With intelligent entertainers like Jab We Met, Love Aaj Kal and now Rockstar, he is evolving as a new age Yash Chopra. Love literally smoulders under his narrative, albeit in a completely modern idiom.
The film might be a bold experiment and is in no way perfect but like Rajeev Masand points out:
Despite several hiccups, especially in the film's post-intermission portions, 'Rockstar' is an admirable effort if only for how unconventionally director Imtiaz Ali tells this tale of great passion. The romance at the core of this film is a complex one, and the film offers no easy answers. Watch how Heer comes alive each time she's in Jordan's presence, whereas when he's without her his longing prompts his best music out of him.
Mayank Shekhar in his review mentions that Ali "manages to retain a personal, auteur's touch in a genre vastly commercial, mainstream":
From its start, to the way it progresses, you can tell, the film's been through various stages of editing and several second thoughts. Sometimes the patchiness shows. It's a stretch. Anything that's 18 reels long (close to three hours) in a flickering world of low attention spans would be. Something fizzles out towards the end. You still don't begrudge a movie that's been this engaging, entertaining thus far.
Like I said in my last post, Rockstar is "not flawless but this is a film that cannot be judged by the regular parameters of storytelling." Imtiaz Ali did take a risk but I guess, he still decided to play it a little safe. I would have loved to see him take the complete plunge and handle this complex love story differently, bypassing the terminal issue premise.
You can read Kunal's review here.
You can also connect with me on Twitter.