February 20, 2005

Bollywood Film Review: Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham (2001)

Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham is first-class modern Bollywood. Its producer, Yash Johar is responsible for three of the most well-made, best-grossing Indian films in the last decade. Yash Johar films have excellent casts, infectious modern Indian music and dancing, and great costumes, but this one is his masterpiece.

K3G (as the kids call it) is about the tragic break-up of the ultra-rich Raichand family. Rahul Raichand (Shah Rukh Khan) is the eldest son of Yash and Nandini Raichand (the great Amitabh Bachchan and his real-life wife, Jaya Bachchan - a legend in her own right). Yash wants Rahul to marry his best friends daughter, Naina (the lovely Rani Mukherjee), but Rahul has fallen in love with the nanny's niece, Anjali (the versitile Kajol), who lives in a poor part of town and Yash says isn't refined enough to be part of his family. Despite this, Rahul marries Anjali in a small, informal ceremony and Yash disowns him.

Jaya and Amitabh.jpg
Jaya and Amitabh at Diwali, Rani's big number

Some years later, Rahul's little brother, Rohan (the buff Hrithik Roshan), is grown up and decides to try to bring Rahul and Anjali back into the family, so he heads off to England. Once there, he runs into his childhood friend/Anjali's sister (the always sassy Kareena Kapoor), who is the most popular vigin-slut in college. She falls in love with the newly hot Rohan (he was fat as a child) and agrees to help him try to reunite the family.

kajol and shah rukh.jpg
Kajol and Shah Rukh flirting, Hrithik and Kareena heating up the college dance

Do they succeed? Of course they do - it's Bollywood. But the real fun is in the (3.5 hour) journey and experiencing all the divine melodrama for yourself. This movie is the biggest tearjerker of all time (even my dad got a little misty-eyed), but it's got great music, dancing and costumes that keep it lively. There's a good mix of traditional and modern music and dancing, as well as traditional and modern costumes. The modern ones tend to be over-the-top "trendy", so they come off looking silly at times, but that's part of the fun of Bollywood. The acting is the best Bollywood has to offer, which you'd expect from six of the most popular Bollywood stars of all time.

happy family.jpg
The Super Six - Kajol, Shah Rukh, Jaya, Amitabh, Kareena and Hrithik


  • Moving, well-executed story
  • Dynamic, complex characters
  • Great traditional outfits
  • EXCELLENT soundtrack and dance sequences
  • Production value

You can get mp3's of all the songs at bollyfm.net. My favorite songs: Bole Chudiyan, Deewana Hai Dekho, Yeh Ladka Hai Allah, You Are My Sonia

Weaknesses: It's very, very long.

Rating: A+

Posted by Kristina at February 20, 2005 01:20 PM

Best movie in the bollywood movie. has my fav. actress too.. (def. not rani nor kareena)

Posted by: joojip at April 7, 2005 02:54 PM

what does the title mean?

Posted by: kati at April 8, 2005 01:35 PM

The English subtitle on the DVD case says "Happiness & Tears." However, since the movie title is also the title of the main song in the movie, I think it means "Whether/Through Smiles or Tears" because that's what the translation the subtitles give during the chorus. I like the latter translation better because it better conveys the main theme of the movie, which is that families must remain together through good times and bad.

Posted by: Kristina at April 9, 2005 10:06 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?