Film Review: Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani
This review is definitely going to spoil your plans, if you had thought of watching this movie. So a warning ahead. This is another rich peoples story designed by Karan Johar which majority of the people cant digest. A career oriented, well read, Bengali girl portrayed by Alia Bhatt and an opposite guy portrayed by Ranveer Singh fall in love and boys family against the relationship is the base of this poorly written and portrayed narrative.
The film has unnecessary love scenes, dialogues which are out dated which literally fails to bind the audience. In a post COVID era where so much amazingness lies on the OTT platform, I don’t understand why people like Karan Johar waste their money on these kinds of stories. You won’t feel any interest to see the film at any point of time. Its just luxurious bungalows and furniture which you could be interested in. In fact, Alia Bhatt has feels like the same in every movie now. As usual Ranveer Singh is over of everything. His work seems like that of an advertisement of Chings Schezwan Chutney. Unnecessary misuse of old songs is another mood spoiler.
Rocky (Ranveer Singh) is a rich ‘Shehar’ ka Punjabi ladka who enters the elite Rani Chatterjee’s (Alia Bhatt) life like a thunderstorm from nowhere. A fiery journalist, she comes from an ‘educated’ background where her father is a Kathak dancer (Tota Roy Chowdhury) and her mother (Churnee Ganguly) is an English professor. Her grandmother ‘thaku-maa’ is played by the Shabana Azmi and I would say what a waste of talent.
In contrast, Rocky runs a family sweet business that is dictated by his grandmother Dhanlakshmi (Jaya Bachchan), who is really irritating in her mindset and misogynistic in her behaviour. Over the years, Rocky’s father Tijori played by Aamir Bashir has followed the patriarchal thought process of his mother, reducing his wife (Kshitee Jog) to a servant and her daughter to be only an object that needs to be married off.
It turns out that Rocky’s grandfather( Dharmendra) and Shabana Azmi used to love each other in old times and since they were both married, they had to let go of that relationship. Now Dharmendra has lost his memory and just remembers Jhamini(Shabana Azmi). Hence the only cure doctors suggests is to find out about Jhamini. This is how Rocky and Rani meets and fall in love.
When Rocky and Rani realise there is more than just physical attraction between them, they try to convince their in-laws to get over the cultural differences by living with them for three months.
Then after this is a whole saas bahu drama of Alia’s family judging Ranveer Singh and vice versa. It really feels like a daily soap. There was a time in Hindi Cinema when lovers hailing from two different cultures were told that when their uncles and aunts tried to break the rule, they met with a disastrous end. Here the writers-Ishita Moitra, Shashank Khetan and Sumit Roy have turned the tables by telling us that Rocky’s grandfather Kanwal (Dharmendra) and Rani’s grandmother Jamini (Shabana Azmi) could not turn their love into a relationship because of social conditioning and kept on following their loveless marriages. How the new-age couple learn from the past and helps their parents in getting over the cultural prejudices forms the rest of the story.
Cast as a man born with poetic thoughts in a business family, Dharmendra is unnecessarily reduced to a laughing stock. So is Jaya Bachchan whose Dhanlakshmi seems to have been referenced from Amitabh Bachchan’s characters in Mohabbatein and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham but the execution remains strangely uneven, especially in the first half. Despite a series of old hits playing in the background, the spark between Dharmendra and Shabana fails to ignite any magic.