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Film / Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

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Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (or Something Happens) is Karan Johar's debut film starring Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Rani Mukherji, released in 1998. It was seen as a rebuttal to another popular hit named Dil To Pagal Hai that contended that friendship and love were different and could never overlap. This movie's main message, in contrast, was that love can blossom from friendship. Known for its catchy music, hit jodi of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, and being very very sappy.

Rahul (Khan) and Anjali (Kajol) are best friends in St. Xavier's College. Tina (Mukherji), a transfer student from Oxford, arrives and quickly catches Rahul's attention. Anjali starts to get jealous and realizes that she is falling in love. But unfortunately for her, Rahul has eyes only for Tina and she leaves in the middle of the term, unable to take it. Rahul and Tina get married and have a daughter. Tina dies after giving birth and leaves a set of letters that reveal what happened to her eight-year-old daughter, who vows to fix up her father with his long-lost best friend.

It is thematically similar to the Ryan Reynolds film Definitely, Maybe but it predates that movie by a decade.

This film contains examples of:

  • Almost Kiss: Happens with Rahul and Tina.
  • And Starring: Salman Khan (Aman) is credited with this.
  • Beautiful All Along: Zigzagged. Anjali is regarded as a tomboy, and her first attempt at dressing up turns her into a laughingstock. But both Rahul and Tina admit that she is pretty and merely had a bad fashion sense. Of course, years later, Anjali has graduated into a breathtaking beauty.
  • Belated Love Epiphany: Anjali had years of Rahul to herself, but she only realizes that she is in love with him when his attention is no longer focused on her.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • Anjali is the Betty and Tina is the Veronica to Rahul's Archie.
    • Taken a step further. Karan Johar has explicitly confirmed that the movie is directly inspired by Archie comics, down to Mr. Malhotra, Tina's father and the college principal, being based on Mr. Weatherbee, besides the main love triangle.
  • Birth-Death Juxtaposition: The movie starts with the birth of Anjali and the death of her mother Tina.
  • Break Up Song: Cue "Tujhe Yaad Na Meri Aayi".
  • Cultural Translation: During the scene where the camp attendees play charades and guess movies by the scenes they are acting out, the German dub replaces the names of the Bollywood movies mentioned to Hollywood titles.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Anjali isn't dead, but she has been estranged from Rahul and Tina for years. The latter chooses to name her newborn daughter after her, as a way to memorialize their former friendship.
  • Death by Childbirth: Tina dies shortly after giving birth to her and Rahul's daughter due to bleeding organs. She survives long enough to name her, as well writing eight letters to be given to her daughter for her first eight birthdays.
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: The Love Triangle between Anjali-Rahul-Tina ends after Tina's death. Rahul was initially reluctant to remarry due to his principal to marry only once in a lifetime. However, upon meeting Anjali again after losing contact for years and eventually realized to have fallen genuinely in love with her, he pursues her again. After bing heartbroken twice when Anjali almost marries her fiancé, Aman, Rahul and Anjali could eventually get together when Aman gives his blessing for their marriage.
  • Downer Beginning: The film starts with Rahul tearfully staring at Tina's funeral pyre as he remembers their time together, along with Tina's dying wish.
  • Fanservice: Lots.
    • One instance is during the song "Yeh Ladki Badi Anjaani Hai" when the wind blows Anjali's sari open, making her bare her stomach.
    • There's a required Wet Sari Scene, with a woman dressed in her soaking wet sari.
  • First Love: Rahul for Anjali and Tina for Rahul.
  • Girliness Upgrade: Happens to Anjali. Her first attempt in college is disastrous, but she has gotten better years later.
  • Gratuitous English: Justified with Tina, since she was raised in England. As for the others, it seems that English is a second language at St. Xavier, as everyone uses it to a degree.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: It starts to rain when Rahul reveals to Anjali that he is going to confess his love to Tina.
  • Happy Rain: The girl in wet sari happens to love the rain that soaks her.
  • High School Rocks: Technically, they're supposed to be at a college, but otherwise they fit.
  • Hot for Teacher: Mrs. Braganza attracts attention from both her students and Mr. Malhotra.
  • How Dad Met Mom: The first half of the film is dominated by a flashback showing how Rahul and Tina meet, as well as their friendship with Anjali.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Why Anjali leaves Rahul to Tina and why Aman leaves Anjali to Rahul.
  • Kids Play Matchmaker: Tina's letter to her daughter, Anjali, asks her to bring Rahul and her namesake together. This forms the plot of the film's second half.
  • Love Hurts: And how! Cue Song Tujhe Yaad Na Meri Aayi, Kissi Se Aab Kya Kehna roughly translated as You did not remember me, what's left for me to say?.
  • The Mourning After: Rahul's motto is "one life, one love, one death", so he initially refuses to marry again after Tina's death. Changing his mind is his daughter's goal for the duration of the film.
  • New Old Flame: Anjali is already engaged to Aman, but by the time she and her long-lost best friend, Rahul, meet again after being estranged for years, she comes to love Rahul again.
  • Nice Guy: Aman. He even makes Anjali marry Rahul instead of him on his supposed-wedding day, because he knows that she loves Rahul, even though he himself loves her a lot.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. There is Anjali Khanna, Rahul's and Tina's daughter, and Anjali Sharma, their friend and the former's namesake. One scene in the film is about a telephone miscommunication that leads to the former conversing with the latter's fiancé, Aman, while the latter converses with Rahul, both unknowingly.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Sardarji, the mute boy at the summer camp, is revealed to be not mute after all, when he tearfully asks Anjali to stay after she decides to fast-track her wedding to Aman.
  • Papa Wolf: Exploited. Anjali pretends to be ill in order to lure Rahul to the camp she is staying.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Savita, Rahul's mother. The first thing she does upon arriving at the Shimla summer camp is to chastise the summer camp owner, Mr. Almeida, for flying the Union Jack.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Rahul and Anjali start as this, but things begin to unravel when Tina arrives and attracts Rahul's attention, while Anjali realizes that she is in love with her supposedly platonic best friend.
  • Power of Love: The movie ends happily because of this.
  • Romantic Rain: It's raining at the summer camp when Rahul finally realizes that he is falling for Anjali.
  • Sad Bollywood Wedding: Anjali's almost- wedding to Aman.
  • Second Love: Following his wife Tina's death, Rahul eventually finds love again with his longtime best friend, Anjali.
  • Sexy Soaked Shirt: Actor Shah Rukh Khan's character gets soaked. See it here.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Principal Malhotra has lots with Ms. Braganza in the flashback. They're not together in the present, but she reappears during the wedding scene at the end.
    • Sardarji kisses Anjali Khanna on the cheek when she arrives at the summer camp, much to her shock. He does this again in the ending, though this time she doesn't mind.
  • Token Minority: Rifat Qazi, the Muslim landlady of the boarding house where Anjali lived during college.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Anjali and Tina.
  • Train-Station Goodbye: When Anjali leaves Rahul to Tina. Includes a Please, Don't Leave Me by Rahul.
  • Two Girls and a Guy: Tina, Anjali, and Rahul.
  • The Voiceless: The Sikh child at the camp never utters a word, except when tearfully pleading Anjali not to leave the camp.
  • Why Waste a Wedding?: When Aman realizes that Anjali is in love with Rahul, he makes them marry in the same wedding ceremony that was supposed to be for him and Anjali.