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A Tale of Love and Life Lessons, Wrapped in Preachiness: Unravelling Rocky aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani

I recently had the opportunity to watch "Rocky and Rani Ki Prem Kahani" and thoroughly enjoyed the constant entertainment it offered. After a long time, Karan Johar has tried to rejuvenate the classic Bollywood vibes through Alia Bhatt's beautiful saris and the grandiosity of the film's expansive sets. Nevertheless, it departs from the usual Karan Johar style seen in films like "Kal Ho Na Ho" or "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham." While delivering a quintessential Bollywood experience, this time it introduces an element of preachiness.


While watching, I felt that a significant portion of the film is inundated with relentless preaching, ranging from critiquing patriarchy and condemning misogyny to overtly emphasizing feminism. While the 'talent transcends gender boundaries' concept seemed appealing initially, its extended application became a lot more problematic, especially when conveyed in poor taste by ridiculing a traditional dance form like Kathak. Scenes like Rocky telling Rani's father, 'Inko Madhuri chadh gayi hai,' and Rani's mother involving Rocky in 'bra-shopping' and also then giving him a lecture on respecting women lacked context and seemed out of place. The film further ventured into a debate on racism, incorporating a mix of elements like Rocky avoiding tea due to its impact on complexion, which the Bengali household deems extremely racist.


On the other hand, I felt the movie was progressing at a very rapid pace. The plot didn't focus on the character arcs of Alia Bhat and Ranveer and their love story. Alia Bhatt in the movie throughout is seen as a veritable feminist dialogue textbook, and while supporting gender equality is important, the abundance of social messages in a film marketed as a family entertainer seems to diminish its essence.


Though I understand that Karan Johar aimed to address crucial topics such as fat-shaming, racism, forced marriages, cancel culture, misogyny, and gender stereotypes, the film attempted to tackle all of these simultaneously. At times, it seemed as though certain scenes were included merely to convey a message to the audience about a specific issue, even if they lacked context. Consequently, the movie fell short of fully exploring each theme, making the execution of these complex topics feel somewhat half-hearted. This approach left untapped potential, as the film struggled to delve deeply into the intricacies of each issue and establish a more comprehensive narrative around them.


The persistent urge for movies to address crucial topics like culture in RRKPK is significant. However, it's crucial to approach this in a manner where the audience not only enjoys themselves but also takes away something meaningful. Listeners need to grasp and internalize important dialogues, allowing their emotions to process the content. Personally, "Rocky aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani '' was overwhelming for me because, amid the laughter, I found it challenging to comprehend the exact messages being conveyed. While these issues were personally relevant, I struggled to establish a full emotional connection with any of them. I felt that entering so many of these territories and attempting to convey a multitude of messages while confined within the sphere of love, romance, and family drama somewhat diluted the genuine authenticity of the film.




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13 Comments


I completely agree. Your analysis of "Rocky aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani" beautifully dissects the film's intent to address pressing societal issues. While it's commendable that the movie attempts to tackle multiple themes, I find myself agreeing with your perspective on feeling overwhelmed by the abundance of messages in the movie. While watching the movie, I also felt that it lagged the emotional connection with each issue due to the extensive coverage. The movie could have benefited from a more focused approach to storytelling

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Mahnoor Nasir
Mahnoor Nasir
Dec 01, 2023
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In my opinion, the movie failed to grasp several elements, so despite being entertaining, there was a lack of emotional connection, ultimately diluting the overall vision of the film.

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As much as I admire this post and this movie, there are various underlying themes that in my opinion were not explored properly. Just like love bombing, they used the strategy of breaking stereotypes but did not correctly characterise this. For me, the biggest surprise was how matriarchy was displayed in the patriarchal lens which I don't know how it helps break cultural norms. Usage of the character of his grand mother as the most strict and masculine in nature highlights how this film caters to multidimensions. This movie does highlight some themes which should be looked in further such as the acceptance of men and the efforts they put into a relationship and how society also confines them to…

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Mahnoor Nasir
Mahnoor Nasir
Dec 01, 2023
Replying to

I think the film effectively highlighted the significance of men expressing their emotions, challenging a common stereotype that is often overlooked. However, it fell short in thoroughly exploring each of these issues, thereby losing some of its essential depth and impact.


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I both agree and disagree with you. I agree where you say that the plot was a bit confusing, unnecessarily stretched, and very fast-paced, which might take a long time to understand. I think it also reinforced stereotypes by portraying Punjabis as loud, and cheerful and Bengali as educated but dark-skinned, where the chai comment you mentioned comes in. I still don't fully know how the two fell in love and many things weren't addressed like how was Jaya bachpan fine with her husband reuniting with his ex-lover. It being a romantic comedy, I felt many jokes were outdated too. I get that the plot seemed too preachy, but Bollywood making movies that help show ongoing problems are less and…

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Mahnoor Nasir
Mahnoor Nasir
Dec 01, 2023
Replying to

I understand your perspective and I feel its important that such issues are talked about, however, I believe that with a producer like Karan Johar and with 2 extremely woke actors of the biggest industry, there could have been so much more. the plot of the movie and the way it conveyed its message while being a full time entertainer was the biggest achievement however, it failed to show certain issues into depth hence the film became kind of overwhelming for the viewers.

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I totally agree with this. While the movie was a good Bollywood entertainment, after a point it felt that they got a little carried away with the need to address every issue prevalent in the society and should have focused more on the intricacies of relationships that were shown, to engage the audience.

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Sara Masood
Sara Masood
Nov 30, 2023

'Inko Madhuri chadh gayi hai’ is just a statement where Madhuri is connotative of dance and iconic moves. This dialogue was placed considering the demographic and the target market watching the movie – most of whom are expected to understand the reference being made. This is semiotic analysis where one word may connotate for deeper meanings than the literal text. It is also intertextuality because Madhuri is not present in this media piece but is references to without further context. Therefore you feeling that these are out of place may be personal to you, and the larger audience may have found this refence perfectly fitting and reasonable.

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Mahnoor Nasir
Mahnoor Nasir
Dec 01, 2023
Replying to

I do agree with the reference to intersexuality, however talking about the demographic it could def have been people from subcontinent and even people who have not seen madhuri considering the fan base of alia that and Ranveer Singh. I feel like maybe lots of people have misunderstood the reference considering that the demographic in this case is too large.

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