Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani: Karan Johar Packs a Few Surprises in Melodramatic Film

By Shubhra Gupta

Having finished watching ‘Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani’, I have to confess I am conflicted: do I turn my back on this brand new film from Karan Johar because it’s loud and melodramatic in the way mainstream Hindi family dramas used to be and still determinedly are, refusing to budge from broad-brush-stroke-y conventions, 2023 be damned; or do I cherry pick some of the better, braver parts of the film which go big because of the film platforms them so large, and be happy about that in the at-least-it-has-these-bits-too way?

Rocky lives in a palace, which looks like a set, with his sweet Dadaji (Dharmendra) who lives in a world of his own, an ultra-stern Dadiji (Jaya Bachchan), Daddyji (Aamir Bashir), mummyji (Kshitee Jog) and choti behen (Anjali Anand). Where in madly crowded West Delhi could that sprawling house exist? Silly question. Rani’s family consists of an English-spouting mommy (Churni Ganguly), an unconventional father (Tota Roy Choudhury) who is a Kathak dancer-cum-teacher, and a ‘thakuma’ (Shabana Azmi) who has once loved and lost. What kind of TV channel allows feisty truth-seeking anchors a free rein these days? What did I say about silly questions?