March 13, 2005

Bollywood Film Review: Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)


Rating: A-


  • Quality cast
  • Excellent music and song sequences
  • Moving story that's complex but thankfully light on the sub-plots


  • Salman Kahn is always a negative in my book, but at least he doesn't get the girl
  • Silly, overly-bright clothing and cheesy "modern" songs in the college flashback
  • Johnny Lever is never a good addition to any film; he's a secondary character in every other Bollywood film out there but he only knows how to overact and be annoying

You can get mp3's of all the songs at

This is another classic film produced by Yash Johar and his son, Karan Johar (they also worked together on Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham and Kal Ho Naa Ho.) Much more modern and openly campy than all the films I've reviewed so far (yes, even more so than Chori Chori Chupke Chupke), this film is fun to watch for its almost riduculous depiction of early 90's fashions, its compelling story and sympathetic characters (due mainly to its top-notch cast), and the some of the catchiest songs you've ever heard in your life... it also holds the distinction of having the most tear-jerking opening scene of any Bollywood I've seen.

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (which translates to "Somethin' Happens" or "Something is Happening," but a reliable translation isn't available) is the story of bestest college friends, too-cool-for-school Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan) and tomboyish Anjali (Kajol) and what happens when ladylike, beautiful and "more hindustani" Tina (Rani Mukherjee) steals Rahul's heart just as Anjali realizes that she loves Rahul. Poor Anjali. However, years later, Rahul and Anjali meet again and Rahul sees his chance to win her back. Naturally, older Anjali is engaged (to the icky Salman Kahn), but once you've seen one ancillary fiance/suitor in a Bollywood film you can spot the fool from a mile away.

kuch bride.jpg
Can Anjali marry a man she doesn't love?

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