The shoot for the sequel to Hindi film Rock On!! in Shillong recently wrapped up. The filmmakers were seemingly quite awed by the hill town, putting up pictures of the scenic locale and exclaiming their desire to return. The shooting got plenty of coverage from the local media and a candid video of the ensemble cast jamming live in a Shillong cafe has been circulating among the locals.
That video was put online by Meghalaya-based webzine Raiot two days ago, along with a scathing piece making fun of how terrible the actual music is. “We still haven’t stopped laughing at CrockCon2’s deadly serious attempt at looking and sounding like some middle aged wedding tribute band,” the article said.
The video though had to be taken down yesterday after they received mails to do so from a representative of the film, citing copyright concerns. In a cheeky move, the original video has now been replaced with pictures of the correspondence between Raiot and the producers of the movie, set to a Chumbawamba song called She’s got all the friends that money can buy.
Rock On 2, featuring Arjun Rampal and Farhan Akhtar, picks up where the first film left off, with mid-career men leaving their day jobs to revive their college band and start a record company together. Much was made, both when the first movie was shot as well as the second time around, of the actors using their own voices to record the movie’s songs.
A piece on Scroll.in by K Mark Swer pointed out the fallacy of Shillong being the rock capital of India, one which is perpetuated by popular culture. The essay, which first appeared in Raiot, says those responsible for strengthening this belief are “a section of show promoters, musicians, local elite and a patronising visiting media, who have all self-servingly constructed an image of this hill station as rock music’s “chosen one”.
“Those seeking to document Western music here arrive with these clichés in their travel bags. They speak to the perpetrators of these same clichés, have self-serving conversations and feed it all back to us who hungrily devour these myths because it makes us look good. In between them, they have simplified an entire culture and turned it into a standardised and easily digestible set of meals,” it further states.