Monday, May 19, 2008

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

Although it is my least favorite Karan Johar film, I can't hate Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham because it gave us the bangle scene and "Suraj Hua Madam."

I could really write this whole post on how much I love that song. Yes, it's a bit over the top (Shahrukh and Kajol overdo some of their caresses and fake necking simulations), but it's also very hot. There's just something about it...The scorching Egyptian sun, the pulsating beat of the music, Kajol's smoldering eyeliner...

But I digress. K3G is not at the top of my list because it is way too long and the story isn't all that captivating. However, there are some memorable moments in the film worth mentioning--I'll get to that later.

The movie is pretty dragged out, particularly in the second half. Not a surprise, as Karan Johar is known for this. But while it irritated me in some of his other films such as Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kal Ho Naa Ho, I forgave him because I loved those movies so much. In Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, I was a lot less understanding.

What's strange about this film is that I can't figure out why it didn't grab me; I kept feeling like I should have loved it. Because while I think it ran an hour and half too long, there were some moments throughout that I would consider classic in my journey through Bollywood:

1)An all star cast, with Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan as Mommy and Daddy and Hrithik and Shahrukh as brothers. What could top that happy family? Try Kajol and Kareena as love interests for the boys, and even Rani in a cameo. What's next, Aishwayra as the visiting cousin? Anyways, everyone worked well together and seemed to have fun.

2)The music! "You Are My Soniya" was sweet and the title song was catchy. "Bole Chudiyan" left me starstruck when the three leading men were onscreen together. I wish I could have been an extra in this song! Also, I love "Suraj Hua Madam." Did I mention that?

3)Shahrukh and Kajol's courtship. As far I'm concerned, after they got together, the film could have ended. While Kajol annoyed me at times in this role (a first for me because I love me some Kajol), I really liked the way Shahrukh pursued her. It was also cool when her braid kept getting stuck on his wrist and clothing. My only complaint is the scene where Rahul(Shahrukh) touches Anjali(Kajol)'s forehead as a symbol of their forthcoming marriage. This coupled with flashes of the actual wedding was effective and unique, but it would have been kind of cool to see Shahrukh and Kajol get married onscreen since they're such a popular couple (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai doesn't count because it was so impromptu--Shahrukh wasn't even dressed properly for it!).

4)Shahrukh's look. I like him best in his "mid-career" days, where he doesn't have the mullet from his earlier films and isn't quite as thin as he is now. This is my favorite way to watch King Khan...charming, fresh faced, and lip syncing to Udit Narayan.

5)The scene when Shahrukh's Rahul and Hrithik's Rohan lay eyes on one another for the first time in ten years. Although Rahul doesn't know it's his brother, he senses something familiar, and Rohan is moved to tears. It gave me chills.

6)The Infamous Bangle Scene.

7)**Possible Spoiler**The end credits, where all is well and we see the family together at Rohan and Pooja's wedding. Wish I could have seen this on full screen instead of a small box. And wish it would have lasted a teensy bit longer.

I'm not going to go on a tangent about Kareena looking like Paris Hilton because I already apologized to her in my Jab We Met post.

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham never really won my heart, but I guess it was worthwhile for these special moments. I'm glad I saw it, but it doesn't come close to Johar's classic Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Had I been a Bollywood watcher when these two movies came out, I would have been greatly disappointed walking out of the theater after seeing K3G. However, I'll still watch this again...any excuse to spend time with Amitabh, Shahrukh, and friends!

Text © Nida Nazir 2008


Magpie Ima May 22, 2008 at 6:38 PM  

Apart from the appalling "Poo" scenes and the see-through shirts (not even SRK can pull that off) I rather like this one. The best scene for me--Rukhsar's wedding. That was some fine dancing!

Joss,  May 23, 2008 at 4:42 AM  

I thought you were going to say more about the Bangle Scene. It was really hot, but I was a bit shocked to see Shah Rukh almost ... well ... raping Kajol.

I loved this film, but have not revisited it. I wouldn't say it was too long because the ending was well worth the wait. I was in floods of tears, possibly more so than for any other Hindi film I have seen.

You're right, it was an all-star cast. What could possibly go wrong? Well, I watched Don last night, and was asking myseld something similar. "All-star cast, so what went wrong?!!!" Makes me realise the importance of the script, and how far a good script is from no script at all!

I'm glad you reminded me of this film. I think I'll get it out again.

ajnabi May 23, 2008 at 7:47 AM  

My husband and I were just talking about this movie before he went to work. We both think it's more like a play than a movie--although minus the claustrophobic feeling plays on film often convey. That's the only way we can deal with Poo. I'm with you, I love this film even though it really isn't nearly as great as KKHH.

Nida May 23, 2008 at 12:10 PM  

Magpie Ima,

I agree about Rukhsar's wedding. As a matter of fact, I rewatched that scene while snapping images for this post and realized just how well done it was. This was classic SRK dancing all the way! And his entrance into the scene was pretty cool as well, with the fake wind blowing through his hair and the sitar in the background...

As for the see-through shirts, its funny you should mention them...My mom commented on SRK's aqua sheer shirt in "Suraj Hua Madam"...except she really liked it!:)

Nida May 23, 2008 at 12:23 PM  


I should have said more about the Bangle Scene, because I know it's a biggie in this film. Well, here goes... For some disturbing reason, it doesn't bother me, despite the fact that SRK is really aggressive. Now, I don't find that attractive at all in real life, and if any guy did something like that to me I would slap him! But, because I know it's part of SRK's "thing"--you know where he gets aggressive with the women and then couples it up with tenderness--that oddly makes it "ok". I don't know why. What is it about this guy that he can get away with this stuff and women swoon (including me)? Lol.

Wow, sounds like KKKG had quite an effect on you! I'm glad to hear it--helps me make sense of what other people see in this film that I don't--Because I do realize a lot of people love this film, and wouldn't change a bit! It's always interesting to get another perspective.

As for your "Don" experience, I'm with you there. That wasn't one of my faves, either. ;)

Nida May 23, 2008 at 12:25 PM  


A play...interesting, I can definitely see where you are coming from!

As for Poo, sounds like you're not the only person who can't stand her!

Tanya Verma May 26, 2008 at 10:16 AM  

Hi Nida.

Came here for the first time as I'm browsing around for some Bollywood blogs. I'm glad I found yours :-). Great work!

Reema May 27, 2008 at 10:39 AM  

"Wish I could have seen this on full screen instead of a small box."

Actually, Karan includes the scene in full size in the extras section of the movie. It's in the deleted scenes I think.

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat May 28, 2008 at 7:50 AM  

I will commit a sin and own up that I categorically dislike this movie- in fact the triumverate of KKHH, K3G and KANK almost made me go off SRK. Its just tooooo sanitized, glossed and nice for me :)

Nida June 2, 2008 at 9:22 AM  


Thank you for introducing yourself and welcome! Hope to see you around again soon!:)


I'm so mad, I don't have the deleted scenes. I bought my copy off Amazon, and although I don't think it's pirated, it is kind of weird looking.


Finally, someone who doesn't love this movie! Not that at I hated it, as you can see from my post I kind of enjoyed it...but I was just surprised at how many people consider this a beloved film. But did you really consider SRK glossed over in KANK?

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat June 3, 2008 at 9:38 AM  

I think I dont like the KAran Johar-SRK combo, period. I've found SRK quite reasonable when acting w/ other directors.
In KANK, he is so self pittying and annoying, and yet supposedly the hero of the piece :S- in that one, if he had just been a little less OTT, he'd probably work, but ... sigh.

yves June 6, 2008 at 2:40 PM  

Hi everyone, Nida, Shweta,
It's cool to go back and talk about what you call the Karan Johar-SRK combo - because probably today, I would just stare and yawn at the flicks, BUT they did their effect when I started out on B'wood, they were my introduction - almost, there was also Mani Ratnam and Mira Nair, to Bollywwod.
So I can't really say too many bad things about them. I actually (broad-mindedly?!) loved Poo in K3G, her "whatever" still makes me smile, because it reminds me of certain comedy characters of the British scene; I love Kajol - even if she's a bit OTT in K3G -, and Rani who's by definition perfect wherever she treads. And I'll always, come what may stand up for Amitabh.
So in fact I'm voicing my gratitude here, these films have opened up for me the fun and charm(artificial, but thoughtlessly pleasurable) of a type of cinema I didn't know existed, and which is the reason why I'm here talking to ye log.

Nida June 8, 2008 at 1:18 PM  

Yves and Shweta,

It's so interesting the way SRK fans who are new to Bollywood perceive him as opposed to those who have followed his career from the beginning. I'm in the same boat as you Yves, because the whole SRK-brand image that Shahrukh and Karan spent a lot of time perfecting is actually one of the first things that got me stuck on Bollywood. After branching out(or trying to) and watching Shahrukh in some of his earlier works(Such as Baazigar),I can see why this whole image may have been an adjustment for his earlier fans. Having said that, I do prefer the branded image! It's just such a refreshing treat for someone like me who has never found such charm in the Hollywood heartthrobs...Even in KANK(where his character was a jerk), I found him appealing but in a very unhealthy, this-is-so-not-good-for-me-I-should-be-thinking-about-Abhishek-kind of way. And in K3G, as I said in the post, it was one of the things I did like about this film.

Daddy's Girl July 7, 2008 at 10:11 AM  

I adore 'Suraj Hua Maddham'!!! I could watch it endlessly... just love it. For me, this movie is not great - it's way too long and drawn out, there is a lot of cheesiness in it and Poo is just AWFUL... but I totally agree that it definitely has its special moments. I think that's true of pretty much everything Karan Johar has done so far.

Nida July 8, 2008 at 1:29 PM  

Daddy's Girl--

Sounds like we are on the same page with this film! I agree about Karan's films--they have some truly fantastic elements in them-but are not without flaws throughout.

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is one of my favorite films, but luckily the good elements of the movie were so good they outweighed the bad. Could you imagine how awful that film would have been if the actors wouldn't have done such a great job?

Daddy's Girl July 10, 2008 at 2:06 AM  

I totally agree with you about KKHH (my favourite Karan Johar movie) - it could've gone terribly, terribly wrong if the acting hadn't been so great. No wonder K Jo is so in love with SRK, Kajol & Rani!

Nida July 10, 2008 at 8:41 AM  

Daddy's Girl,

"No wonder K Jo is so in love with SRK, Kajol & Rani!"

So funny, I always thought the same thing :)

Anonymous,  August 31, 2009 at 7:22 PM  

I actually loved "Poo," but I had already fallen hopelessly in love with Kareena after seeing Omkara and Jab We Met. I only watched Kabhi Kushi for her sake.

The first time I ever saw Kareena was in "Mujhse Dosti Karoge," when she was basically playing the same type of character. I loathed her then, so I understand your impression!

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