The film starts with Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan) standing near a fire mourning the loss of his wife Tina (Rani Mukerji). A series of flashbacks is then shown with Rahul & Tinas marriage, their honeymoon, Tina pregnant with her baby girl and, in a year of marriage, Tina gives birth to the baby girl. Tina was told that she would have complications in her pregnancy earlier but decided not to tell Rahul as she knew how much he wanted the child. Tina, who also loved the baby more than her life, has little time left, so she had previously written eight letters to her daughter (one for each of her first eight birthdays) and gives them to Rahuls mother (Farida Jalal) so that she will know her mother. Before dying, Tina asks Rahul to promise her to name their daughter Anjali.
Eight years pass, and Rahul is a single parent living with his daughter Anjali Khanna (Sana Saeed) and loving mother. On her eighth birthday, little Anjali reads the last and most important letter that her mother left her; it tells the story of how Rahul met Tina.We are then taken back in time: Rahul Khanna and Anjali Sharma (Kajol) were best friends in St. Xaviers College. The college principal Mr.
Malhotra (Anupam Kher) had a beautiful daughter Tina, who came to St. Xaviers from London to finish her degree. She became friends with both Rahul and Anjali. When Anjali realized that she was in love with Rahul, she was encouraged by her motherly guardian Rifat Bi (Himani Shivpuri) to tell him so. Instead, Anjali was left heartbroken when Rahul told her that he loved Tina.
Anjali decided to leave college and shared a tearful goodbye with Rahul, going away from Rahul and Tinas lives forever. Tina then realized that she came between two best friends. Back in the present, Tina explains in her letter that Rahul always said that love is friendship, and without friendship there can be no love. Rahul is a single parent and lacks a friend in his life, so Tina gives her daughter the mission of reuniting Rahul with Anjali Sharma and bringing back Rahuls lost love.The next day, Rahul, little Anjali and his mom head to Faridabad where they meet Mr.
Malhotra for Tinas death anniversary. Anjali Sharma is no longer the tomboy she was in college; she is now more feminine, and is engaged to Aman Mehra (Salman Khan), an NRI living in London. However, she explains to her mother (Reema Lagoo) that she does not really love him and is marrying him as a compromise as she feels she can never love again after losing Rahul. Aman also suspects that she does not really love him. Anjali Khanna and her grandmother search for Anjali Sharma and soon learn that she is going to be working at a summer camp.
Rahul tells Anjali that she is not going to summer camp and heads to a conference, only to find out that his mom and daughter went without telling him but Anjali left a letter. They travel there, with a plan to later lure Rahul to come as well, and the two Anjalis meet each other. One night while watching television, Anjali Sharma realizes she has met her best friends daughter, and that Tina is dead. Rahul soon arrives at Camp Sunshine when his daughter Anjali fakes a cough, where he and Anjali Sharma are surprised and delighted to see each other again, sharing a sweet reunion. Throughout the days spent at the camp, Rahul and Anjali feel themselves falling in love.
However, Anjali remembers that she is engaged and feels guilty. Aman arrives and tells Rahul that he is Anjalis fiancee. Rahul is heartbroken but congratulates Anjali. She takes this as him rejecting her again, so she leaves summer camp and decides to get married to Aman as soon as possible.After seeing Tina in a vision, Rahul and his family go to Anjalis wedding, where Rahul silently confesses to Anjali that he loves her, and watches in tears as she is brought forth for the wedding.
Realizing this, Anjali is hesitant to go on with the marriage, and stands weeping. Aman notices the tears in her eyes and realizes that she has always been in love with Rahul. He releases Anjali from the engagement and tells her to marry Rahul. Rahul and Anjali have an emotional hug and as the two marry, little Anjali sees a vision of Tina, who is smiling and giving her the thumbs up.After the experience of assisting and acting in his friend Aditya Chopras directorial debut, the romance film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Karan Johar was encouraged to try his own hand at directing.
With Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, he chose to pair up the same lead actors, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, for his own romance film. During the filming of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Khan had also encouraged Johar to make his own film, and said that he would be willing to star in it.Johar first wrote a story, which was a love triangle between a tomboy, a very pretty girl and a slightly insensitive boy, but he shelved the idea because he was not very satisfied with it. Then he wrote another plot about a widower and his child, which he shelved as well. Eventually he decided to merge the two stories into one.
He explained in an interview with Rediff.com: It was about the trauma of a widower and his little child. How the child really wants a mother and how she brings her mother into her fathers life. Then I thought: Why not bring a youth aspect to the story? Why not a flashback? Thats how the story got made. The story also includes a personal desires vs.
parental loyalties theme, and has some East meets West themes, but instead of the characters going abroad, it creates a virtual West inside India. While comparing the film to Dil To Pagal Hai of 1997, Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India gave Kuch Kuch Hota Hai 3.5 out of 5 stars. She especially liked the performance of Kajol, and thought that the film would appeal to young and romantic viewers primarily for its MTV ambiance and Valentine Day flavours. On the negative side, she said The second half however gets drowned in a sea of emotions.
Too many people begin to cry a bit too much. Anish Khanna of Planet Bollywood rated the film 9.5 out of 10 stars, calling it pure escapist cinema at its best. He praised the cinematography, choreography, set decoration, and also raved over Kajols performance, along with her onscreen chemistry with Shah Rukh Khan. Overall, he said Karan Johar makes an impressive directorial debut, has a good script sense, and knows how to make a film with S-T-Y-L-E.
In contrast to these views, the reaction of Sujata C J, writing for Rediff.com, was that the film was very disappointing, with many cliches and a bad story line, though Santosh Thundiyil and Sharmishta Roy were praised for their camerawork and art direction, respectively. Nandita Chowdhury in a review for India Today, said that Karan Johar was almost able to rekindle the Khan-Kajol magic of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, and that overall the film was a good distraction.
Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Rani Mukerji, Salman Khan
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