OTTplay Logo
settings icon
profile icon

OPINION | Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani song Tum Kya Mile: An underwhelming track Karan Johar dared to emulate Yash Chopra

Tum Kya Mile, the much-anticipated track from Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, fails to impress for reasons galore!

OPINION | Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani song Tum Kya Mile: An underwhelming track Karan Johar dared to emulate Yash Chopra
Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt in a still from Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani song Tum Kya Mile

Last Updated: 01.48 PM, Jun 29, 2023


For 25 years, there has been a certain benchmark set by Karan Johar when it comes to filmmaking. Ever since Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, the filmmaker who spoke the millennial language has redefined the love triangle with "Pyaar Dosti Hai" in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. And then he made a movie that is "all about loving your parents," with the questionable "Badon ka gussa, badon ka pyaar hota hai," in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. KJo went on to make a movie on infidelity, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, which people tout as being way ahead of its time and arguably his best work. Then, Karan brought about more intensity with a love story set against a heavy subject in My Name is Khan.

Then came Student of the Year, which was all about good looks, good looks, and good looks. This also continued with Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, and along with that came another, very millennial, definition of "Ek tarfa pyaar." If we look at the larger scheme of things, romance stays the same in Karan Johar films, but when you look closely, each takes its own journey, and while a couple of them are forgettable, most others have attained cult status.

So, when it was time for Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, the expectations were bound to skyrocket. The announcements kicked off with glossy posters and everything that categorises Karan Johar films. Then came the teaser, which further pumped up the anticipation for the film and, frankly, did leave us impressed. The teaser ended with a glimpse into the Tum Kya Mile song, which was released earlier today.


The much-anticipated song has everything that has been missing in Bollywood for a very long time. We see a romantic track with good-looking actors and scenic locations in Kashmir. The excitement for the song was surely high, owing to the director, who is known for perfectly capturing the beauty of everything, be it actors or locations, in every possible way. Well, full marks on that!

However, let’s call a spade a spade and admit that the song doesn’t quite live up to the hype and is definitely underwhelming, given that maybe the expectations were too high. Tum Kya Mile is a tribute that Karan Johar has paid not just to Yash Chopra but also to himself. The music is mediocre at best and doesn’t quite justify the scale on which its anticipation was built.

The song looks visually stunning and has been eloquently shot—no doubt about that—but purely going by the lyrics and composition, it hasn’t quite left us impressed. Even the refrain, Tum Kya Mile, doesn't have that punch, which is Karan Johar's forte, as it lands perfectly even for a song like Kukkad from Student of the Year.

First of all, it's a dream sequence, with Alia Bhatt imagining herself wearing colourful Manish Malhotra chiffon sarees and Ranveer Singh in trench coats and puffer jackets. It's 2023, and still, we are making female actors shiver by making them wear lightweight sarees and backless blouses. I understand that there is nothing more elegant than a chiffon saree for a romantic song like this, but that is, so to speak, borderline harassment when shot in such cold weather amidst snow-clad mountains. And to imagine that Alia shot the song just a few days after giving birth to her baby girl, Raha, is seriously alarming.

Maybe it's time Karan listens to his all-time favourite actor-buddy, Kajol, who called this out while writing about the anniversary of her film Fanaa. She wrote on her Instagram page, "Poland was -27 degrees centigrade on the first day of the shoot, and I was wearing a thin chiffon salwar kameez on a frozen lake with the wind chill factor aside... Aamir Khan, on the other hand, had bought himself a nice, thick jacket from the local market just for the shoot. So his face did not have the natural pain that was there on my frozen face! And the cherry on top of the whole scenario was that the whole song was scrapped and RESHOT when we got back to Mumbai! Can we all just salute women and heroines all over the world who do these things and much worse just to look good? (sic)."

While Karan Johar has been slightly mindful of it during the Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham song, Suraj Hua Maddham, given that it's Egypt, I am sure those sheer shirts worn by Shah Rukh Khan were to keep him cool, as Ranveer's layered outfits in Tum Kya Mile were to keep him warm. We wish the same sensitivity was shown towards Alia as well.

I also have a doubt: If Tum Kya Mile is part of a reverie by Alia's character Rani, why is Ranveer's Rocky doing most of the singing? I know Arijit Singh is popular, and the makers wanted to use his popularity and immense talent to make the track a hit. But Shreya Ghoshal is no less; she is among the best female singers we have in the country, and the dream team that Karan mentioned earlier is incomplete without her mention. To top it all, she’s barely given two lines to croon (from what we see in the song that was released today).

In case you don't remember, Tu Mere Saamne from Darr is also a dream sequence for Shah Rukh's character, and Juhi Chawla's character behaves and sings just how his character wants her to be: submissive. So, if the imagination is by the female lead, maybe vocals for her could have been a little more.

Coming back to drawing parallels, the song is anything but original. Except for the breathtaking visuals, the video reminded me of everything we have seen earlier in the YRF and Dharma movies. One of the most underrated songs by Dharma Productions is Sadka Kiya from I Hate Luv Storys, even that wasn't left behind in Tum Kya Mile (the inspiration/tribute is quite obvious).


Let's not even get to Tumhi Dekho Naa, where the production value is something unimaginable with everyone in the frame colour coordinating with Shah Rukh and Rani Mukerji. Those sarees did serve as inspiration for Manish Malhotra for this one. Well, fashion is said to recycle now and then. It has, after nearly two decades.

It seems as if Tum Kya Mile juggles between reality and a dream sequence, and it ends with Alia's character running in the woods while wearing an all-black outfit. Ring a bell? Well, yes, Rani Mukerji’s Suhani Sharma did the same 20 years ago in Saathiya in the song Mera Yaar Mila De. The actor wore a black salwar suit and is seen running towards Vivek Oberoi’s Aditya, who stands on the beach while searching for her.


The OG inspiration for romantic songs since the 90s has been Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, and here, their last hit song, Gerua, from Dilwale was also not spared by KJo. Once an inspiration, it always is!


In his 25 years of career, KJo has done this and dusted well, including the fun sequence from Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, where Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma recreate Chandni. We see RK's character shivering to death and Anushka losing her mind over it. It landed well because, in a way, it mocked the approach of not making the female actor wear enough warm clothes in a romantic number that’s shot in the mountains.

Oh, not just that; even in the Kuch Kuch Hota Hai song, Ladki Badi Anjaani Hai, SRK's Rahul gives his coat to Kajol while walking in the mist as she is wearing a chiffon saree. In the next scene, we see him catching a cold and dipping his feet in warm water, while Anushka and Ranbir take refuge by the fireplace in ADHM.

It's high time Karan also humanises the female actors and shows that it's normal to feel cold, not of an extraordinary nature. I am writing this while sitting in my room amid heavy rain, and both the fan and AC are switched off!

Ahead of the song's release, the filmmaker admitted talking about how much the romance in the snow has impacted him. He wrote on his Instagram page, "I remember at the very onset, my instinct was that I wanted to film a love song that would unabashedly pay homage to my guru, Yash Chopra... The thinking, evolved mind would say, 'You can’t match it or even dare to emulate it,' but the fanboy and the ardent lover of snow, chiffons, the stunning locations of Kashmir, and sheer romance got the better of me."

Of course, Karan couldn't match while daring to emulate the YRF love, but the unfortunate result of fanboying is Tum Kya Mila, an underwhelming song that will chew your ears off with trending reels on Instagram in the near future.

(Edited by Prachita Pandey)

Get the latest updates in your inbox