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9 Edgy Films Made on Rock Bands


9 Edgy Films Made on Rock Bands

Indie rock band Parikrama’s keyboardist Subir Malik once said in an interview that the ‘band’ is always bigger than the individual; that the talent of a new comer into an already existing successful band is not as important as his sunny disposition towards making music and life in general…


Jack Black and his spunky School of Rock

Jack Black and his spunky School of Rock

9 Edgy Films Made on Rock Bands


Indie rock band Parikrama’s keyboardist Subir Malik once said in an interview that the ‘band’ is always bigger than the individual; that the talent of a new comer into an already existing successful band is not as important as his sunny disposition towards making music and life in general; that a person without a genial attitude holds the power to dismantle the band in its entirety.


This and a host of other aspects that string a band together shows its true levels of tolerance in testing times of no money or support;  and things on the periphery that people do to become a famous band or get associated with one. The number of such stories is insurmountable. Few of these stories have been converted to films that have captured the imagination of most with their quirky representation of the ‘band culture’. Here’s a collection of nine films that, we think, tell edgy tales of musicians or aspiring ones trying to fit into a glossy yet glaringly honest world of bands.


School of Rock 


There isn’t one good reason anyone can subscribe to watch this film, because that would be an outright lie. Starting with Jack Black’s maniacal performance nuances to the credibility of a school band (comprising 10-year olds) winning a Battle of the Bands contest against seasoned older musicians, plays to a jingoistic cause that works well when looked at from any angle – that kids need to break free, at times, from de rigueur of caged school activities and do things that they’re meant to do.


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Rock ‘n’ Roll High School


The 70s was undeniably a time when The Ramones were at a stratospheric peak of their punk career. The upward spiral of success was attributed to them embracing regular pop sounds to lace it around trash-culture humour and minimalist rhythm guitars. So appropriate was the timing of the 1979 film Rock n Roll High School that it latched itself onto the fame of the band. The film too, had a story that was a taut portrayal of the frenzy The Ramones had stirred up in that era. It tells the story of two girls’ obsession with The Ramones who use cheeky tactics and illegitimate means to win a chance to see their heroes. Punk often delivers a pretty revolutionary message, doesn’t it?


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Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains


Pushed by the hardened economy and a desperate need to raise money to save a family member from lung cancer, this film sees three sisters drop out of school and start a punk band. The result, not so good! For one, their brazen efforts aren’t appreciated primarily because of their bold dressing. Then, they start using the media-driven notoriety to become famous. And soon they’re reckless, losing out on friends and close associates until they come crashing down with a disastrous final show. In reality, the Russian punk band Pussy Riot is a close reflection of the story, with different causative reasons that led to the formation of the band, of course.


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Eddie and the Cruisers


If you’ve seen Silence of the Lambs, you’d tend to partially associate this film with a similar eerie plot line. Except for the fact that the investigation is about a mysterious death of a musician called Eddie Wilson who dies in a car crash. His band Eddie and the Cruisers forms the collective narrative with a stolen second album acting as the fulcrum of the case. Whether Eddie actually dies or it’s a stunt pulled off with deftness, is something that glues the pieces of the film together. The tagline runs: ‘Rebel. Rocker. Lover. Idol. Vanished.’


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This is Spinal Tap


This is Spinal Tap is probably one of the few movies on musicians that makes it to every such list that we’re writing about. What gives it the prestige? The very auteur-like style of filmmaking, a mockumentary, has set the film in a league of its own. This 1984 film mimics the British heavy metal band Spinal Tap and takes a satirical jab at the pretentious behaviour of metal bands that other documentaries depicted in its time.


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If you were a musician who desperately wanted to be heard, would you risk hijacking a radio station to sabotage the programs with your music? Well, the 1994 film Airheads tells the erratically nutcase story of time where idiosyncratic musicians break into a radio station just to get airplay. Soon the cops move in to make arrests. But Adam Sandler’s breed of situational comedy (humour caused by playing innocent) coupled with Brendan Fraser and Steve Buschemi’s portrayal of absolutely irresponsible musicians is a laugh riot.


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Rock of Ages


You’ve largely seen Tom Cruise doing chase sequences, climbing buildings and everything that’s possible to fit the machismo of his public image created by his action-thrillers. But seeing him in a mock role of a caricatured rock star Stacee Jaxx is not just refreshing but revealing about an actor of that order. This multi-starrer features Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand and Julianne Hough and tells the exuberant story of star-struck young musicians who want to make it big in the debauched land of Hollywood. Besides a heady star cast, the film features musical meteors like Def Leppard, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake and more. It’s a total vile fest that does nothing but entertain!


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A Hard Day’s Night


The Beatles were, hmm alright, let’s not define their glory. But astonishingly, acting in their own film that traces their own music is narcissistic at some level, despite the fact that when it opened in theatres, it saw fans sporting similar haircuts and suits to pledge allegiance. This 1964 film, like the phenomenon that the band was, stands past the test of time, and has attained the calling of a cult classic. Belonging to the comedy genre, this film sees the lives of the four members gallivanting through the streets of London for two days. The film does tom-tom around the band’s popularity but is a joyous experience.


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Rock On


Though the storyline of the Farhan Akhtar-Arjun Rampal starrer Rock On gives off more of a male-bonding saga vibe over the journey of a band, the film is one of the only few films in mainstream Hindi cinema that dares to make a commercial film on independent music. As ironic as it sounds, the film didn’t make chart-throttling sales in the multiple 100-crore variety. However, it definitely was a coming of age. The film talks about a band called ‘Magic’ that splits up due to difficulties in sustaining themselves in a market accosted by monetary questions. But soon, they find their paths crossing and their dream of playing at a big stage, with an ocean of fans, appearing brighter on the horizon.


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To read more such lists, click here. If you want to know about the staggering growth of online radios in India, click here


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