Shah Rukh Khan is the superstar of today, who started his acting career from TV serials and on getting the right break, climbed on to the sky of wealth and fame, just like a fairy. He has many super-duper hit movies to his credit. However today I am reviewing the movie starring him which I like the most and which has a special place in a corner of my heart. This movie is Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1994).
Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (sometimes yes, sometimes no) is the story of a youth with a heart of gold – Sunil (Shah Rukh Khan) who has neither any interest in the automobile repair business of his father (Anjan Srivastav) nor in studying. He is interested in music and devotes maximum time to the activities of the theatre group with his friends. He is very close to a priest – Father Briganza (Nasiruddin Shah) who understands him and always shows him the right path. However he keeps getting scolded by his father at home.
But his heart and his life are brightened by the love in his heart for Aana (Suchitra Krishnamoorthy), a Christian girl. Sunil finds that Chris (Deepak Tijori), a rich youth is his rival for Aana’s love. The tug of war between Sunil and Chris keeps on going with Aana being in the middle of the rope. However in the end, Sunil comes to know that Aana and Chris genuinely love each other. Now it’s not difficult for the audience to guess what our hero with a heart of gold is expected to do.
This movie is directed by Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983) fame Kundan Shah who has cast the heroes of that movie, i.e., Nasiruddin Shah and Ravi Baaswani in this movie also. I consider this movie as his best work after JBDY and perhaps the last good work done by him. This is a beautiful movie with lots of touching moments. The mood of the movie remains light for the most part but it’s not a regular comedy movie, all the same. It’s an emotional movie – a saga of a youth whose pluses are ignored by his father, who is error-prone but has an ocean of sublime feelings in his heart, who is ready to sacrifice his love for the sake of the love of his life only but who is still strong enough to move on in life after that.
Whenever I watch this movie, it makes me weep at many places. The scene of Sunil’s arranging false marks-sheet to satisfy his father but admitting it in the middle of the party thrown by his father to celebrate his success, is highly touching and reminds us of an episode from the life of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation of India. And then follows the song – Woh To Hai Albela which I am ready to listen to and see on the screen for end number of times without getting bored or tired.
The theatre-play in which a gangster’s life-tragedy is presented on the stage (from his point-of-view) is also damn impressive. Ditto for the scene in the final reels in which Sunil becomes the Best Man in the wedding of Aana and Chris and the wedding ring is slipped from his hand. The ending scene in which Juhi Chawla(in a guest appearance) comes across Sunil in a style quite similar to that of the heroine who has gone out of his life, is so amusing that this style of presentation (with some high-profile heroine delivering a guest appearance in the ending scene of the movie) was later copied in many Hindi movies.
Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa is full of entertainment. There is not a single boring moment in the movie. The script-writers (Kundan Shah and Pankaj Advani) have done a splendid job. The story is told in such a way that the viewer starts relating to and getting associated with the hero and keeps on flowing with him in the stream of events as if they were happening to himself only. The filmmaker is able to create such a passion in the viewer through his storytelling that the viewer smiles with the hero and weeps with him as well.
The movie does not boast of high production value and the complete milieu renders an air of simplicity but that is a huge plus point of the movie because it helps the audience in relating to the characters, especially the hero. Technically everything is in order. The grip of the narrative remains so tight on the audience that the length of the movie is never felt.
Music by Jatin-Lalit is admirable. In fact, during the nineties, they composed damn good music for many SRK movies. The best song, in my view, is Woh To Hai Albela in the voice of Kumar Sanu, Devki Pandit etc. Another song that stands out is also in the voice of Kumar Sanu only – Aye Kaash Ki Ab Hosh Mein Hum Aane Na Paayen.
I can’t imagine any other actor in the role of Sunil. SRK has lived this role and made it thoroughly reliable. He is the heart and soul of this movie. Undoubtedly one of his best performances it is. Suchitra Krishnamoorthy has done well as a somewhat naive and ambivalent Aana. Nasiruddin Shah has done the role with a different flavour this time and he is also very impressive. Ditto for Deepak Tijori. This is the only movie in which I have found Anjan Srivastav as doing good acting. The complete supporting cast including Ashutosh Gowarikar who went on to become an acclaimed director, is well-placed.
Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa is a movie which has become an inseparable part of my heart. It lacks naturalness at some places because mainly it’s been made for the purpose of entertainment in the form of a romantic comedy with a dose of sentiments too. Hence over the top things are there. If not for them, I would have considered this extra-ordinary movie as worthy of a five star rating.
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