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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 24 April 2024

Six scenes from Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani that pay tribute to Bollywood retro music

The Karan Johar-directed romantic drama headlined by Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh is on a winning streak at the box office

Agnivo Niyogi Calcutta Published 15.08.23, 09:28 AM
Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt in Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani.

Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt in Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani. Twitter

He’s a flamboyant Punjabi boy who swears by his protein shake; she’s a probashi Bangali journalist who loves to roast politicians on her TV show. The one thing that Ranveer Singh’s Rocky and Alia Bhatt’s Rani have in common is a love of retro Bollywood music. Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani pays tribute to a lot of iconic Hindi film songs through the decades. We pick six sequences from the romantic comedy that feature some timeless Bollywood tunes.

Abhi Na Jaao Chhod Kar

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The timeless duet from Hum Dono (1961) sung by Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhosle comes at a heart-touching moment in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani. Rocky’s grandfather Kanwal (Dharmendra) and Rani’s grandmother Jamini (Shabana Azmi), both married to other people, were in fall when they were younger but parted ways after a brief affair as they didn’t want to break up their families. When the duo are reunited by their grandchildren in their old age, Kanwal, who is now wheelchair-bound and suffers from dementia, gets on his feet and hums Abhi Na Jaao Chhod Kar, the song they both loved, and Jamini joins in, to the utter shock of both their families.

Yaadon Ka Caravan

With Dhanalakshmi (Jaya Bachchan) and her son Tijori (Aamir Bashir) dead against Kanwal meeting Jamini, Rocky and Rani decide to help their grandparents sneak out of their homes to rekindle their romance. In a beautiful montage shot at iconic sites in Delhi, Kanwal and Jamini take a trip down memory lane as a series of nostalgic Bollywood classics — O Sathi Chal, Aaj Mausam Bada, Ek Pyar Ka Nagma Hai — play in the background, which Rani calls ‘Yaadon Ka Caravan’.

Suno Suno Miss Chatterjee

On Rani’s birthday, Rocky springs a surprise by taking her to an antique shop. He turns on an LP record and Mohammed Rafi begins to sing Suno Suno Miss Chatterjee, from the 1966 film Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi. Rocky lights a candle on a giant laddoo instead of a cake — since Rani hates cakes — dances to the song and serenades her, evoking the old-world charm of young love.

Aap Jaisa Koi

After Rocky and Rani swap homes to win over their prospective in-laws, Rani runs into Rocky’s mother Purnima (Kshitee Jog) humming Nazia Hassan’s superhit pop number Aap Jaisa Koi in the kitchen one night. Stunned by her talent and how she has suppressed it in this oppressive household, Rani encourages Purnima to sign up for a singing contest. The song also becomes a symbol of female bonding when Rani and Rocky’s sister Gayatri (Anjali Anand) join Purnima for a jig.

The Sanjay Leela Bhansali moments

Karan Johar also pays homage to Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas (2002) on two occasions in the movie. In order to publicly humiliate Rani’s father Chandan (Tota Roy Choudhury), Dhanalakshmi suggests he perform at a Punjabi sangeet. Chandan laps up the opportunity and performs to Kahe Chhed Mohe, the song picturised on Madhuri Dixit’s graceful moves in Devdas.

In the climax, Chandan and Rocky match steps to the thumping beats of Dola Re on the Durga Puja mandap, recreating the magic of Madhuri and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. It sets the stage for a face-off between Rani and Tijori, almost like Chandramukhi’s verbal duel with Kalibabu in Devdas.

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