Bollywood film Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani (Rocky and Rani's Love Story) is a landmark film in more ways than one.
Johar, whose Dharma Productions has since become the pre-eminent production house in India, has only directed a handful of films, including blockbusters Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham … (2001) and My Name Is Khan (2010). Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani is only his seventh feature film as director.
“After seven years, it's time for me to return to my first home – the cinemas,” he said when announcing the film last year. “I had the absolute honour of working with not one, but many illustrious actors on the set of my seventh film. The familial nostalgic feeling of an ensemble cast, creating music that captivates the hearts and a story that runs deep to the roots of our family traditions.”
What's the film about?
“A rollercoaster journey taking you through an epic love story in a new-age era, topped with hearty laughs and posing questions about love, family and the meaning of breaking away from generations of family traditions in the name of love,” reads a synopsis of the trailer, which was released on Tuesday.
Singh plays Rocky while Bhatt is Rani, two people from very different worlds who find themselves wildly drawn to each other but realise the biggest barrier to their budding relationship is their respective families.
To ensure their relationship survives the demands of family, the couple then engineer the ultimate switch. For three months, they will both live with each other's families – Rocky with Rani's wealthy Bengali family and Rani will join Rocky's Punjabi household.
“If we survive this, our marriage will survive more than 50 years,” Rani tells Rocky.
Of course, this is easier said than done. Cue a heavy dose of culture-clash comedy, big song and dance sequences and signature Johar melodrama.
Who's in the cast?
Bhatt and Singh are joined by a cast of acclaimed actors including Shabana Azmi, who plays Rani's grandmother, and veteran actors Jaya Bachchan and Dharmendra, who play Rocky's grandparents.
Bengali actors Tota Roy Chowdhury and Churni Ganguly play Rani's parents and Bollywood actor Ronit Roy plays Rocky's father.
Indian TV stars Bharti Singh, Arjit Taneja, Arjun Bijlani, Karmveer Choudhary and Saswata Chatterjee are also in the film.
Who's behind the music?
Karan Johar's films are characterised by their memorable songs. Composer and singer Pritam has been tasked with creating the soundtrack while singer and writer Amitabh Bhattacharya is in charge of the lyrics.
When is it being released?
Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani is scheduled for release globally, including the UAE, on July 28.