The audience was excited when Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani‘s trailer dropped. It looked like, after a very long time, we were going to get an OG Karan Johar film. OG or not, Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani definitely fits the mould of a cliched Bollywood masala movie. This Alia Bhatt-Ranveer Singh starrer is magnanimous and flamboyant in a way only Karan Johar can pull off. Here’s our review of the much-awaited Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani.
A 3-hour antakshari and a mishmash of Bollywood movies
One thing guaranteed in a KJo movie is the soundtrack. But when there’s too much of it, it doesn’t work in the movie’s favour. Apart from the original soundtrack of RARKPK, there are numerous nods to old classics of singers like Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhonsle, and Lata Mangeshkar. While it is refreshing to hear those old classics, they permeate the movie every few minutes. So, it looks like a 3-hour game of antakshari rather than songs that add value to the plot.
Throughout the movie, you’ll find yourself thinking of other movies multiple times. Be it Jaya Bachchan saying ‘Keh diya na, bass keh diya‘ or the entire concept of swapping families (a la 2 States), the feeling of deja vu doesn’t leave you. Even Alia Bhatt’s hair flip in the song Tum Kya Mile looks like a substandard copy of Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan’s Suraj Hua Maddham. The Rocky-Rani wedding in the credits scene also looks more like a Manyavar ad than a Bollywood movie wedding. There are a whole bunch of needless cameos that add no value to the movie, but hey, it’s a KJo movie! On the whole, RARKPK seems to lack originality, humour, and even a plot.
Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani is the definition of an existential crisis
RARKPK is visually striking, flashy, and a typical Bollywood masala movie. So, if that’s what you are looking for, you won’t be disappointed. But, if you are also looking for some soul and substance, or even logic for that matter, you need to look elsewhere.
Rocky Randhawa (Ranveer Singh) is the heir to Dhanalakshmi Sweets and the laadla of an uber-rich Punjabi family. He walks around in flashy shirts unbuttoned to his waist, a bottle of protein powder, and some crazy-ass sunglasses. Of course, we can’t forget the red Ferrari. Rocky is an aimless young man who neither goes against his strict father (Aamir Bashir) nor an even stricter grandmother (Jaya Bachchan). On the other side of the spectrum is Rani Chatterjee (Alia Bhatt), a well-educated news anchor who is not just ambitious, but also a textbook feminist. She comes from an equally well-spoken and literate Bengali family. Right off the bat, KJo reinforces the stereotypes of loud and uncouth Punjabis and well-read Bengalis who speak as if they are reading from a thesaurus.
Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani tries to tackle too many subjects – breaking gender stereotypes, racism, undue family pressure, casual objectification, feminism, and more. Had the movie stuck to being a regular love story with added family drama, it would have worked better. But by trying to speak about too many crucial topics, the importance of it all is diluted. It almost seems like Karan Johar did not know what subject to focus on, so RARKPK ends up looking like an existential crisis in action.
The movie does have a few touching moments, which are mostly towards the end. But it barely manages to make you laugh out loud. The most you get is a half-hearted chuckle, which in itself is a huge disappointment.
Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani is now in cinemas.
Can you watch Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani with your family?: If a few dead-fish kissing scenes don’t offend anyone’s sensibilities, you can watch it with the fam.
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