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Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham Movie Review

The year 2001 has proved to be disastrous for the film industry!

Earthquake, threats from the underworld, the biggest of films falling like a pack of cards, the Overseas market going bust, the war… directly or indirectly took a heavy toll on the film industry.

The million dollar question is, will KABHI KHUSHI KABHIE GHAM bail out the film industry that finds itself in dire straits? Will it prove the saviour for an industry that's thirsting for a hit?

Dharma Productions' KABHI KHUSHI KABHIE GHAM, written-directed by Karan Johar, is one film that strikes the right balance between form and content. The final outcome – A winner all the way!

Yashovardhan Raichand (Amitabh Bachchan) and his wife Nandini (Jaya Bachchan) have raised their sons Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan) and Rohan (Hrithik Roshan) showering them with love and affection. Yash has tried to pass on to his sons the values, the heritage and the rich traditions of his family, which he cherishes and holds in great regard.

On the other hand, Nandini has different dreams and aspirations for her two sons. But she shares a special bond with Rahul, the eldest son, who's an adopted child.

Rahul's adoption has always been kept a secret. But ever since Rahul himself found that out at the tender age of 8 years, it has been the reason for his unending devotion and gratitude for his parents – especially his father. His father's every word, every wish becomes an unwritten commandment for him. One that he would never break, but unfortunately he does.

Because Rahul falls in love!

Rahul falls in love with Anjali (Kajol), a bubbly girl from Delhi's Chandni Chowk, who dotes on her younger sister Pooja (Kareena Kapoor) and cares madly about her ailing father Bauji (Alok Nath). A simple girl who Rahul marries and brings home. A girl that makes a proud stubborn man forget that he is a father and reminds a son that he is adopted.

Rahul decides to leave the mother who taught and encouraged him to fall in love and whose every waking moment henceforth will be spent waiting eagerly for her elder son to return home.

But Rohan makes a promise to re-unite the family.

Assembling a mammoth star cast like this must've been a Herculean task. But justifying each of the characters merits the highest praise. With KABHI KHUSHI KABHIE GHAM, Karan Johar proves that KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI was no flash in the pan. With KABHI KHUSHI KABHIE GHAM, the young director confirms the fact that he is the brightest in film firmament.

The premise of KABHI KHUSHI KABHIE GHAM is simple, but it is the storytelling that deserves the highest marks. Actually, the very start of the film makes you sit up and look forward to this thoroughly entertaining ride that lasts 3.30 hours.

Handled with utmost sensitivity, the subject slips between emotional sequences to dramatic confrontations to light moments [aplenty in the second half!] with utmost ease. There are several sequences that leave an indelible impression and remain etched in your memory even after the show has ended. Some instances:

In the first half –

1. SRK's introduction [at the end of the title track], with Jaya Bachchan staring anxiously at the entrance.
2. The emotional scene between SRK and Rani Mukerji, soon after Amitabh announces their marriage.
3. In the Chandni Chowk mela, SRK making Kajol wear the bangles, while admitting his love for her.
4. Alok Nath's demise on a rainy day and SRK marrying Kajol soon thereafter.
5. The confrontation sequence between Amitabh and SRK when the former states that by marrying Kajol, he has proved that he is an adopted son.
6. Jaya Bachchan giving kangans to her newly-wed bahu Kajol, after both SRK and Kajol have been turned away by Amitabh, and then asking the couple to leave the house.

In the second half –

1. Kareena's introduction and the subsequent sequences with her friends and college mates.
2. The rendition of the national anthem by SRK and Kajol's kid in London.
3. The telephonic chat between Jaya Bachchan and Kajol just before the karwa chouth sequence.
4. The shoe lace sequence between Hrithik Roshan and Farida Jalal.
5. The emotion-charged sequence between the two brothers – SRK and Hrithik – when SRK learns of Hrithik's true identity.
6. The scene towards the pre-climax, shot in a shopping mall, when Jaya Bachchan and SRK meet after a gap of nine years.
7. In the same shopping mall, Kajol coming face to face with Amitabh.
8. Jaya Bachchan's 'pati parmeshwar' scene with Amitabh – giving vent to her pent up feelings.
9. The confrontation sequence between Amitabh and Hrithik Roshan towards the climax.
10. The very last scene, when Amitabh re-unites with his estranged son, SRK, and asks for forgiveness.

These are just a handful of sequences that display the masterly touch of a craftsman – Karan Johar – whose labour is visible in every frame. He is the actual hero of the film. The USP of the film, besides the star cast of course, are the emotional moments and scenes soaked with values, which are undoubtedly heart rending. Moreover, the director has very well justified all the six principal performers. The first half has its moments of glory, although the pace drops slightly, but it is the second half that keeps you spellbound.

Besides the above-mentioned well-written and brilliantly executed sequences, the film is also embellished with stunning choreography (Farah Khan), opulent sets (Sharmishta Roy), trendy outfits (Manish Malhotra, Shabina Khan, Rocky S.) and outstanding visuals (Kiran Deohans).

Musically (Jatin-Lalit and Sandesh Shandilya), the score ranges from the upbeat ('You are My Soniya') to the mesmerising (the title track) to the soulful ('Suraj Hua Maddham') to the catchy ('Bole Chudiya'), offering a wide variety to the viewers. The 'Shava Shava' track (Adesh Shrivastava) will be loved by the masses, more so when Amitabh breaks into the 'Aati Kya Khandala' jig immediately after this song.

And now to the performances!

It's indeed difficult to pinpoint the best performer of the lot. Footage-wise, SRK dominates the first half, while Hrithik dominates the post-interval portions. Amongst leading ladies, Kajol towers in the first half, while Kareena displays histrionics in the second half.

Amitabh Bachchan delivers yet another power-packed performance, although his role is similar to the ones in MOHABBATEIN and EK RISHTAA. The sequence in the end, when he re-unites with SRK, is simply fabulous. Only a seasoned actor could've enacted this lengthy, difficult scene.

Jaya Bachchan delivers a performance that will win her laurels and accolades. She contributes enormously to the emotional moments in the film. Her 'pati parmeshwar' sequence is simply awe-inspiring.

Shah Rukh Khan sparkles yet again. His character is such, you can't help but fall in love with this selfless man. And the actor performs it with amazing poise, class, honesty and maturity. His re-union with his mother and the father subsequently will prompt people to shed bucket-full of tears.

Kajol is first-rate in the role of a typical Chandni Chowk lass. Her Punjabi dialect will win her immense praise. The sequence when she seeks Amitabh's aashirwad, without him knowing about it [in the shopping mall], is terrific.

Hrithik Roshan looks dashing and handles the delicate moments with admirable ease, proving yet again that he is not merely a excellent dancer and a great looker, but a superb performer as well. The confrontation with Amitabh in the concluding reels is ample proof to substantiate this statement.

Kareena Kapoor is one of the main the highlights of the film. She provides the much-needed fun and entertainment in the second half; her performance will be loved by the youth. Playing a cosmetic beauty to the hilt, she is simply adorable.

Rani Mukerji leaves a mark in a small, but significant role. Farida Jalal, Achla Sachdev, Sushma Seth, Himani Shivpuri and Johny Lever lend admirable support.

On the whole, KABHI KHUSHI KABHIE GHAM will re-write box-office history. Its massive star cast, historic opening and extra-ordinary merits will unquestionably make it one of the biggest grosser of all times. For the drought-stricken film industry, the film will prove to be khushi, more khushi and only khushi.


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