177 Min | Comedy – Musical – Romance | October 1998
IMDB Rating: 7.9
Director: Karan Johar
Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Rani Mukerji, Salman Khan
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai Review: Karan Johar’s directorial debut Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is one of those films you can always watch and enjoy with your family and friends. In spite of being a bit of a fairy tale, it works very well within its limitations. It is one of those beautiful Hindi romantic comedies that actually form the unique cultural and artistic style of Bollywood’s most famous mainstream flicks. This is an enjoyable and charming picture which can make you laugh, cry, at times even cringe with annoyance, but then it will keep you consistently entertained. The film introduces Johar’s famous statement that the first step towards love is friendship and does it in a slightly cheesy yet rather convincing way. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, is a poignant story of two friends, a guy and a girl, who understand they actually love each other perhaps too late. And that’s how it goes on.
It flows well, with wonderfully composed songs, nicely written characters, several clichés here and there, many comic sequences, some melodramatic ones as well, but more importantly, a lot of Bollywood-style colour and fun. In Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Shahrukh Khan and Kajol work with electrifying chemistry. Their scenes together are pure magic. Both give crafted performances. Kajol is more impressive as the cool tomboy who transforms into a womanly, attractive and sensitive Anjali. She displays the pain, joy, happiness and confusion that her character goes through with great conviction. Shahrukh is fantastic as the young, cool guy, friend and boyfriend and later on as a loving and caring father who has lost his wife and suffers her loss. Rani Mukherjee is beautiful and vibrant and makes for a very effective intelligent and dreamy girl. This is not an accomplished but very sincere performance which deserves full praise.
Salman Khan is very good and surprisingly enough, manages to impress even in a brief, seemingly insignificant appearance. It may be because his character makes a great impact on the film’s story and on the viewer. The film’s music is very impressive, the title song being favourite, and among other songs, the melancholic “Tujhe Yaad Na Meri Aayee” is very beautiful. Towards the end, there are some overly melodramatic sequences but they flow well enough to bring the long-awaited ending. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is overall great entertainment and a must-watch for lovers of Hindi cinema and its films. It is compelling, moving and memorable, and is always fun to revisit.