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Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani review: Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt’s film is an emotional roller coaster ride you can’t afford to miss!

Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt starrer RRKPK is all things fun, packed with grandeur, and laced with emotions with a beating heart. Welcome back to the movies Karan Johar! Read on for the full review…

Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani review: Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt’s film is an emotional roller coaster ride you can’t afford to miss!

Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani

Last Updated: 05.01 PM, Jul 28, 2023


Set in Delhi, Rocky Randhawa (Ranveer Singh) is the third-generation heir of Dhanlakshmi Sweets, started by and named after his strict grandmother (Jaya Bachchan). Sparks fly when the flamboyance of Rocky meets the sophistication of Rani Chatterjee (Alia Bhatt ) as the former sets out to find the ‘trigger’ of his amnesia-hit grandfather Kanwal (Dharmendra). This ‘trigger’ turns out to be Rani’s thakoma (grandmother) Jamini (Shabana Azmi). Why is Jamini a trigger for Kanwal? You’ll have to watch the film to find out. Anyway, Rocky and Rani are aware of the vast cultural differences in their respective families that pose the biggest hurdle in their union. They decide to make a switch and spend three months with each other’s families and try to win them over. Will they be able to succeed and complete their prem kahaani? That’s what the rest of the film is about.

Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani (RRKPK) packs in all the elements that a typical Karan Johar film is known to have and much more. It is a testament to the fact that Johar – the director may have moved ahead with the times, but hasn’t forgotten his strong emotional core and values that make his larger-than-life love stories and family dramas the perfect mix of light-hearted moments, melodrama, and subtle messaging without it getting preachy at any point. Those who thought that the era of entertaining, masala, commercial pot-boilers, and family dramas in Bollywood is over, can take a backseat now. RRKPK is a masterclass on how to deliver a delightful cinematic experience on the silver screen. Cherry on the cake – a beautiful nostalgia trip to the golden era of Hindi films and music, interspersed with a love story with a beating heart.


We’re introduced to the family and relationship dynamics of the Randhawas and the flashy flamboyance of Rocky right at the beginning. While Rocky is introduced in a typical kukkad kamaal da fashion with his in-your-face-brands of clothes and quite a few actresses of the current generation (we won’t spoil the cameos for you), Rani’s introduction scenes scream Poo (a la Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham) with a desi twist. Johar has packed quite a few surprises (pleasant ones) right from the first frame till the last. The way he has handled the subject matter at hand, while giving subtle, but befitting rebuttals to notions like patriarchy, cancel culture, misogyny, racism, ignorance, women empowerment, fear-masked-as-respect for elders among others is truly commendable. What’s refreshing is that these notions aren’t just brushed upon, but are tackled head-on and smashed scene-by-scene while never once deviating from the story at hand.

We must also applaud Johar for paying tribute to some of the best moments in Hindi cinema with RRKPK. The parallel narrative of Dharmendra’s Kanwal and Shabana Azmi’s Jamini with guest appearances by Jaya Bachchan’s Dhanlakshmi is such a delightful addition to the prem kahaani of the current generation of Rocky and Rani. The use of old Hindi film songs is super effective in taking you on a nostalgia trip (more on that later). The grandeur and opulence of Johar’s vision are successfully captured with the help of Amrita Mahal’s top-notch production design and Manush Nandan’s able cinematography. Every single frame screams magnificence and Nandan has captured them perfectly.

If Karan Johar’s genius is at full display in RRKPK, it is mainly because of the way its story and screenplay have been carefully crafted by the writers Ishita Moitra, Shashank Khaitan, and Sumit Roy. It’s important to acknowledge that there was a lot of material to pack in this film – the parallel storylines, the central conflict of two diverse families and cultures, the character arcs of the people that inhabit this world, the nostalgia trip to the golden era of Hindi films, smashing age-old and regressive notions, hat-tips to some of the best filmmakers (including Johar himself) and songs (quite a few of them), meta references in dialogues among others, while the risk of stereotyping Punjabis and Bengalis loomed large above all of it. Mad props to the trio of writers for handling so much (and more) without once making things boring or uninteresting in the 168-minute-long runtime of the film. The treatment of emotional scenes, with most of them packing a punch with a crackling one-liner or two, brings a smile to your face. There are a lot of pop-culture references that range from Guardians of the Galaxy to KJo’s own K3G that have been incorporated seamlessly, without them appearing to be force-fitted. It could have gone wrong in a lot of sequences, but kudos to the writers for making it happen and how!

Ranveer Singh in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani
Ranveer Singh in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani

As far as the performances go, half the battle is won with the perfect casting of the characters. Ranveer Singh is in his element as Rocky. All the naysayers who thought that he was looking out of place after watching the film’s trailer can rest in peace. Rocky Randhawa was written to be immortalised on screen by Ranveer and the actor has left no stone unturned in delivering what was required of him. It is a character that’s custom-made (much like his suits in the film) for him and he plays it with elan. There’s never a dull moment around Rocky. He’s boisterous, wears the flashiest clothes and his heart on his sleeve, and is a living embodiment of everything that screams ‘You can’t buy class and elegance with tonnes of money’. You’d not expect a sensitive lad hidden beneath the exterior of this flamboyant macho man who doesn’t mind being objectified when Rani is ‘checking him out,’ and is sensible enough to acknowledge that his upbringing and culture prevented him from not seeing the other sex as being equal to men, or for mistaking fear as respect for elders. While his comic timing is superb, he delivers equally well in the emotional scenes too. There’s no other actor in the current generation who would have managed to pull off Rocky. Watch out for the scene where he gives a piece of his mind to the Chatterjee family in the second half that culminates in Rani’s father hugging him, and the ones that precede and follow the song Dhindhora Baje Re for some of the finest acting chops at the display.

Alia Bhatt in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani
Alia Bhatt in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani

Alia Bhatt puts up an exemplary performance as Rani. She is effervescent, lively, and feisty. It wouldn’t have been easy to match the madness and energy of Ranveer’s Rocky but Alia not only matches it but also brings a certain poise and elegance to Rani which only she could. It also helps that she’s clad in the most gorgeous sarees (take a bow, Manish Malhotra) that, arguably, make for one of the most elegant (and sexy) attires. She gets her Bengali diction right (mostly) and is fantastic in the emotional scenes. She’s brilliant in the one that follows the song Tum Kya Mile as well as that after Dhindhora Baje Re. It’s also to be noted that not many actors from the current generation will be able to stand their ground in front of stalwarts like Jaya Bachchan, and Shabana Azmi among others but trust Alia to do what most others can’t and she doesn’t disappoint at all. RRKPK is another feather in the cap of the actress that proves yet again that she’s among the finest actors in the industry today.

Shabana Azmi brings grace and maturity with her sensitive portrayal of Jamini while Jaya Bachchan nails it as Dhanlakshmi – the female reincarnation of Yashvardhan Raichand from K3G. Kudos to her for taking up a character that you’d love to hate and portraying it so effortlessly. Dharmendra as Kanwal is a delight to watch on screen. He barely gets to utter a couple of dialogues in the film but his character springs the best surprise of the lot for film fanatics. These veterans pack a solid punch with their glances and stares, making their eyes do the talking where words could never suffice. 

Still from Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani
Still from Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani

It’s not an easy task to have such a huge ensemble cast and make each of them shine by giving them their moments of glory, but once again, the makers succeed in doing it beautifully in RRKPK. We half-feared that Kshitee Jog and Anjali Anand, who essay Rocky’s mother and sister respectively, will be reduced to sidekicks with nothing to add, but thankfully, they don’t. Tota Roy Chowdhury and Churni Ganguly are apt as Rani’s parents and do full justice to their parts. Watch out for the sequence of Chowdhury with Ranveer Singh before Dhindhora Baje Re and Churni’s scene in a lingerie shop. Aamir Bashir as Ranveer’s father Tijori has comparatively little to do, but he aces the part of a typical son governed by his mother’s wishes. The way all their character arcs culminate to bring a satisfying resolution is truly admirable.

This review wouldn’t be complete if we don’t talk about the music in RRKPK by Pritam. If KJo won half the battle by getting his ensemble cast right, the other half has been won by the music and background score which is as much a central character in the film as the actors. Johar’s films are known for their outstanding music albums and chartbusters. The songs in RRKPK mostly work in tandem with the story to move its narrative forward and lend it the feel of a true-blue-Bollywood musical. 

Rocky’s introduction track Heartthrob is not as upbeat as Munda Kukkad Kamaal Da (Student of the Year) but is still catchy. While Tum Kya Mile is a beautiful ode to Yash Chopra (and, yes, it looks better on the big screen), Dhindhora Baje Re and the sequence before it, is an audacious and brave tribute to the genius of Sanjay Leela Bhansali that only Karan Johar can dare to even think and execute. What Jhumka? is naughty and playful while Ve Kamleya and Ro Lein De are heartwarming and soulful. Is this the best music album from Pritam, probably not. But the songs work well with the overall narrative of the film. 

The best bit about the film’s music though, is the appropriate use of some classic old songs at so many important junctures which will leave you smiling from ear to ear – and that’s a win for Pritam. Watch out for a beautiful musical medley in the first half, choreographed to perfection by Farah Khan. Vaibhavi Merchant and Ganesh Acharya too have done a fantastic job at choreographing Dhindhora Baje Re and What Jhumka? Talking about the choreography more will not be possible without giving out some major spoilers, so we’ll refrain from it.

Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh in RRKPK
Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh in RRKPK

With Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, Karan Johar is back after a seven-year-long hiatus with the kind of cinema he does best, and what a comeback it is! The film is all things fun, packed with grandeur, and laced with emotions with a beating heart. Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt along with the ensemble cast put up a terrific act on screen. It is an emotional roller coaster ride you cannot afford to miss! What are you waiting for? Go book your tickets and watch it at a theatre near you NOW!!!

(All images, unless mentioned otherwise, via YouTube/Screengrab)


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