Director: Karan Johar
Cast: Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, Aamir Basheer, Tota Roy Chowdhury, Churni Ganguly, Kshitee Jog, Anjali Anand, Abhinav Sharma and others
Where: In theatres near you
Rating: 4 stars
Karan Johar is synonymous to family sagas that are high on drama, values and great music and this one has everything to keep this tradition alive and even strengthen a little further. The director who ushered in a cultural shift through his films in the past, seems to have learnt from his failures as well.
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, an ambitious project that enlarged the concept of Yash Chopra’s Silsila highlighted infidelity in the most controversial manner in 2006, but it turned out to be a dud at the box office. However, Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani offers a beautiful take upon modern-day relationships and the ugly truths that lie beneath the surface.
Rocky (Ranveer Singh), a loud Punjabi brat, is an aspiring CEO of Dhanlakshmi Sweets of Karol Bagh, owned by his grandmother Dhanlakshmi (Jaya Bachchan). Her husband and Rocky’s grandfather Kanwal (Dharmendra) live under the same roof as strangers. Kanwal is bedridden and forgetful, but his heart yearns for the love of Jamini (Shabana Azmi). In better times, he reminisces their brief time spent together at Shimla, in the year 1978.
In a bid to reunite them, Rocky discovers Rani (Alia Bhatt), a news anchor and the two decide to rekindle Kanwal and Jamini's incomplete love story, unaware about the consequences that lie before them.
Karan goes full-throttle to give us a family entertainer that is deeply entrenched in tradition, customs and rituals of Indian society. His intention becomes much clearer when it comes to delivering a love story worth rooting for.
To be fair, the first half is shaky given the film's inconsistent humour, courtesy Ranveer’s loud comic timing. The punchlines draw few chuckles and some don't land quite well. But, Karan definitely keeps the narrative easy enough to coast along with.
The second half is where the proceedings take flight. Where generational and gender stereotypes are taken and smashed. Karan manages to pull this incredible feat off with subtlety. Ranveer, an uber cool personality, who tries to fit in to the shoes of the Karan Johar narrative, somehow manages to pull off his vision mildly to the best. Alia is a firecracker and proves that she is one of the best performers at the moment. She exudes the charm of the 90’s heroine and the modernity that prevails today. The film slightly reminds you of Imtiaz Ali’s Love Aaj Kal (2009) but doesn’t ape it.
Dharmendra and Shabana’s presence together on screen is extremely pleasant and takes one back to the golden era where romantic songs ruled the roost. Shabana is such a delight to watch and easy on the eyes. Jaya Bachchan, who is grumpy in every viral video online is herself over here. Karan gives her a custom-tailored role as the antagonist. She is nothing but the female Narayan Shankar of Mohabbatein fame (2000).
A still from the film
RRKPK is a family entertainer that is the need of the hour. A much-needed relief from the violence-laden flicks that crowd OTT, Karan offers magic that is needed to be seen.
A film that surprises in the second half and makes average music loveable much after you walk out.