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Film / Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham

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Released in 2001, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (Sometimes Happiness, Sometimes Sadness) was a commercially successful Bollywood film with an All-Star Cast, directed by Karan Johar. The film deals with the wealthy Raichand family. The oldest son, Rahul (who is adopted and has much angst about this fact), is disowned after eloping with an unsuitable girl. Ten years later, the younger son, Rohan, learns the truth about his brother's disappearance and sets out to reunite the family.

Opinions on this movie are sharply divided. For some, it's quintessential Bollywood, while for others, it's a Cliché Storm rife with Wangst. Either way, it's worth a watch.


This film provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: A subtle one. When Yash starts the song 'Aati kya khandala', the camera immediately cuts away to Naina, who laughs. Naina is played by Rani Mukherji, who had a role in the movie Ghulam from which the song originates.

  • Betty and Veronica: Naina and Anjali play with this trope. Naina is a Nice Girl and has known Rahul since they were children, making her fit the Betty role, while Anjali is a Genki Girl and knows Rahul for less than a year at best before she ultimately marries him, making her fit the Veronica role. However, Naina is a Socialite while Anjali is from a lower social class, which reverses their roles a bit.
  • Chorus Girls: Show up in Say Shava Shava.
  • Crowd Song: Most of the songs in this movie are this.
  • Extreme Doormat: Nandini, though she gets her Silk Hiding Steel on towards the end of second half.
  • Advertisement:
  • Fanservice: Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol dancing by the Pyramids of Egypt in see through shirts and wet saris, respectively.
  • Forgiveness: The climax is rife with apologies.
  • Genius Ditz: Grownup Pooja is mostly the first and occasionally the second-she helps Rohan in his scheme to reunite the family, and she requires MUCH less prompting to figure out Grownup Rohan's identity than his own brother.
  • Genki Girl: Anjali. In the second half she becomes a a bit too extreme for some.
  • High-School Dance: Pooja and Rohan go to the prom and declare their love for one another. They're in college, not high school, but the prom isn't so different. They're also in England, not in America, but whatever.
  • How We Got Here: First half of the film, as Rohan's grandmothers confess the circumstances of Rahul's disownment.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Despite having been in love with Rahul ever since she can remember, Naina recognizes that he loves another woman and frees him from their arranged engagement, even telling him to pursue his love. Heartwarmingly, he appreciates her sacrifice and they share a tearful hug before parting ways.
  • Meet Cute: Rahul meets Anjali as she is dancing in the street, celebrating a cricket victory. She then mistakes him for her best friend's fiance.
  • Melodrama: It was touching the first time Rohan's or Rahul's eyes filled with tears...
  • Mistaken Identity: Rohan actively encourages this, as he tries to bring his family back together.
  • Mood Whiplash: After Rohan solemnly promises to reunite his father and brother the film cuts to Pooja ... dancing to It's Raining Men.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Rahul arriving by helicopter.
  • The Musical: Of course.
  • Parental Favoritism: Rahul frequently says that Nandini prefers him over Rohan. And no one corrects him on this. However, unusually for both of these tropes, Rohan uses this as motivation to restore his broken family and carve out his own niche, instead of becoming bitter and vindictive or just leaving altogether. See Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism below.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Yashvardhan Raichand does not approve of Anjali.
  • Production Throwback:
    • The theme song of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (also directed by Karan Johar) makes an appearance during Suraj Hua Maddham, which features the actors who portrayed the One True Pairing in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. And again in the Dharma Pictures (Karan Johar's production company) Vanity Plate.
    • Shah Rukh Khan's and Kajol's characters in this movie are named Rahul and Anjali, respectively, which were also the names of their characters in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
    • After Anjali punctures Rahul's car's tire because she thought it was funny, this conversation ensues:
      Rahul: Was that a joke?
      Anjali: So what if it was?
      Rahul: I don't like jokes.
      Anjali: I don't like you!note 
  • Rule of Cool: Wherever Pooja ('Poo') goes, there always seem to be a fan blowing at her, making her hair dance. Especially when she is supposed to look beautiful. Even when she's in house and normally there wouldn't be a fan in the neighborhood. But who cares?
  • Sad Bollywood Wedding: Rahul and Anjali's wedding takes place in the shadow of her father's death and his father's disapproval.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Rohan is a male example of this trope.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Firmly on the idealistic side. Very, very firmly.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Younger Pooja teases Younger Rohan about a tongue twister that he can't say. When they meet 10 years later, him correctly saying the full sentence is the way that Pooja identifies Rohan.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Rahul and Yash. There are hints of this in Rohan's relationship with his parents, too.