Kuch Kuch Hota Hai Reviews
And what love there is, in the juicy, melodramatic plot. KKHH runs on the love triangle formed by the three central characters who meet during college. Needless to say, many things go awry and plenty of volatile emotions are stirred --- so many emotions!
What I like in KKHH is the clever use of flashbacks/back-stories to make it one of the few Bollywood films that actually justifies its two-act structure. The melodic songs were also strong. What I found tedious was the cheesy dialogue, acting, and rather bland dance sequences, the latter of which were surprisingly weak for a Hindi film, especially when compared to the fantastic set pieces of a film like 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.'
Altogether, this is one of the weaker Bollywood "hits" I have seen. It ends in a pretty satisfactory way, but that alone cannot make up for its mind-numbing, juvenile acting and dance scenes that don't deliver the goods. But the main culprit here is once again the poor dialogue. Viewers can either choose to educate themselves on this issue or live in fanboy denial. I maintain that there are two kinds of people in this world --- people that understand what I'm saying, and people that like this vomit-inducing colloquy.
Rahul Khanna (Shahrukh Khan) and the tomboy Anjali Sharma (Kajol) are students at St. Xavier's College. They are the best of friends.
One day Tina Malhotra (Rani Mukerji), the principal's daughter, enrolls at St. Xavier's. She comes from London, and she is beautiful, feminine, and sophisticated; she is the antithesis of Anjali. Rahul falls hard for Tina as soon as he meets her and actively pursues her. However, a comment he makes in class about love, saying he can only love his best friend, makes Anjali realize that she has feelings for Rahul. A love triangle begins to develop. Seeing Rahul's interest in Tina, Anjali strives to be more like Tina and for the first time in her life, begins to act more feminine. However, her attempts are only met with laughter from the rest of the school and from Rahul himself, although Tina scolds him for it. Anjali is finally motivated to tell Rahul outright that she loves him, however, before she can, Rahul confesses to her his love for Tina, leaving Anjali's heart broken.
Anjali leaves college suddenly, despite Rahul and Tina's attempts to convince her to stay as her train is leaving. When she admits that she may never return, Rahul, still unaware of Anjali's feelings for him, feels betrayed that she didn't tell him. They exchange tearful goodbyes, and Rahul is devastated. Anjali never calls nor writes.
Tina and Rahul marry and have a daughter, but due to complications, Tina dies shortly after childbirth. However, before she dies, she makes Rahul promise to name their daughter Anjali. She leaves for her daughter a series of eight previously written letters, to be given to her on each of her birthdays until she turns eight. Every year, on Anjali's birthday, she is given a letter and hears her mother's loving wishes for her; these letters become treasured memories of the mother she never knew.
In the eighth and last letter, the little girl is told about her namesake. Where Rahul had been blind, Tina had noticed Anjali's emotions and pitied her deeply. Tina had always felt guilty for coming between what she recognized as a deep love. In the letter, Tina instructs her daughter to find the older Anjali and reunite her with Rahul. Because Rahul hasn't remarried, perhaps his first love could be the mother that the young Anjali needs and wants. Taking her mother's words to heart, young Anjali soon recruits her doting grandmother (Rahul's mother, played by Farida Jalal) and grandfather (Tina's father, played by Anupam Kher) as accomplices.
However, it is revealed that the older Anjali has changed considerably from her tomboyish college days and is now a beautiful, well-groomed woman, engaged to be married to another man, Aman Mehra (played by Salman Khan). Though Anjali confesses privately that she doesn't love her fiance and will never love anyone but Rahul, she is set to marry Aman within a week. When little Anjali hears of this, she begins to pray. Miraculously, her prayers are answered, and the wedding is postponed to December.
Younger Anjali and her conspirators learn that the older Anjali will be a dance instructor/counselor at a summer camp. The younger Anjali begs Rahul to let her go and he finally relents, with her granny accompanying her there. Her namesake discovers, without the younger girl's knowledge, the truth of her new charge's parentage. Rahul greatly misses his daughter while she is away, and when she sneezes during a phone call home, he immediately rushes to be at her side. When he arrives, both he and his former best friend are shocked to see each other again. After a basketball game reminiscent of their college days and a revealing game of charades, they soon find old feelings reviving. They share a tender moment alone, but Anjali is stricken with guilt, since she is engaged. To complicate matters, Anjali's fiance arrives at the summer camp too, and Rahul soon finds out that they are engaged. Though hurt by this news, he tells Anjali how happy he is for her, and interpreting his happiness as yet another rejection of her, she decides to leave camp and move up her wedding date.
Finally, the wedding date arrives, and a deeply unsettled Anjali prepares to be married, which would mean losing Rahul forever. Rahul and young Anjali attend the wedding, both of them clearly devastated. Rahul goes to see Anjali before she descends the stairs and as a result, Anjali gets cold feet. However, Aman, following on something he earlier joked about, drags her down the steps to the wedding. Just when she seems doomed to marry him, Aman realizes he'd be coming between a fated love and decides to step aside to let them be together at last. As the ecstatic Rahul and Anjali gets married, a beaming vision of Tina appears and gives the thumbs up to little Anjali.