Kabhi Kabhie [1976]

Stars: Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor
Rating: Unrated
Runtime: 165 minutes

The 2001 romantic Bollywood drama Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham ("Happiness and Tears") proved to be even more successful than Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, the highest-grossing Indian film of all time and one that was also directed by Karan Johar. Starring veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan and wife Jaya, this tells the story of an Indian family who live in palatial comfort but who are riven when the eldest, adopted son Rahul marries Anjali (Kajol) a feisty and attractive woman but whose "lower breeding" causes his father to disapprove of her. Breaking his mother's heart, Rahul moves to Britain with Anjali before younger brother Rohan tries to go after him and end 10 years of estrangement to reunite the family. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham is packed with contemporary trappings and production values but is in every way a traditional and generic Hindi movie. Those new to Bollywood might be disconcerted by some of the fashion statements or the mixture of drawn-out, lachrymose melodrama and slightly overplayed comedy-romantic interplay between Rahul and Anjali. There are also some scenes around Leicester Square and Westminster that are almost insulting in their stereotyping of hot, swinging London. However, K3G--as it has become affectionately known--is a riot of joyful color, music and choreography (an embarrassing version of "It's Raining Men" is an exception). This is not a crossover movie, perhaps but a sumptuous treat for Bollywood fans. --David Stubbs

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