About the story: Because he puts himself out for the workers’ rights in Ratanlal’s (Anwar Hussain) company Ratan Constructions, Shankar (Sunil Dutt) is perfidously murdered. Even Ratan himself falls victim to a murder. In both cases the offender was Jagdish (Ranjeet) who now is the company’s sole chief. When Jagdish attacks Shankar’s lovely widow Parvati (Rakhee Gulzar), her little son Rakesh gets a trauma which henceforth makes him suffer from hysterical madness attacks every time he sees his mother. So Shankar’s friend Robert D’Souza (Amjad Khan) and his wife Kathy (Aruna Irani) decide to help Parvati and adopt Rakesh who grows up to a carefree young man called Rocky (Sanjay Dutt). He falls in love with Renu (Tina Munim), Ratan’s daughter and heiress – but Jagdish has already chosen her as the bride for his own son R.D. (Shakti Kapoor)...
Rocky is unfortunately quite a weak film. A mostly rather uninspired story, and the plot concerning the second female lead Reena Roy takes an absolute dissatisfying end. It’s a pity that Sunil Dutt found no better story for his son’s film debut. I suspect that he wanted him to become a new young Amitabh Bachchan, but it didn’t work. Not only that Sanjay at the age of twenty was a lanky boy – far away from the muscular hunk he was to become later, so the topless scenes also were a little awkward -, his acting too was rather pale and clumsy. Only sometimes he let his true skills flash up (once for a second, I saw Khalnayak grinning into the camera), and he was definitely better in his quiet and serious scenes than at trying to turn up the heat in juvenile exuberance.
Okay, in the historical context, meaning: as Sanjay’s debut film as a grown-up, the film is worth a watch. And at the latest when Sanjay and Shakti in a disco-dancing contest (with Shammi Kapoor as himself in the jury) appear as Indian John Travoltas ("Aa Dekhe Zara"), you know that your money for the DVD was not wasted.
BTW: Sanjay made his entry in his debut film in a clip ("Rocky Mera Naam") where he, accompanied by some buddies, drives a motorbike. Eleven years later, a certain Shahrukh Khan made his entry in his debut film (Deewana/"Koi Na Koi") in exactly the same way...
Produced by Amarjeet; Directed by Sunil Dutt
151 Min.; DVD: Eros, English Subtitles (not for the songs)
P.S.: Sanju’s debut film was a sort of a little family enterprise. His father not only directed the film but also played the cameo of Rocky’s father. Ratanlal was played by his mother’s brother Anwar Hussain. And his co-star Tina Munim had been Sanju’s puppy love since a few years ago, albeit the liaison went to pieces soon after. Nargis, incidentally, was not granted to watch her son’s debut film. Five days before the release, she succumbed to her cancer ailment.