The film “Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani” is the ideal remedy for the troll culture that has crept into the movie business. Alia Bhatt, Karan Johar’s go-to muse and someone who detractors frequently use as a target for hurtful remarks, makes her directorial debut on the big screen. Social media may have branded him as the Kingpin of the movie mafia, who has the power to build or break careers, and her as the poster child for nepotism. But their love and enthusiasm for the art of filmmaking is what has endured and is unbreakable. Therefore, a lot changed when Karan Johar returned to directing after a seven-year break. His leading actors, Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh, were last spotted in the Mumbai slums of “Gully Boy,” a grungy rural setting. They weren’t enhancing the glitz of their already brilliant stardom with designer labels and chiffon sarees. RARKPK: A misfire or the return of the long-forgotten 70mm larger-than-life blockbuster movie experience? Let’s investigate!
The flashy, OTT (over-the-top), a noisy boy from Delhi who plays Rocky Randhawa (Ranveer Singh) embodies everything the actor portraying this role has come to represent. Like Rocky, Ranveer’s public persona and image depict the boisterous, campy lad with the boombox in his hand whose cleavage gives the fairer sex a run for their money. Sparks ignite when Rocky meets Rani (Alia Bhatt), who is the complete opposite of him. These flames don’t need much time to ignite embers from the past.
Grandma Jamini (Shabana Azmi) and Grandpa Kanwal (Dharmendra), Rocky’s amnesiac grandfather, are acquainted. A lot of cultural differences and funny awkward encounters in this fusion of two states, where North (Delhi) meets East (Kolkata), make for a fast-paced and crisp first half. Rocky’s grandmother, played by Jaya Bachchan, is a vamp who stands in the way of Rocky and Rani’s ability to experience true love. She upholds all of the morally correct behaviour expected of women in the home. She has retrograde morals and a fiery temper that could roast any YouTuber who considers himself to be the Ricky Gervais of his generation.
Films by Karan Johar have established a legacy and given rise to a genre that is frequently imitated yet infrequently reproduced. As a result, you can tell that the OG is coming prepared with plenty of ammunition when he enters the game. His wit, sarcasm, black humour, sense of humour, and rebuttals are all intact. The tone for some of the funniest sequences is created by the matchup between the refined Chatterjee family and the boisterous Randhawas.
The fact that the correct performers have been cast in these roles is a big factor in the exquisite performances. The casting is perfect, from Tota Roy Chowdhury, who plays Rani’s father, to Aamir Bashir, who plays Rocky’s father. The use of Jaya Bachchan as the vampire dadi is brilliant. Her portrayal of the CEO of the Randhawa ladoo plant and her expressions come at a time when the veteran actress sparks a meme frenzy every time she leaves the house. Ranveer Singh is the main attraction; his Rocky will make you think of the likeable and amusing Bittoo Sharma from his first movie, “Band Baaja Baarat.” He seems to be acting himself because he fits the role like a glove. In the sequences with Alia, his comedic timing and delicate tenderness are really great. Rani, played by Alia, is a charming Bong girl with a strong personality who can breathe.
While the first half is lighthearted and enjoyable, the second half has numerous messages and commentaries on issues including racism, body shaming, defining toxic masculinity, cancelling culture, and body shaming. The “Dola re Dola” performance is a watershed moment for the LGBT community, and KJo has woven it into the story so masterfully that you have to applaud him for his pure brilliance. The song sequence by Shabana and Dharamji, which is based on classics from the late 1970s and 1980s, has a strong nostalgic value and feeling.
The film “Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani” also frequently alludes to KJo’s own productions. You’ll be thrilled for hours by the Gen-Z stars Sara Ali Khan, Ananya Panday, and Janhvi Kapoor’s cameos in the title song and by some dialogue that pays homage to Karan’s earlier work. Near the end of the second half, things start to sag, and KJo starts to exhibit some of the clichéd symptoms of having too much on his plate. However, “Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani” is a family-friendly film that serves as a subtly respectful remembrance of Karan’s legacy and his fondness for blockbuster movies. Visit a local theatre to see it.