It’s grand. It’s pompous. It’s a tribute to the good old days. We’re talking about Dharma’s newest production Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, slated to release on the 28th of July. While the trailer released just last week, critics and self-styled culture commentators have long been watching the developments like a hawk, courtesy the high-stake weightage the flick carries.
First impressions include Barjatya ‘esque familial melodrama, the mandatory ‘love trumps all’ Johar trope with a conspicuous Bhansali derivation translated via the grandeur of the sets and dance sequences. Despite being under the Dharma banner, it seems like a culmination of sorts, a coming together of most archetypal Bollywood clichés, honouring their legacy inadvertently. So, calling it another Bollywood drama with the usual serving of masala seems unsettling, to me at least. And mind you, I’m known for my scepticism regarding old school, done-to-death Bollywood storylines.
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Onto dissecting the plot line of Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani – polar opposites Rocky Randhawa and Rani Chatterjee are struck by cupid. Call it 2 States on steroids. No offence. As they intend to tie the knot, there’s the issue of culture clashes between families and to tackle the same, they decide to propose a trial period. Rani will stay with her potential in-laws for a brief while and vice versa. Now the oncoming spectacle is as clear as it can get. There are tear jerking sequences, communication gaps which make for a funny sequence and a lot more.
This is exactly what seems so promising with regards to Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani. It’s the throwback laced element that borrows from the late 90s and early 2000s. There’s this sense of community and nostalgia in the Singh-Bhatt starrer, as corroborated via the trailer, which us Indian audiences were deprived of in the past decade. Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani has the makings of an inevitable hit, by textbook standards for sure. But considering the fact that audiences’ palates have tremendously evolved over the past few years, one can’t place bets on the success of the starrer.
But what I’m placing my bets on, is the takeaway. If you’re a doting, script memorising Bollywood buff, you know what I’m talking about. And if not, one can be sure that the cringe forecast for the movie will also serve a purpose. And I’ll be watching.