On its release, the film received positive reviews from critics worldwide.Critic Taran Adarsh described the subject matter as a delicate one which could have easily been disastrous and praised the way in which director Karan Johar boldly constructed the film, citing it as his finest work to date. Adarsh approved in particular of the script and the devices the director incorporated to contrast emotions between scenes, remarking that, the screenplay balances the two extremes; light moments and dollops of emotions with amazing ease. The individual cast performances were also praised by Adarsh, who commented on the effectiveness of the casting and the interaction of the actors. Rajeev Masand gave the film 4 out of 5 stars praising the screenplay and Johars direction, saying Few writers have such solid control over their screenplay as Karan Johar does.
Few understand the intricacies of narrative as well as he does. Johar goes from highs to lows, from plateaus to peaks with the ease of a pro. He knows exactly how to turn a seemingly ordinary scene into something special with just that one line of dialogue, or that hint of background music. Derek Elley of Variety also praised the diversity of emotions displayed by the cast, remarking that, scripter Shibani Bathija never lets her characters inhabit a secure emotional place for very long, and impediments to happiness come from their own weaknesses rather than social constraints or plot-generated misunderstandings. Elley noted Amitabh Bachchans performance as an ageing lothario and praised Preity Zinta as stepping far beyond her makeup.
Raja Sen of rediff.com was particularly critical of the film, also expressing dissatisfaction with its length. He remarked, I feel older. A showing of Karan Johars mammoth 22-reel Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna has left me unbelievably exhausted. I walked out of the hall feeling my cheeks for stubble, wondering if my clothes are suddenly dated and my hairs turned grey.
Ive lost a sizeable chunk of my life, and you will too. Unlike other critics, he identified flaws in the script and criticised the strength of characters saying The characters are cardboard, the setting is glitzy, the songs are tiresome, and the story oscillates between high melodrama and slapstick hilarity, going nowhere. Rarely has a weak script relied so completely on pretty people with big names to carry every line through. In the United States, the film received a number of positive reviews.Critics such as Neil Genzlinger of the New York Times emphasised the larger-than-life nature of the film, remarking that, It is full of big Bollywood stars and outsized everything: the rainstorms are a little rainier than real life; the wind machines are cranked up an extra notch; the close-ups get closer and linger longer than usual; the coincidences that drive the plot are a little more numerous and unlikely than normal screenwriting allows.
He praised the humour in the script and the directors comic timing in certain scenes such as the childrens soccer match, the bed store, and at the ballet show.
Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta, Kirron Kher
Romance, Drama, Musical, Comedy, Family, Social
Hiroo Yash Johar
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