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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.

  • Beta Couple: Pooja and Rohan become the second major couple after Rahul and Anjali, with two dance numbers dedicated solely to them.
  • 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.
  • Childhood Friend Romance:
    • Unlucky Naina, who's been in love with Rahul for as long as she can remember. Rahul, however, while loving her as a friend, does not reciprocate and falls in love with Anjali.
    • Pooja and Rohan have shades of this in the first half of the movie. When they meet 10 years later, they're instantly attracted to each other.
  • 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.
  • Fanservice: Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol dancing by the Pyramids of Egypt in see-through shirts that later go transparent 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.

  • Happily Adopted: Rahul, who was treated as just as part of the family as the rest and dearly beloved by his parents, brother and grandmothers. And then he was disowned by his father.
  • 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.
  • Incoming Ham: Anjali's very first appearance, which takes place right after a sports match.
    Anjali: WEEEE WOOOOOOON!!!!!!!
  • I Have No Son!: Impetus for much of the plot. After Rahul marries Anjali, Yash tells him that, by failing to live up to the family traditions and to do what Yash had expressly asked him to do, Rahul now showed him he really wasn't his son, and had lost the right to call Yash a father. This example stings particularly because Rahul (who until this point had pretty much been the perfect son) also happens to be adopted, and leads to Rahul leaving the country and losing contact with his parents and brother for a decade..
  • Imagine Spot: Two examples:
    • The "Suraj Hua Maddham" number is this as a whole for Rahul and Anjali being together after their date in the fair. It has Rahul and Anjali imagining their lives together and following each family's traditions; Rahul imagines her in his mansion's parties, while Anjali imagines them dancing in the streets together under the rain. The number ends with a Smash Cut to Anjali arriving home, and her realizing that their relationship can not be due to their differences in status.
    • In "Bole Chudiyan", Rahul and Rohan's parents suddenly join the dance number and happily accept Rahul and Anjali. It's quickly shown to be a tearful Rohan's daydreaming.
  • 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.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Rohan and Pooja are victims of this.
  • Long Lost Sibling: Rahul and Rohan. When Rahul left the family, he asked Rohan to never ask why he left, leading to a 10-year separation. The plot consists of Rohan now searching for Rahul and bringing the family together.
  • Match Cut: Twice.
    • The first time when Nandini gets up on a stool to meet Yash's face and do up his tie, then she leans in to hug him...which cuts to Anjali leaning on Rahul's shoulder.
    • When Yash kisses Anjali's forehead in forgiveness and reconciliation in the study, cutting to him kissing her forehead again at Rohan's and Pooja's wedding celebrations.
  • 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: A small example in Anjali and Rahul's first meeting, in which Anjali mistakes him for her friend's fiance. Much later, Rohan actively encourages this with his brother and wife, as he tries to bring his family back together but knows Rahul might refuse to go back.
  • 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.
  • No Indoor Voice: Anjali, who has a tendency to be really loud while talking as well as singing, which further contrasts her with Naina. It's very much noted (and complained about) by the British neighbors.
  • 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.