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December 17, 2001

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Dear Karan

If you are targeting the film at NRIs, perhaps you should have spoken to a few more before assuming you knew their lifestyle, education, and general behavior. Little research does go a long way. I can and do suspend disbelief as necessary for cinema - but this film was a stretch. And I have this unfortunate tendency to wonder about facts and logistical details.

I am still attempting to analyze how a group of proven, talented actors could project such a limited emotional range. As an Indian film buff, I have probably seen the majority of the performances by all of the principal actors and have seen their capabilities. The only conclusion I can arrive at is that they were not given appropriate scope and /or direction.

The extensive use of glycerin reduced the possibility of evoking a delicately balanced, wide range of human emotions into pure pathos. Where I should have been moved to pity or tears, I was instead, reduced to embarrassed laughter.

A pity Yash Chopra didnít remind Karan to review films such as Dharamputra, Shakti and Silsila. A review of these films could have helped him to understand that sometimes, less is more.

The performances:

SRK appeared to be just going through the motions; where was his passion, previously seen in Dil Se and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai?

Kajol -- Only one word is applicable and necessary: Loud. Tried too hard to project the outgoing, bubbly personality. She failed. Miserably. She was just annoying. One fails to understand why SRK would prefer her to Rani Mukherjee.

AB -- Same role, different movie. I was grateful that he shed less tears than the others.

Jaya -- Wasted in the role of a spineless wife. She has always cried well. Director should have reviewed the confrontation scene with AB in Silsila for tips.

Hrithik -- Nothing to do but dance.

Kareena -- does she know how to do anything but pout and display her torso?

Saving graces:

  • Great costumes in the title and Bole Chudiyan songs.

  • Some good music, even though heavily reliant on prior films released through Yashraj films.

  • Good choreography, with a couple of exceptions. Karan, WHAT were you thinking of in the Suraj Hua Maddham sequence?

Veena Rai

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham opened to packed houses in Sydney and it will run to packed hoses for a few more days before the usual "visit India" time begins.

K3G is long film with a lot of songs, a lot of emotions, a lot of melodrama and of course a lot of tears.

Mother weeps, father weeps, both sons weep, daughter-in-law weeps and the would be daughter-in-law weeps, the audience weeps and every one is glad that the exercise is over.

A few interesting points:

The film has Amitabh singing Aati Kya Khandala years ago. My wife says "Arre chalta hai, hindi film hai"

Kareena and Hrithik end up at the same university where Hrithik is doing his MBA. Kareena is looking for a date to the prom (Proms only take place in the schools... perhaps this University was different). My wife says "Arre chalta hai, hindi film hai"

Shah Rukh takes 10 years to set up a huge mansion in London. A lot of NRIs keep wondering how he managed that. My wife says "Arre chalta hai, hindi film hai"

NRI sentiments are touched upon as Kajol frets over her son who cannot understand Indian culture. All of us here suffer from that syndrome. The chanting of the Gayatri mantra and soft glimpses of the tri-coloured duppattas add to the sentiment. Also the sincere effort put in by the London NRIs to maintain and celebrate the Indian festivals touches the heart.

Performance wise the entire cast did a good job except Kareena. She deserves a special mention for she effortlessly makes the elegant salwar kameez look obscene and vulgar.

A suggestion -- Arm yourself with a box of Kleenex tissue before you enter the hall else you'll end up with a wet shoulder. Courtesy the wife. When I objected to the tears, she says "Arre chalta hai, hindi film hai"

Akhil Verma

Yash Johar's Kabhi Khushi Khabie Gham is not "all about loving your parents" like how director-son Karan Johar proclaims. The lesson taught in the film is more about "loving your children!"

Karan Johar's second film is a disappointment. The story is old and oft-repeated, no breaking of paths here. The music is generally bad. And the screenplay is cliche-ridden oozing high-octane melodrama and mush.

The film is like a mix of Hum Aapke Hai Kaun, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Mohabbatein, and Ek Rishtaa.

As far as narration and treatment is concerned Karan shows his style -- the shots are well executed and some of the dialogues are very powerful.

Amitabh Bachchan doesn't dissapoint, but his role is so boring and bad. He is just a glorified guest in the film. Jaya Bachchan has a slightly more lengthy role, and is brilliant. SRK is pure class. Hritik is very good. Kajol and Kareena Kapoor, though good, sometimes overact.

Not a great film, but made with style. Definitely not a classic. Good, but only in parts.

Wacky Geezer

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham was a joyful, colorful and extremely enjoyable film. So what if it was a re-mix of Mohabbatein and KKHH? If that trend works, why change it!? The movie was high quality entertainment. Isnt that what cinema is all about, 'ENTERTAINMENT!'

Shah Rukh was up to par with the film and Kajol was a hoot. She was meant to be loud, its called 'role playing'. She was hilarious!

Hrithik is nothing but a looker and a dancer in this film and Kareena, well let us not mention Miss Pre-Madonna! So what if little Hrithik didn't have six fingers or sea green eyes? This is not an FBI investigation, its a film!

Tahnya Fatima Rizvi

It must be said. To make such a bad film with Big B, Jaya, SRK, Hrithik, Kajol and Kareena must require some real divine qualities!

Despite being one of the biggest fans of the Big B, despite having waited for this film for months, despite making sure of first day first show tickets, I found the film unbearable to sit through. K3G is a disgrace to cinema.

Some of the endless flaws are the shamelessly superficial use of the national anthem and the national song [Vande Mataram], extremely artificial and cardboard like emotions, a very loud Kajol, a wasted Jaya, an intolerable Kareena and above all the complete lack of originality.

The saving grace of the film is an excellent SRK and a sincere, honest and lovable Hrithik. Big B does well what he's told to do and is the cause of the only cheer in the auditorium when he shakes his legs in the song Shawa shawa.

Overall, we suggest you miss this one and go out and spend an evening with your family. As Karan Johar himself says, its all about loving your parents.

Anshuman Rawat

What does one expect from stalwarts like the Big B, Jaya, SRK, Kajol, Hrithik and Kareena, some great music, fantastic pre-release promos, the added bonus of the Queen Mukherjee and Karan Johar's much acclaimed direction ?

Certainly not what I saw last night in the mammothly long film. A film that you yearned would end soon, albeit with several lumps in your throat, partly for the emotions in the film and majorly for the fact that you felt sorry for the above named persons that this also was one not-so-damp squib, but nevertheless a disappointment.

The film that started at 10pm and ended at 1.35am, had you wondering, whether this was Manish Malhotra's magnum opus? Lagaan, though equally long or longer, made you yearn that the match and the film would not stop!

As my wife put it this morning...KKHH was about a small girl getting two lovers together, K3G is about a son geting two people together. Karan Johar's next film may as well be AMKB -- Aayee Milan Ki Bela!

Karan, you disappointed me and a lot more who walked out of the theatre when Jaya cried, or SRK and Kajol sang the best penned song of K3G. At the end of the day is was SRK's and Kajol's show all along. They are the undisputed Gods of India's Showbiz.

Snehal Kulshreshtha

I had greater expectations from Karan. He tried to weave a story around family values but that came undone halfway through the plot.

He tries so hard at times that it shows. He came across as a desperate filmmaker who wants to use all the tricks available to hold the audience.

Amongst the ones I thought were a dead giveaway of his desperation were Kajol's repetitive Mera Bharat Mahaan theme and the bhajan overkill. The scene where Kajol sprints to the podium just after the rendition of our national anthem is absolutely absurd.

Just what was Karan trying to prove? At times when he's in I-love-Sooraj Barjatya groove he openly copies dialogue from SB's films and also uses the Raam jee line to start another unwanted song. Just as the other B-graders he uses a couple of unnecessary songs to prolong the viewer's misery. The title track has been played to death - it gets on your nerves.

The songs that stood out were, without doubt, those of AB and Hrithik. The latter is just electric and the former still so articulate in his movements.

Performance wise - the whole cast has done well. I thought Kajol was a standout. Her Punjab-kudi rendition would have made the Devgans proud. She shows phenomenal energy and has SRK eating humble pie whenever they are together.

No matter what people say about Kareena, her performance as the tomboy was refreshing. She blended in well with her looks. Hrithik again has been handed down a fur-fee; his role is hardly of any consequence. SRK hogs the limelight. AB is awesome. Jaya should seriously lose weight; her face is too bloated. Rani only hangs around for a song or two.

The production values are rich and lavish but leave you yearning for someone or something ordinary. That's what I thought of Karan's contribution - Pretty Ordinary.

Sudhish Nayyar (Sydney)

The long wait is over...probably the most anticipated movie in recent times, Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham arrives with much fanfare and the enormous hype following it. The question on everyone's minds is whether this movie will strike gold at the box-office. And if you are looking for an honest answer, it is Yes and No. Because of the pre-release publicity, this movie has already taken a fantastic opening all over.

K3G is a bit long and fails to hold your interest in some scenes. But some of the scenes in the movie are brilliant. Emotion-charged, dramatic scenes. The scenes involved mother-son and father-son relationships.

Shah Rukh is very good. Nobody can beat him when it comes to emoting.

Bachchan is the legend that he is. He is particularly impressive in the last scene when he breaks down. Jaya Bachchan has her moment of glory too. The first scene where she keeps staring at the door for SRK to arrive brings a lump in your throat.

Kajol is OK, overacts in some scenes. Kareena kapoor has nothing much to do apart from moving aroud in skimpy clothes. Hrithik is good and impresses in the confrontation scene with Bachchan.

A family movie...highly charged with emotions. Karan Johar handles some of the emotionally charged scenes brilliantly. He is no doubt a fantastic director in the making and he proves that KKHH was not a fluke !

K3G may not rewrite box-office history but it has all the necessary ingredients to make it a winner !

Dev Kasi

Powerhouse performances, great visuals, gloss and sheen, lilting tunes, the tangy taste of patriotism, good old family values and tear-gland titillating sequences -- K3G has something for everyone. To his unquestionable credit, Karan Johar has packaged a not-so-fresh script in such a gorgeous new bottle that you hardly smell the old wine.

Amitabh's baritone, his facial expressions, the steel-cold stare, and the overall Bachchan aura is an out-of-the-world experience. He exudes glamour and has never "looked" better in his second innings. Watch him in the sequence where he describes to his son how he always wanted to emulate his father, or the scene where the son walks out of the house and the father talks only with the expressions on his face, or the scene where the younger son confronts him with allegations of his ego destroying the family or the Shava shava number or the epic climax and you get to know what makes Amitabh an institution by himself.

Shah Rukh turns in a very mature performance in an author-backed role. He plays all the stages of his character's life with equal ease, and portrays his forte in romantic sequences. He carries off trendy casuals, traditional desi outfits and three-piece suits with equal grace.

Kajol is wonderful as the chirpy, vivacious Chandni Chowk girl in the first half and the patriotic desi housewife in UK in the second. The on-screen chemistry between the two creates some unforgettable moments in the movie - the first encounter, for example. Kajol holds her own in her scenes with Amitabh and is extraordinary as the ecstatically delighted mother watching her son crooning Jana Gana Mana 'just for his mom' on stage in a school social in London.

Hrithik does what he is best at being - the cool dude. He has all the 'item' sequences to his credit including winning the college cricket match with a Miandad-esque last ball six and the much publicised dance number in the British Museum. He acts well too, especially in the emotional sequences. Kareena, of course, has an itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny role.

Karan Johar pays a lot of attention to the overall look and feel of the movie and you have the likes of Alok Nath, Farida Jalal, Johnny Lever, Simone Singh and Himani Shivpuri stepping in for the extras. And a word of praise is due for all the child artistes in the movie-the child brigade including Aryan Khan, who plays SRK junior.

Overall, a must-see. Just the kind of movie that lives upto the expectations out of an ideal Indian movie, which, the Big B himself described ages ago, as being a movie which makes one come out of the theatre with a smile on the lips and a dried tear on the cheek.

Sourabh Mukherjee

Here we go again... castles, choppers, staunch father, loving sons, the works. Its all about loving your parents, he says. And we are expected to believe that.

How may I ask? Even Chandni Chowk looks unbelievable. I wonder how directors often get away after making a film that can be equated to absolute trash.

We have the stern father who is highly principled. When the adopted son marries a common girl, he disowns his son after giving him a discourse on the difference in the haemoglobin that runs in their respective bodies. But the same man does not hesitate to do a twist with half-clad white women on his birthday.

The son moves away to London and starts his family. All is well till the biological son arrives in London on a mission... unite the father with the estranged son. Give us a break! How many times should we see this re-recycled. Lots of emotional scenes later family unites.

The film is nothing but an amalgamation of the various movies made by the Chopras/Johars. In fact, if you pay enough attention, you wont be surprised to hear a song or two and some dialogues being repeated from the earlier Karan Johar movie -- Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

Shah Rukh and Kajol are the only saving grace of the movie. Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, what are you doing in such a film? And Hrithik and Kareena, I think Rani Mukherjee had more to do in the film than the two of you.

And after all this, I was surprised to see a very respected journalist rate the movie 'outstanding'. This from the person who pulverized Ghai for Yaadein. Pray what is the difference? There it was the daughter's love for her dad and here it is the son's attachment. Just speaks volumes of how much the journalist was paid to review the respective movies.

When will these lousy directors like Karan Johar/Aditya Chopra learn from people like Farhan Akthar, Nagesh Kukonoor, Mira Nair and Gulzar?

As long as their tribe exists, the public of India will be treated to rubbish ever after. Amen!

Nisha Ajit

Good work Sooraj (Barjatya..)....oops Karan ..... Kabhi Khusi Kabhie Gham = Maine Pyaar Kiya + Hum Saath Saath Hai

Congratulations to Karan Johar are due simply because he beat other directors to come up with this combination of Sooraj's blockbusters.

Srikanth

Great film! Strong characters, strong storyline, great direction, great performances, great dialogues, great dances and music!

This is an SRK film. He makes you cry and laugh! No words are necessary, just emotions! And who can portray those better than SRK, AB and Jaya?

The Kajol-SRK pairing is outta this world. Every scene is enjoyable. AB is great! His character was not as strong Narayan Shankar in Mohabbatein, but he is a man of principle here too and he is great. Jaya is lovable in the role of the mother.

Hrithik had a well defined character and played his part beautifully. The way the bag drops and he reaches for it trying to hide his emotions and tears when he sees his brother for the first time in London is marvelous. He made me cry.

Kareena is adorable. Her character adds life to the film in the second half and she looks great.

Tanya Zahoor

After watching K3G, I have found out that Karan Johar and Subhash Ghai have two things in common.

- They both underestimate NRIs and want to take them for granted and

- They both lack COMON SENSE

I would like to add another K factor to K3G. That is K for Kachhra.

K S Prakash




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