Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

kuch-kuch-hota-hai-1998-poster

Original Title: कुछ कुछ होता है
Alternate Titles: KKHH, Some Things Happen
Release Date: October 16, 1998
Director: Karan Johar
Screenplay by: Karan Johar
Cast: Kajol, Shahrukh Khan, Rani Mukerji, Sana Saeed, Farida Jalal, Himani Shivpuri, Anupam Kher, Archana Puran Singh, Reema Lagoo

I’ve just started and I’ve already seen Kuch Kuch Hota Hai twice — best 6hrs. of my life. You see, this overly-long melodramatic rom-com is the best fluff I’ve watched… since I probably saw Sunny back in 2011. And I watched that one like 10 times that year.

In pure essence, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai which translates to “some things happen in my heart” is the road of a man looking to reconnect with his ex-best-friend, whom he lost touch nearly 8 years before. What makes this a melodrama, of course, is the setup. The first shot of the film has a puffed and teary Rahul (Khan) as he creamtes the rests of his wife, Tina (Mukerji), who has passed away after the birth of their child whom Tina makes Rahul swear will be called Anjali (Saeed). It’s like My Life Without Me when Tina gives her mother-in-law (Jalal) 8 letters to be given to young Anjali in each of her birthdays.

On the year Anjali is set to turn 8 and receives her mother’s last letter, she is told the story between Rahul, Tina and Anjali. Indian films love these stories within the story, it seems. I’ve only seen a handful, but it’s been a device in more than 85% of them. So while the first half of the film deals with showing us the relationship between ladies man Rahul in his college days with his best friend tomboy Anjali (Kajol), how he fell in love with Tina and how this came between his relationship with his friend; the second half of the film deals with Rahul’s kid Young Anjali plotting to get her father to get together with the Original Anjali.

It’s simple straightforward storytelling and you wonder why they needed three hours to tell it, but it’s so worth it because it’s so damn fun especially when your screen is full of Kajol’s huffing and puffing in less glamorous 90s clothing style, and that playful banter she had going with Rahul. At times it gets a bit boring to think how similar Shahrukh Khan’s roles can get (but he made up with Veer-Zaara), but it’s all fun and game in here with the musical numbers, which do seem to be a LOT more filler than in DDLJ but also seem to be a lot catchier — Koi Mil Gaya [1] — and easier to sing along to, like the title song [1].

Though I know Kuch Kuch Hota Hai isn’t as “serious” in cultural themes as DDLJ or as epic in its love story like Veer-Zaara, I actually think it aids its playability factor. If the film was centered in Kajol’s character, instead of SRK’s, I even could have added it to my list of Top Flicks About Chicks, because both Kajol and to an extent Rani’s characters are quite compelling, and Young Anjali stands her own. My only girly grip is that Anjali should have won that basketball stand-off, I’m just saying… with or without her Sari.

Overall, this is probably a GREAT pick to get into Indian cinema, though there’s always going to be that thing about the running time. Don’t blame me, blame Hollywood and their running time business. It’s spoiled me and the rest of the world. However, there’s no denying- after a session of KKHH, you can catch me swiftly shoulder-thumping to Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

Rating: ★★★¾☆ 

You can get a copy of KKHH on DVD with multiple subtitles | Bluray with English subtitles | EROSNOWNetflix | iTunes US | iTunes OST

amy

YAM Magazine editor, photographer, blogger, translator and part-time web designer. Film junkie, music junkie… and lately series (a.k.a. TV) junkie.

20 Responses

  1. Jenna says:

    Have you fallen for SRK already?? lol. Seeing three of his movies in quick succession…. :X

    • amy says:

      @Jenna, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen at least 5 or 6 xD but I’m a little more picky with the actors I follow xD

      Any other Kajol or Rani picks I should delve into?

      • Jenna says:

        @amy, Staying on the lighter side of things yet, if you want more Rani check out Mujhse Dosti Karoge! (you can finally meet Mr. Hrithik Roshan) Hum Tum is fun and that will introduce you to Saif Ali Khan. She’s REALLY good in Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, that film is a little darker, and got not as good reviews, but it was one of my favorites of hers. Bunty Aur Bubli is a favorite of mine, it’s lots of fun! (I’m actually re-watching it now…:) And as far as Kajol goes, I’d say check out Kabhi Khush Kabhie Gham and U Me Aur Hum.

        Also, I blame YOU now because I want to start writing again and reviewing some of my favorites. :)

        • amy says:

          @Jenna, well, there you go! Hand in hand! Let’s fill the site with Indian reviews lol – I was reading on Wiki. Are Kajol and Rani cousins or something? xD I’ve liked Rani’s off-beat choice of role

  2. Jenna says:

    @amy Yes! They are cousins. You’ll find after awhile that everyone in Bollywood is related to someone. Except Shahrukh. lol. He scraped his way in there all on his own. Although, his wife has now joined him in producing films. Rani has a GREAT eye for films. She does always try to pick characters that have something that sets them apart. Interesting factoid – when she first started out they dubbed over her delightfully raspy voice because they thought it wasn’t good enough for the mainstream public – but after she proved her worth they finally let her start dubbing her own material. (ALL dialogue is dubbed in post production. And actually dub-overs of voices is more common than you might think)

    • amy says:

      @Jenna, so it’s like China? They dub over anything so you never actually know if the original audio is in Mandarin or Cantonese. LOL Sometimes you see actors’ lips matching the Mandarin audio, and then the other scene their lips match the Cantonese track. What I usually do is pick the Cantonese audio when it’s set in HK, and stay with Mandarin for any period piece.

      This also seems to be a cultural difference… I thought Rani’s physical appearance was more standard beauty, and Kajol was more like hidden beauty. Apparently, it’s the other way around in India xD

      • Jenna says:

        @amy, lol, yeah. Everything is done in post because originally they didn’t have as high quality equipment to capture voices, plus, like I said they like to dub over voices too. Also, there are SO many languages in India that most of the movies are dubbed into other languages even as they’re released in theaters, so dubbing in post adds to the efficiency in that.

        And yes, Rani has had some issues with her looks. Because in general terms she’s more in tune with the common beauty concepts of South India (which makes sense because she’s actually Bengali) In the South they tend to appreciate curvier women with rounder faces and dark skin is more acceptable. In the North it’s more typical of what you think of in the Western world. Because Bollywood has been so influenced by Hollywood. So fair skin, very thin and model faces are more the norm.
        However, no one has quite embraced the uni-brow as gracefully as Kajol. ;)

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