In Karan Johar’s new film, “Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani,” we witness a unique and extraordinary love story. Rocky Randhawa (Ranveer Singh) hails from a family known for their famous “desi ghee ke laddoos” sweet shops in Delhi. On the other hand, Rani Chatterjee (Alia Bhatt) is a fearless television news anchor who takes on powerful politicians during interviews.

The two protagonists, Rocky and Rani, have an unusual chemistry that draws them together. However, their love story is not the only focus of the film. It’s a beautiful tale about love, compassion, dreams, and social commentaries. The story takes an interesting turn when Rocky, driven by conscience, decides to bring their grandparents together. These grandparents had met at a “Kavi Sammelan” in Shimla during the 1970s, and both were already married to different people. Their extra-marital affair becomes the catalyst for Rocky and Rani’s own love story.

“Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani” promises to be a glorious cinematic journey, filled with emotions and heartwarming moments as these two characters navigate their love amidst the backdrop of their family history.

In the National Capital Region lies Randhawa Paradise, an expansive mansion, while in South Delhi stands the equally impressive Chatterjee House. Despite their proximity, the families residing in these two homes are as distinct as if they belong to different planets. The orthodox Punjabi business family is led by the assertive matriarch, ‘Dhanlakshmi’ (Jaya Bachchan), who holds all the power. Her arrogant son, ‘Tijori’ (Aamir Bashir), complies with her every wish, mirroring her demeanor. Unfortunately, the other women in the household, such as the man’s wife, Kshitee Jog (playing Rocky’s mother), and daughter ‘Gollu’ (Anjali Anand), have little say in the family’s decisions.

In contrast, the Bengali family includes three strong women from different generations with Rani, an independent career woman, her “thakuma,” and her English-speaking mother. Alongside them is a man who earns a living as a Kathak guru. The differences between these families are striking to say the least.

In a refreshing departure from previous Karan Johar films, writers Ishani Moitra, Shashank Khaitan, and Sumit Roy craft a unique plot with standout characters. Among them is Rocky, a desi Punjabi muscular ‘Delhi da munda,’ who adds a touch of quirkiness to the story. Picture this – he sits in his red Ferrari, blasting Anu Malik’s famous song “Aaja Meri Gaadi Mein Baith Jaa” from the 1998 film “Miss 420” while charmingly asking Rani out on a date.

In this film, the couple takes a bold step by not opting for a live-in relationship before marriage. Instead, they choose to stay with each other’s families to truly understand them, believing that “Rishtey Ki Steering Wheel Bhale Hi Apne Haath Mein Ho, Par Gaadi Toh Family Hi Chalati hai” (Translation: Even if we hold the steering wheel of our relationship, our families are the ones who drive it). While I may not entirely agree with this notion, the concept of living with a partner’s family is a novel move by the makers, leading to significant character development and emotional arcs.

The contrast between the lovers’ personalities and their respective families provides an excellent backdrop for growth and learning. Surprisingly, the writers make the relationship between Rani and Rocky believable, even though traditionally, a woman like Rani might not fall for a guy like Rocky.

Karan Johar’s direction adds his signature larger-than-life touch to the film, making the car chases, intentional accidents, and highway conflicts more engaging and believable. In a pleasantly unexpected twist, a man dancing passionately to Kathak and trying on a bra in a shop add refreshing and unforgettable scenes to KJo’s filmography.

Chiffon sarees have been a recurring motif in Karan Johar’s films, and in this one, Alia gracefully dons these vibrant sarees, reminiscent of Kajol’s look in “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham,” especially in the song “Tum Kya Mile,” filmed against the beautiful snowy landscapes of Kashmir. As a tribute to KJo’s filmography, the movie exudes nostalgia and can be called the 2.0 version of “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.” The use of iconic dialogues from his previous films, like when Dhanlakshmi Randhawa, says “Keh diya na, bas” echoing her husband’s (legendary Amitabh Bachchan) words in K3G, adds to the heartwarming familiarity.

Furthermore, the scenes where Shabana and Dharmendra share intimate moments in the film with classic songs playing on Caravan evoke a desire to indulge in the same experience, especially during the monsoons. The original songs composed by Pritam enhance the grand celebration of love in this film, indirectly celebrating KJo’s illustrious 25 years of filmmaking.

All in all, this movie successfully brings together fresh elements while paying homage to Karan Johar’s celebrated legacy, making it an enchanting and nostalgic journey for the audience.

You can watch “Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani” at the theaters near you.


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