Directed by: Karan Johar
Starring: Shahrukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Abhishek Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Amitabh Bachchan, Kirron Kher
Verdict: destroy every copy – horrible – bad – whatever – flawed but enjoyable - good – great – amazing
I will never really understand where did my courage to watch Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna come from. Till this day I have not been able to overcome the outrage and hate that both have come over me after watching Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Ghum, which I consider the worst film I´ve ever seen. I guess it was only my devotion to Shahrukh Khan and my wish to know his complete body of work, combined with being naturally curious what is all the fuss about, that made me watch KANK. After 15 minutes I already knew I was going to suffer.
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna is basically a story about two people whose personalities suck big time and that not as much because of the circumstances but because they choose to. Shahrukh as Dev is an arrogant, selfish and most of all self-pitying brat with no respect whatsoever. Once he was a famous football player but after being hit by a car his career was over and he is limping ever since. Sure, something like that could make anyone deeply depressed, but Dev, rather than trying to move on and be useful, decides to sulk for years, blaming the whole world and mentally terrorizing his little son (I was just waiting for the kid to be hospitalized as mentally unstable and crippled for life). I don´t think I ever disliked any Shahrukh´s character as much. Even when he played an evil person like in Anjaam or Don, there was something you could admire or at least appreciate (even though what they do is wrong). But Dev is just a disgusting piece of existence, giving nothing to anyone, being jealous of his wife´s (Preity) success and destroying every moment of peace for everybody around. I am no fan of perfectly flawless characters , I like it when they are human with flaws, but there is limit to everything. Maybe it was my utter dislike for the character, but either not even Shahrukh´s acting could have make me like Dev or even Shahrukh was just bad in this. Based on my opinion that except for My Name Is Khan Karan Johar has always managed to bring out the worst out of him, I sadly tend to believe the second option.
|Herodes could learn how to treat kids from Dev....|
Rani as Maya is not an inspiring person either. Also wallowing in self-pity she is pushing away any chance of being happy with her husband Rishi (Abhishek). The film tried to present her as being oh so poor a soul because she does not feel romantic love for Rishi, but I only wanted to scream at her for being such a life-ruiner. Rishi is a husband of dreams really. He copes up with everything she does or says without a complaint. He is incredibly giving. And she apparently doesn´t give a damn. In this sense she is same as Dev. They both obviously LOVE being miserable and they LOVE to blame others for it. HOW in the world am I supposed to be their fan or even feel for them? Impossible!
|Let´s just behave like a total ass so I can embarass my partner and pity myself even more.|
In a very apparent plot twist these two fall in love and start having a secret affair consisting mainly of getting drenched in the rain and singing songs in imaginary sorrounding Karan Johar style. Up until of course they are caught..... and they separate.... and they are oh so noble now and want to save their marriages.... and they end up together of course after one of the most teary, excruciating and longest climaxes ever. By that point I was already skipping whole minutes, completely worn out by all that crap I had managed to sit through. I was not interested AT ALL in what Dev and Maya were through.
One of the greatest sore spots in the film also remains Amitabh Bachchan in his possibly most cringe worthy role ever – Sexy Sam – out of whose hangover he is suffering till this day. Instead of cool he was sleazy and his part in the story was completely unnecessary. I guess his parts of the film were supposed to be mostly fun, but this intention fails completely.
|Hi! I´m Sexy Sam. Embarassment of the decade.|
The saving graces are performances by Preity Zinta and Abhishek Bachchan. In other circumstances I would always choose Rani and Shahrukh over them, but not here. Theirs were the bits I enjoyed and the best scene of them all has to be Preity slapping Shahrukh after finding out the truth.
KANK fails. In basically every department. I am nobody to preach about fidelity between husband and wife (though yeah, I believe in the concept) and I can see why many marriages fail. I am not saying two people HAVE TO live with each other if they are so very unhappy. However the way infidelity is presented in this movie makes it all seem actually right and legit. There are other films that deal with the same issue and yet they manage to show all the involved people as likeable humans with reasons of their own, like Yash Chopra´s Silsila or most recently Imtiaz Ali´s Rockstar, but Karan Johar, skilled with pouring glycerine but completely clueless about real feelings makes it all one great mess where you hate the hero, you hate the heroine and you hate their love story. And you definitely hate Sexy Sam.