Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Ishita Moitra, the writer of Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, breaks down the characters of Jaya Bachchan and Ranveer Singh-Alia Bhatt and considers the film a 'love letter' to Hindi cinema

 Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani debuted to critical acclaim, with many appreciating its ability to strike a balance between being an entertainer directed by Karan Johar and accurately portraying gender politics.

Screenwriter Ishita Moitra says she has watched Karan Johar's Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham multiple times. That is, of course, a sarcastic overstatement of love, but there is still some truth to it. which is very similar to how she wrote the script for the filmmaker's most recent film, Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani. It is absurd, wears its heart on its sleeve, and pays a glorious and unreserved homage to Hindi cinema while injecting it with moments of sincerity and progressive sensibilities.

The Prime Video series Four More Shots Please! is Ishita's most well-known work. In addition to writing the screenplay for the Ranveer Singh–Alia Bhatt film Shakuntala Devi, for which she shares credit with Shashank Khaitan and Sumit Roy, she also wrote the dialogues.

The film delivered last Friday and opened to collectively certain verbal exchange and basic praise, with many valuing its extreme difficult exercise of marking each container of being a Karan Johar performer but being refreshingly new with orientation legislative issues that standard Bollywood films seldom get right.

In a meeting with indianexpress.com, Ishita gets serious about the creative cycle of Rough Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, how Ranveer and Alia made the characters their own, the manner in which Jaya Bachchan played evil with "tomfoolery", and how the film never passes judgment on characters of Dharmendra and Shabana Azmi for their situation conceived out of disloyalty.

Edited portions:

How precisely did the film fall set up?

I was working on two projects at the same time: Call Me Bae, which will be available on Prime Video, and a comedy film that I co-wrote and is directed by Anand Tiwari. Karan had perused my contents and composing. But I had no idea this would happen. I was pinching myself when Executive Producer Somen Mishra called to inform me that Karan wanted me in his film. This was during Coronavirus, it was a dreary time, so what Karan needed to do here-with the families-I thought that it is fascinating and fun.

There was a lot of OTT content we were watching; Most of them were dark. Thus, I felt this resembled Ted Rope or Schitt's Rivulet, it was something that gave a ton of comfort and pleasure to me even while composing. We had loads of tomfoolery composing it. There were a lot of references to old Hindi movies. Karan made me watch a lot of funny old Hindi movies, like Khubsoorat, starring Rekha and directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, to see what has already been done in this space and how we can subvert it and go further. We used to likewise bond over music, with the goal that tomfoolery deciphered in the content.

What is your take of Karan Johar's reality, and which is your number one film of his?

I was a huge Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham fan when I was a kid! I adore Poo's character and lines, as well as those films' grandeur and scope. However, this was the point at which I was entirely receptive, I saw no governmental issues, orientation legislative issues. Then there was Kal Ho Na Ho, directed by Nikhil Advani but produced by Dharma and bearing the hallmark of Karan Johar films. I am Khan and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna are films that I truly appreciated also. I go by Khan-from the epiglottis - for its topic, is my #1. However, if my inner fangirl is any indication, it is Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. I actually cry when I watch the film, I don't have the foggiest idea why, notwithstanding watching it nearly multiple times!

What was Rocky Aur Rani's most difficult challenge?

As far as topics, we were doing go along with yet additionally the disruption of family show. We were attempting to see it with a particular sort of governmental issues, and yet didn't maintain that it should surpass the film and the fun of observing such a film. People are not there to learn anything; rather, they are there to be entertained. Inside that build, there are sure things we needed to say through these characters. I was aware of this equilibrium. I would compose, then Karan would give me criticism, then, at that point, I would compose once more. There was finished hand holding and Karan was a lot of piece of the interaction.

For my purposes, the drop culture bit was… It is exceptionally simple to ridicule individuals with an alternate belief system, it is something we do off-handedly now. We simply continue dropping each other constantly. We used to talk about this together, and we wanted to see if Rocky would feel the same way. To say everything we wanted to say, that monologue had to be deep and Rocky-like. It was one of the most interesting parts to write. Even Rani's family scenes have an old-world feel, but Karan wanted me to go there because he wanted that weight in the lines, and now that I've seen the movie, I understand why. Since there up and with those characters (Randhawas), these lines in the event that spoken in a conversational way could never have hit. A particular meter had to be present. Thus, where we needed to go conventional, we did, where we needed to go present day, fun and conversational, we went that course. I was following Karan's example; he'd tell me how he saw a scene, and we'd talk about it and write. It was an extremely fun, popularity based process.

Could you at any point converse with us about composing Jaya Bachchan's personality. She is by all accounts genuinely having a fabulous time as Dhanalakshmi.

Jaya ji is amazing because she mixes fun with evil. For instance, Jaya Bachchan makes a face because she is so good when Rani says something and leaves the room. With glee, she bit into the part. The exhibition is completely her and Karan. Yet, even as far as composing, she was the one person we realized we won't make her break out of her personality and reclaim her and carry her to hit the dance floor with the remainder of the family (chuckles)!

Yes, and it was a smart move. You've seen her live that way, so it would have been strange if she changed all at once. Might be a decade down the line she would come around or might be when Rough and Rani have a child, however not right away. Because her character has too much ego, it is sufficient for her to acknowledge that she was wrong.

Was the person composed so scrumptiously tomfoolery or that occurred on set? She mouths hilarious lines like "Ghajni aur Sajni," for example.

Yes, it was written down. We composed it like that, with a great deal of humor. That was our tone right from the beginning. We wanted to make it funny while being evil. We needed to make every one of the characters fun, in the manner in which we could. We began working on it during COVID, so the goal was to include as much fun and entertainment as possible—whatever we were lacking or hankering for. So the legitimate Karan Johar stuff was there, from chiffon sarees, tribute to Hindi film music, the enormous giggling, show.

What's your number one scene in the film?

I have a couple, the drop culture scenes pops to me right away. Following Dhindora Baja Re, the dramatic fight, or when Rocky's mother Punam Randhawa, played by Kshitee Jog, enters Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tammana Hai. Regarding the lighter scenes, Rocky and Rani are just having a conversation in the first half. I wanted to see love like this on screen. Alia and Ranveer have such an astounding science, I love the wonderful way they performed. It is a particularly well disposed, genuine talk. I love the delightful way they have made it happen. the moment Rani asks, "Tu kya hai?" "Tu hi bata de" is what he says.

How could it be prefer to compose these two characters and how could they advance through the cycle?

I talk both, Bengali and Punjabi. I'm a Bengali and by temperance of being a military youngster my dad was posted in Amritsar-I got Punjabi around then. Many of my issues were effectively resolved by that. Before the film started, we had a great deal of conversations. For instance, I added more Bengali because Alia requested it. Because Ranveer always improvises and gives it his all, the material developed naturally. We were busy for some time, until the last piece was shot. They additionally had vernacular mentors on sets, so the language is real all through. The two of them are likewise incredibly dedicated, genuine entertainers, who maintain that more and need should be pushed.

The film is likewise a particularly superb recognition for quintessential Hindi movies.

We used to think that we talked a lot about actors, directors, movies, and other references while writing. This is really an adoration letter to Hindi movies. There could be no alternate method for calling it.

The Dharmendra and Shabana Azmi track is delightful, in light of the fact that they might have effortlessly been (fair warning) school darlings, yet they are as a matter of fact two wedded individuals, who met one another and fall so profoundly enamored in only seven days, that it has endured for their entire lives. It treats their infidelity-born equation with such respect and affection, which is uncommon in mainstream films.

This is all Karan, truly, In the event that you see, at whatever point there is a subject like this in any of movies, he handles it with a great deal of delicacy and without any decisions. When he was coming up with ideas for the movie, I believe this was one of the first things he thought of. He started with the idea, "What if there are two characters, Jamini and Kanwal, who are unable to be together, but their grandchildren meet somewhere later?" There is no film assuming you eliminate them, they are the best piece of the film. I was truly trusting that individuals will watch that montage, where they are singing variety of old melodies. It is simply stunning!

To see Dharam ji do, Aaj Mausam Bade Beimaan Hai was such a second! I recollect with Shabana ji, she is so cool, she had asked me such countless inquiries like, 'In 1978 when Jamini went to Shimla, who went with her? because girls wouldn't travel alone back then! laughs). The creation of a Shabana Azmi character requires so much in-depth research!

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