Yesterday I was in the mood for some good, old-fashioned Bollywood and I watched KKHH. You know, the one where Shah Rukh still has dimples, Rani has horrible make-up ad Kajol is a boy. Compared to today´s standards of movie production values, the ability of the hero to dance and to the thinness of the heroine(s) it´s pretty bad. But this film has something that most of the movies made in Bollywood today sadly lack: A good, healthy dose of DIL.
It´s not fashionable, it doesn´t have an item number by the latest Most-Popular-Starlet-Of-The-Day and the hero is not buffed up to look like the Hulk. Which is not something bad in general but in the last time I get the feeling that Bollywood is putting all these things in front to the disadvantage of the story. I don´t care if the movie I´m going to see has Katrina dancing half naked in front of me and I don´t care that "to-be-on-par-with-Hollywood", you have to sacrifice all these awesome and beautiful songs, the thing I came to Bollywood in the first place. I also dont´care that the SFX is "exactly as Hollywood" because I´m not here to see some Blockbuster-SciFi-movie, I want to see Shah Rukh dancing and romancing the heroine. You see, I am a little at war with Bollywood right now.
KKHH is the story of Rahul and Anjali. You see, Rahul and Anjali were The Best Friends, the only problem was that Anjali was in love with Rahul and Rahul was a selfish, stupid and arrogant idiot. With a capital I. That doesn´t change much with the time and Rahul remains pretty much the same even after he finally realises that Anjali is THE girl for him.
|Anjali and Rahul in one of their fights. By the way, I actually think that Kajol looked pretty cute with the short hair.|
|Oh Rani...err, Tina! I WUV you!|
KKHH does many things right, but that doesn´t mean that there are no flaws in the script. Rahul is one such mistake. K-Jo did say once in an interview, I think, that writing for female characters is much easier for him than for male ones. Rahul is only a sketch, a superficial outline of a character and it probably would have broken the movie´s neck had he been portrayed by someone else than Shah Rukh. He plays Rahul with just enough charme and honesty and straightforwardness that rescues the movie for me. Rahul doesn´t want to be mean, he doesn´t want to hurt Anjali on purpose but he´s just so blinded by his image of her and so struck by Tina that accidentally he loses the thing that is most important for him. And he doesn´t even know. People make mistakes and sometimes you are just so stuck in your perception of a person that you don´t realise that that what you really want is right in front of your nose.
|Anjali leaving is really heartbreaking and if you´re still not crying then this is not the movie for you.|
|The symbolical handling Rahul over to Tina by giving her her shawl and the ongoing theme was pretty neat, too.|
I had no problem with the story device that Rahul falls in love with Anjali only after she became pretty and a proper girl. Or that she throws away her perfect fiancee for Rahul although he treated her like crap. She was in love with Rahul. She never loved Aman and if she did marry him, we probably would have had KANK much earlier. Also, I love the fact that she became pretty only for herself and not for Rahul. It´s her own choice. It proves to me that she is still pretty much the same girl with her own opinions and principles as she was in college. I also like to think that Rahul did grow up enough for falling in love with Anjali after their re-encounter even if she would still have been that boyish as she was in college.
|The infamous gazebo-scene. Fun fact: Before knowing what "gazebo" actually means, I thought it would describe SRK´s "gaze" at Kajol. :) Also, where out of the sudden did he get that see-through shirt!?|
wonder they became friends. Anjali would have hated Tina and only made fun of her, has she had been not this nice, sensitive, thoughtful girl. They both know what they want and are not afraid to show Rahul the way back to his corner. Tina wears miniskirts because she wants to and Anjali wears sportsuits because she wants to.
Making Tina nice and lovable and and an actual person instead of just a plot device is actually pretty smart because a) it makes Ajali´s unreturned love even more heartbreaking because you root for both the couples and b) it´s also an important device to make Rahul sympathetic. How can you hate him for hurting Anjali if you understand why he falls for Tina? Their romance is believable beyond the "She´s so pretty, so she has to be mine!"-lines. I love the scene where he tells her "I love you". Its so normal and by the way.
|I love you too, Shah Rukh.|
|Miss Briganza, OHO!|
KKHH is made with so much sweetness and innocence, so much joy and honesty that you can feel it in every frame. Such movies aren´t made today anymore. It´s funny because the movie is only 13 years old. That´s not that much. But I understand why, I understand that people have changed, that the Bollywood industry has changed and the world itself. And that´s good. I really enjoyed watching "Mujhse Fraandship Karoge" but that was not a "Bollywood"-movie for me. Or at least it was not the Bollywood I learned to know and love. But I am glad that there is a KKHH where the world is okay and I can return to whenever I want. With the melodrama, the OTT-ness, the dance numbers and an unapologetic celebration of kitsch and glycerine.