Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham is an unforgettable melodrama ever to be screened on Indian televisions and cinema theatres. In the history of Indian cinema, Karan Johar will definitely be remembered as something more than a 'flag bearer of nepotism', or 'movie mafia'. He had a budget as much as Rs 45 crore (this was in the early 20s), along with it the 70s hit duo Amitabh Bachchan-Jaya Bachchan, the 90s hit duo Shah Rukh Khan- Kajol, and the early 20s hit duo Hrithik Roshan-Kareena Kapoor and yet he managed to ruin it all.
Till date, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham is a well-known melodrama which almost becomes unmissable each time it comes on television. For some of us it is also our secret guilty pleasure.
A certain commercial success was guaranteed for the film what it really needed was a stronger script. But this was the early 20s, when ideas and content took a back seat and stardom was given more importance, (an aspect which is changing in present times).
In 2020, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham is nothing less than a meme movie. Beginning from the moment when Rahul enters the Raichand mansion in a helicopter to Pooh, there's not a thing about this film which cannot end up as a meme. However, since it's the film's 19th release anniversary, we have listed several positive aspects of the film, which went unnoticed due to the overdose of melodrama.
No shed of toxicity in Naina's love for Rahul
Rahul being entrapped in the love for two women was a common angle we knew that would re-occur. This time, Naina remained nontoxic in her selfless love for Rahul. She accepted the fact that her admiration for Rahul was one-sided and did not burn with jealousy for not being loved back.
This time Rahul fell in love with Anjali for who she is, not for what she changed into
The most disappointing aspect of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai would have been if Anjali had to transform to an uptight woman after marriage to Rahul. Anjali remained the same fun-loving person whom Rahul had met in Chandni Chowk.
When Nandini did not back down from a challenge
Naina Raichand, an otherwise reserved woman, may not have been very fond of loud parties with women all around, but she definitely knew how to have fun. When her husband flirted with her in public she smartly flirted back instead of being a coy wife.
The entire cinematography in the song sequence, Sooraj Hua Madham
Watching Sooraj Hua Madham in the hall was an extremely different experience for viewers who got a chance to see the pyramids of Egypt. Even the choices of colour against the backdrop of the pyramids managed to make the characters shine.
Kajol's perfect acting quotient
Kajol's acting brilliance was overshadowed due to the excessive colours used in the film. When she fell in love she had beaming happiness in her eyes, and when she realised the class divide, she was struck by sadness, when she approached Mr Raichand as the daughter or his servant and as the daughter-in-law, she had a different approach in both aspects.
When Poo did not allow herself to be shamed by Rahul
The early 20s was an era when mansplaining was a norm. Hence, Rahul as a character was written in that manner, but the character of Poo just did not conform to the norms set by society. She asked her brother-in-law to grow up and accept her for who she was, not the 13-year-old whom he met at Chandni Chowk but a grown woman with desires of her own.
Rohan Raichand prioritises family over the degree
When Rohan learnt that his brother Rahul was adopted, his feelings towards him did not change and he was mature enough to understand that mothers will always love the elder sibling more. He could have easily enjoyed the entire Raichand property all by himself but instead, he decided to bring the family back. To satisfy the ego of his father, he told him that he wanted to go to London to get a degree in MBA, but he actually wanted to bring the family back, and was successful in doing so.
When the women of the house had the perfect response for Rahul for dress shaming Poo
The women in the family had the perfect one-liner for Rahul when he tried to wrongly impose his conditions on Pooh, who was a free-spirited woman of her own. 'Take a chill pill'.
When Rahul warned Rohan (Yash) to maintain distance from Poo and not otherwise
The fact that Rahul did not like his sister-in-law Pooja's choices of clothes was well established, but later he managed to accept that and while being protective about her, he channelled his elder brother energy towards the stranger. Instead of shaming Pooh, he softly threatened Rohan, whom he knew to be Yash, to stay away from his sister.
When Rahul had no qualms for expressing his disappointment for a guest who comes uninvited
Nobody likes an unknown guest and Rahul was extremely honest about it. Even later, when he allowed him to stay at his place, he was honest about the extra expenses he had to bear to feed him.
Pooh did not bother about Gender conventions
While Pooh had many problems, she also had a positive side. She did not conform to the ways of society and never followed gender norms. She made the first move, if she ever felt attracted towards a man, and freely explored her sexuality on equal terms with the men she adored.
Pooh did not conform to victim shaming
While Pooh was a character of her own, Rohan never encouraged her when she was mean
There were days when Pooh was just mean; even rating men on the basis of their looks as shallow and disrespectful as it would have been otherwise if men ever held a scale for women. It was at that point when Rohan realised that while he loved her, he cannot encourage bad behaviour.
Jaya Bachchan's ability to act only with expressions, a quality noted in Sholay
Throughout the film Sholay, Jaya Bachchan who was Bhaduri then hardly had any dialogues. She spoke with her eyes. This brilliance went unnoticed in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham where Jaya Bachchan expressed her feelings without dialogues and only with expressions when she met Rahul at a mall in London again.
When Nandini stood up to Yash ji
Throughout her life, Nandini respected the choices of her husband Yash, till the point where she realised that she was not receiving the equal amount of respect in the family. When she met her elder son after ages, she learnt that her love for her son is more important than her husband's ego and for the first time on screen, she stood up for herself.