Rajsi Rana ’26
Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, or Rocky and Rani’s Love Story, is a new Bollywood movie that I would highly recommend watching, especially to all the Barbie lovers out there. The movie starts off unexpectedly- Rani, a TV news anchor meets Rocky, the son of a family with a famous sweets business. Slowly but surely Rani, who’s family is progressive and academically oriented, begins to fall for Rocky, who comes from a family with more traditional perspectives. Rani’s mother is an English Professor, and her father is a Kathak dance teacher. In their household, they speak in English often and have intellectually stimulating and open conversation. In comparison, Rocky’s family members hold more old-fashioned roles, with his mother serving as a housewife, while his father runs their family business.
Seemingly, Rani and Rocky could not be more different from one another, growing up with completely different family structures, values, and perspectives. Still, they fall for each other. In India, it is common that after marriage, the woman moves into the man’s house and lives alongside his family. Due to Rani’s progressive values, she decides they should both move into each other’s houses, in order to see if both families would permit their marriage, and so that they both get the chance to know each other’s families.
Rani’s family appears to be kind, and treat Rocky well. However, their bias is shown when they don’t introduce Rocky to their friends, implying that he is not bright enough for their circle because he doesn’t speak english. However, they warm up to him as he learns Kathak from Rani’s dad, and they begin to understand that they’re behaving pretentiously.
Rocky’s family, on the other hand, greets Rani coldly. They do not make her feel welcome in her home, a rather oppressive environment. She quickly learns that she is expected to pray often, serve the family, and remain quiet, though she does not succumb to these expectations. She quickly becomes friends with Rocky’s sister and mother, pushing past their initial quieter persona’s. They discover that his sister is a fountain of knowledge about investment banking, and his mother is a talented singer. She influences them to take charge of their lives, rather than allowing the male figures in their lives to hold so much power.
Rocky aur Rani is a story about two people with families with seemingly no commonalities. It is a story about love, but also about the effects of the patriarchy, the ideas of what a masculine man is supposed to be and how that is upheld through generations, and the harm of looking down at people due to a difference in language or education.
This movie, within the first few minutes of watching, quickly became a favorite. On top of having all of the classics of a bollywood movie- beautiful traditional clothing, contemporary versions of old hindi songs, and memorable cinematography, it also reminded me that the world, with social media and increased connectivity throughout all countries, is more on the same page than ever before. This movie discussed topics such as cancel culture, which have only recently become a world-wide topic. This movie also started to build the bridge between South Asian and Western media by discussing topics that would be relatable to people of all backgrounds.