Being Women

Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani: A Karan Johar Film With A Difference

A review of the film, Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani.

A look at the details of Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani

Directed byKaran Johar
Written byIshita Moitra Shashank Khaitan Sumit Roy
Produced byHiroo Yash Johar Karan Johar Apoorva Mehta
StarringDharmendra Jaya Bachchan Shabana Azmi Ranveer Singh Alia Bhatt
CinematographyManush Nandan
Edited byNitin Baid
Music byPritam
Dharma ProductionsViacom18 Studios
Distributed byViacom18 Studios
Release date28 July 2023
Running time168 minutes[1]

It has been a ritual for me to get disappointed by recent movies and rant on social media. But today’s movie experience took me by pleasant surprise. So much so that I was actually wondering if it was a Karan Johar movie. Now, do not get me wrong! Many of his movies are my guilty pleasure (read K2H2). But an actual Karan Johar movie that boasts a script (it might be the only one after My Name is Khan) and discusses topics like gender stereotypes, misogyny, toxic masculinity, and body shaming is a marked departure from his earlier films. Now, that was not at all included in my expectation list.

So what did I expect?

  • A great set
  • Beautiful costumes
  • The lead pair looking awesome
  • Great chemistry between the lead pair
  • Beautiful songs.

Except for the last point, the movie delivered everything. The music was a tad disappointing. My friend Sayani Chanda who also gives by the name ‘Dinky’ would be happy that her favourite hero was calling her Dinky in the heartthrob song. But people with other names will forget the songs even before they end on screen. The use of the old songs was commendable, though.

Now, coming to the over-delivery that bowled me over.

The movie talks about loveless marriages and their spill-offs, though I fear there will be people protesting that the movie promotes extramarital affairs. It was a brave attempt, in my opinion.

The basis of the movie is the cultural differences between the preposterousness of the Punjabi family and the pretence in Bengali families, and as a Bengali, I think they did a good job there. The way it calls out ‘cancel culture’ should be appreciated.

Alia, as the quintessential Bengali girl Rani, could have done better. Ranveer as the Punjabi boy Rocky, on the other hand, was believable. But the way Tota Roychowdhury and Churni Ganguly, as Bengali parents, were used in the movie was marvellous.

While we are talking about Tota, I think the makers did a great job portraying a Kathak dancer minus the stereotypical mannerisms. That was a welcome change. For me, one of the most powerful sequences in the movie was when his art was insulted and what followed.

My second favourite scene will be the sequence where the Randhawa women decide to take a stance against the matriarch. And while at it, do not miss the much more energetic “Dola re, Dola.”

I was never a fan of Ranveer Singh, though I believe he is a great actor. His Rocky, however, was much more impressive. Pulling out a sensitive role posing as a joker wasn’t an easy job, and he marvelled at it.

The pair on screen was indeed a treat for the eyes. Alia looked like a million dollars and acted like one too.

And those of you (including me) who complained about nonexistent dialogues in Brahmastra should be happy with this movie’s dialogues. They are funny, witty, and wise.

If I have to nitpick, the movie does come with the baggage of some melodrama. But, hey, we grew up with the 90s movie. We ate, drank, and slept melodrama.

Another disappointment was the performance by Jaya Bachchan as the matriarch. With her talent, it was sad she was degraded to a ‘Lalita Power’ show, and I believe the makers were particularly unjust with her characterization.


Overall it was a full paisa vasool movie.

Go watch it to see the evolution of Dharma Productions with its pomp and gaiety intact.

P.S. My extremely personal opinion- this movie can be taken as a clue as to how the goofy Ranveer Singh landed up with posh Deepika or why one Mr Bachhan strayed in real life.

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