Tuesday, October 03
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‘Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahaani’ movie review – Family fracas

3 Aug 2023

Karan Johar, of Dharma Productions, knows well how to package his movies. Unlike Salman Khan – who keeps the focus solely on himself and avoids casting popular faces in his films – Johar weaves in a few veteran stars as well as other character artists to let his movies appeal to one and all. And Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani (RARKPK) is his umpteenth (not really) take on family drama where members of the audience identify with different characters on screen.

Just like the multi-starrer Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Johar has brought in his trademark colour and fanfare into RARKPK with a star cast that appeals to different generations and which will be appreciated by varied audiences across India. And, of course, one character does reflect aspects of his own life somewhere in between.

The story is about two families – the Randhawas, a Punjabi business family who own the prosperous Dhanlakshmi Sweets named after their matriarch Dhanlakshmi Randhawa (Jaya Bachchan) and the Chatterjees, a bengali family with Shabana Azmi playing Jamini, the grandmother of Alia Bhatt aka Rani. Rocky (Ranveer) is the grandson of Dhanlakshmi while Dharmendra plays the role of her invalid husband Kanwal Lund who suffers from amnesia.

What makes the two families cross paths is the fact that Jamini (Shabana) and Kanwal (Dharmendra) had been yesteryear lovers who never made it together. Rocky, a happy go lucky, less educated youth and Rani, a successful, well-qualified television news channel anchor, stumble on evidence of this old alliance and decide to let the oldies meet in a bid to revive Kanwal’s mental state. In the bargain (you guessed right) they fall in love and the rest is an essay which a five-year-old can pen.

Rocky attempts to induce humour throughout the film with his poor English diction which actually doesn’t quite sound funny, had it not been for the funny spellings of subtitles in English that you cannot possibly miss on the big screen. Well, he was just his own crazy self and we are not going to describe his outlandish attire.

There are a few social messages thrown in for effect. And if you expect a sterling performance from Dharmendra, you are going to be disappointed, for he is presented with a dazed expression and seated in a wheelchair all through the film – well not all through.

If you want a break from the spate of serious flicks on the big screen and small screen, this movie with its colourful song and dance sequences, vibrant star cast, predictable storyline, and humour (you do hear laughter in the auditorium) will be one for your ‘mammeries’ – we mean, memory – thanks to Rocky’s dictionary.

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