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Movie Review: ‘Rocky aur Rani ki Prem Kahani’ is a great entertainer

Mumbai: Family, love, and lots of drama have always been seen in love stories, so what’s new in Karan Johar’s ‘Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani’?

It is simply that it is ‘old wine in a new bottle’, but even then, there is a huge difference. Apart from the unique combination and presence of legends like Dharmendra, Shabana Azmi and Jaya Bachchan, it is the chemistry between Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt that is the highlight of this nearly three hour long family entertainer.

And of course, it also has Pritam’s peppy music, however what the audience is going to love the most are some of the most popular Hindi film hits from the 60’s to 80’s.

Apart from this, Karan Johar has also tried to raise many such serious issues in the script, which happen in the society.

It is a family drama that is sure to provide all-round entertainment to the viewers. It clearly states, “For couples, the steering wheel may be in their hands, but in the back seat is the family steering as the driver.”

Delhi boy Rocky Randhawa (Ranveer Singh) is a loud and brash Punjabi boy, he is the sole heir of the biggest mithai khandaan. He lives in a joint family, where the house and the sweets business are ruled by his strict grandmother Dhanalakshmi (Jaya Bachchan).

Dhanalakshmi’s fear is so much that her daughter-in-law (Kshiti Jog) and granddaughter Gayatri (Anjali Anand) are scared of her. Even his obedient son Tijori (Ameer Basheer) cannot take an independent decision in any family matter.

One day, Rocky’s amnesiac grandfather Kanwal Randhawa (Dharmendra) mistakes the guest (Sheeba) for Jamini and makes a gesture of kissing him. When Rocky learns of this, he sets out to find out who Jamini is? He comes across a black and white photograph of his grandfather and Jamini when he was young, dated 1978.

Here Rocky sets out with his best friend (Abhinav Sharma) in search of his grandfather’s one-sided love Jamini. During this endeavor, he meets TV news anchor Rani Chatterjee (Alia Bhatt), who lives with her parents (Churni Ganguly and Tota Roychowdhury) and grandmother Jamini Chatterjee. Please tell that the character of Jamini is played by Shabana Azmi.

Rocky and Rani both are very different. Their culture, their political views, their lifestyle and even their language.

With time, the meetings start increasing and both fall in love with each other. To erase the cultural difference between the two families, they decide to stay at each other’s house for three months.

Authors Ishita Moitra, Shashank Khaitan and Sumit Roy outline the routine lifestyle that Punjabis and Bengalis inherit. The film makes full use of every part of this diversity.

Johar has also broken many labels and stereotypes prevalent in our society. Like how things have been going on in families for years due to fear, which is being given the name of respect. Rocky’s family is headed by a woman, attacking the patriarchal mindset. How body shaming affects a person mentally. The daughter-in-law with excellent singing talent is strangling her dreams due to family responsibilities. He has a desire to participate in reality shows.

Tota Roy Chowdhury, as one such father, shows his passion for Kathak. But she is forbidden to perform Kathak, as she has been mocked many times. His on-screen wife, played by Churni, a well-known face in Bengali cinema and soap operas, is an English professor. One who is used to using British English in his daily dealings.

The audience will love and welcome Dharmendra’s return on screen after such a long time. His presence in the film casts a spell of class, as he reminisces about his old days.

Legendary actor-director Aamer Bashar fits perfectly in the role of the son of an oppressive mother. Jaya Bachchan and Shabana Azmi, both are brilliant actors. Azmi as Chatterjee, who speaks intermittently in Bengali. While Jaya is respected by everyone in the family in the film, she adds dignity to her role.

The audience will like the music the most. Songs like ‘Abhi Na Jao Chhod Kar’, ‘Mast Baharon Ka Main Aashiq’, ‘Jhumka Gira Re’ and many more are remixed in the film and seamlessly woven into the story.

The high point is a scene where the two male actors are confidently performing on ‘Dola Re Dola’. After being looked down upon by the Randhawas, who laughed and scorned when Chatterjee’s father performed Kathak, the pair of Singh and Roychowdhury break all barriers to prove that art has no gender and that whatever Yes, it should be accepted as such.

Manush Nandan’s photography makes everything and every actor look fabulous. Popular singers Arijit Singh and Shreya Ghoshal, Jonita Gandhi and Bhumi Trivedi lend their chiselled voices on full-tone beats that today’s youth love.

Johar is most comfortable handling love stories based on the backdrop of warring or disjointed families.

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