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Naina Catherine Kapur, known simply as Naina, is struggling to grow up in New York with a family who are constantly at war. Her father is dead, and she lives with her mother, Jenny, grandmother, Lajjo, brother, Shiv, and adopted sister Gia. Jenny and Lajjo hate each other, for reasons that aren't clear and Lajjo refuses to accept Gia as her granddaughter because she is adopted. On top of that, Jenny is about to lose her restaurant and therefore their livelihood. Then Aman moves across the road and everything changes. He falls for Naina and Naina for him, but there is a complication and Naina is left heart-broken. Meanwhile, Naina's best friend, Rohit, suddenly decides that he is in love with Naina - and so the love triangle begins. Will everything work out the way it should? Or is Naina's life destined to continue to be a disaster?
The main reason I watched this film is because of Shahrukh Khan - I saw him not long ago in Om Shanti Om and loved his performance. Here, he plays quite a similar role as Aman. He's annoying as hell at first, talking far too much and generally appearing to be a complete know-it-all. He does soften throughout the film, however, especially when his big secret comes out, but generally, he is way over the top and his presence eventually exhausted me. He is funny, and I think he's supposed to be, but at times I just wished he would shut up for five minutes! I think the problem was that this was a real romantic role, the whole film revolves around that, and it was just too slushy for me, especially coupled with his fast talking. I appreciate that it is probably partially because I don't fully understand the culture that the film is portraying, but a love story in any language is just not for me.
Of the two lead men, I preferred Saif Ali Khan, who plays Rohit, although I don't think he has been as well received in other quarters. I thought he was funny without being too over the top, although he plays a character who appears to have two screws loose. In the double acts between Aman and Rohit, and there are a number of them, I thought Rohit came off the winner. I wasn't too sure what to make of Preity Zinta as Naina. She bounced between being completely irritating and silly and overly serious. I suppose she could have easily walked straight out of a Hollywood rom com - it's just that I wasn't really expecting that. She looks great, there's no doubt about that; I'm just not sure that she's all that great an actress. Then again, I'm not convinced that the role gave her much of a chance to do much apart from look cute.
Bollywood films are known for their music and dance routines, and this film is no different. They were worked into the film very well though - one took place in a disco and another in a dance class - although there was still the odd routine that involved dancing in the streets for no good reason other than Aman had fallen in love with Naina. This was partially to the tune of Pretty Woman, although with some (presumably) Hindi music worked in too. I know many people avoid Bollywood films because of the singing and dancing, but I really enjoy it - it's always so daft, but bright and fun to watch, and sometimes there isn't enough of that in film. One reason I like Asian film is that it is so colourful, and colour hits you from the moment this film begins, for all that it is set in New York. Bright splashes of red, blue, purple, yellow, green are there at every point of the story and it is gorgeous to watch.
My main issue with the film is that it is just too darn romantic. Had I realised earlier on that it was going to be pure romance, I would probably have avoided it - it just isn't my thing, especially when it is this sloppy. And it really is sloppy - think Pretty Woman times about ten. The comic turns, particularly between Rohit and Aman, do help to break up the slushy bits enough to make it entertaining, but generally, it is three hours of an intense love story. It was way too sugary for me to watch all in one go - it took three sessions to finish it in the end. Once upon a time, I was a believer in love at first sight, but I'm way too cynical for that now. However, I appreciate that many people will be more than happy to have such an epic love story played out in front of them.
One advantage of the story is the many threads that go on apart from the main love triangle. Naina's best friend, Sweetu, has a love affair of her own and is very funny with it. I also loved Rohit's housekeeper, who became convinced that Rohit and Aman were in love - and with good reason, she kept coming across them in bed! Then there is the Kapur family and all their ins and outs. Lajjo was a nasty old witch, but Jenny was sweet and helped keep the film from falling apart completely. It was also good to see the family come together eventually, despite all their differences. I prefer tragedy to romance any day, so this was a welcome break for me.
The film is in Hindi, apart from a few sentences every now and again in English, so the subtitles are much needed. They weren't a problem to follow, despite Shahrukh Khan's amazingly fast speeches, but I definitely needed to concentrate on them more than I usually do during a subtitled film. For anyone wondering what the film title means, according to Wikipedia, it is literally Tomorrow May Not Be.
The only extras that come with the DVD are the songs - basically clips from the films that show the singing and dancing.
I really wanted to like this film a lot more than I did, but in the end, it was too over-dramatic for me and I found myself cringing more often than I like to. I don't mind people crying, but over and over again is not good - and that was just the men. The fact that the film was so long should have given me plenty of time to get to know and like the characters, but by the end of it, I wasn't all that bothered about what happened to them - although it is very tragic, and lovers of epic romances will love it. However, I am obviously in a minority - nearly 5,000 votes on imdb.com give it 7.7 out of ten at the time of writing. If you like a tragic love story, with a bit of humour thrown in, then give this a try, whether you're new to Bollywood films or not. If love stories aren't your thing, stick to something less tear-ridden. Three stars out of five.
The DVD is available from play.com for £15.99.
Running time: 186 minutes
The moment that a film manages to toy with my emotions, I fall hopelessly in love with it. This is exactly what happened with Kal Ho Na Ho. This Bollywood movie made me shriek with laughter, grind my teeth in anger, drop my jaw in shock, and sorrowfully cry my heart out- all in only three hours. It sounds long, but the flow was so smooth that I barely noticed time pass by. The amazing acting, storyline, and smoothness of plot really did serve as the blending ingredients that contributed towards this masterpiece. I believe that very few movies and depict the whole love triangle concept without being too patronizing or cliché- but this one has so many twists and touches of humor, as well as sadness to it that I really cannot find any other word to describe this film- except for masterpiece.
Naina Catherine Kapur is a young woman full of angst: She lives with her widowed mother, annoying grandmother and her two younger siblings. Naina's father committed suicide years ago- something that really left its mark on her. She never smiles and her only friend is Rohit Patel. One day, Aman Mathur arrives in Naina's neighborhood and takes it upon himself to change their lives. He gradually manages to bring sunshine in the life of everyone around him. But gradually, Rohit secretly starts falling in love with Naina- who in turn falls for Aman. Aman takes it upon himself to help Rohit woo Naina...But he's also hiding a secret...
What more can I say about Shah Rukh Khan's acting? In all my previous reviews, I kept on gushing about his flawless performances- and if he was flawless in other films, he was- if possible- even better in Kal Ho Na Ho. I was very, very impressed by how intently and precisely he infused life and emotions in the character of Aman Mathur. This actor really throws the other characters into the background. His performance and line deliveries were all extremely smooth- but what I loved the most about his general performance was the way in which he depicted his facial expressions. That was truly amazing. There are a couple of heart-wrenching films in the movies, coupled with some really striking soliloquies and Shah Rukh Khan was unsurprisingly at his top form. I really cannot imagine anyone else playing such a role, where so many different emotions had to be infused in one personality.
Saif Ali Khan who plays Rohit was less striking, and much less convincing than Shah Rukh Khan. But he was also thrown out of focus due to his co-star's exceptional performance. However, his character develops a close friendship with Aman- and the two actors really shared an exceptional on-screen bond. While Saif Ali Khan does play a huge role and has his share in plot contribution, he seemed to have been included more to provide comic relief. That was truly something that he excelled at. His twisty expressions à la Jim Carrey got me laughing every time. He might not share Khan's intense screen presence but he had a charm that was all his own.
Preity Zinta delivered a mixed performance as Naina Kapur. She was wonderful in the first half of the film- the broody, intense, moody girl full of angst was really well-delivered. However, her transformation to an average, next-door girl was rather feeble. Her performance seemed rather forced and stilted at times and Zinta had developed a sort of fixed, stagant facial expression that lasted until the very end of the movie. I was disappointed since I had seen other movies with her before and was expecting a great deal out of her acting. She truly wasn't up to her usual form in the last scenes of the movie.
* Shah Rukh Khan as Aman Mathur
* Saif Ali Khan as Rohit Patel
* Preity Zinta as Naina Catherine Kapur
* Jaya Bachan as Jennifer Kapur
* Sushma Seth as Lajjo Kapur
* Interview with Saif Ali Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta
* Song track
* Deleted Scenes
Overall, this is a highly recommended film that has it all: Humor, sadness, suspense and great performance. Despite Zinta's rather feeble acting, I will still award five stars to this film for the sheer beauty of the plot and the amazing representation of love and friendship.
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Kal Ho Naa Ho(If there's no tomorrow) is easily Karan Johar's most accomplished work as a writer. Directed by Nikhil Advani and starring Shahrukh Khan,Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan, it is about life,love,friendship and death.
The film starts off with Aman(played by SRK) moving into a newyork Indian neighborhood where he meets Naina(Preity) and _____(Saif).Naina is a shy girl who feels Aman is an irritating neighbour who tries to get on her nerves, but infact its his company that brings a smile on her face and makes her forget the struggle she faces everyday in the family.The three of them become best of friends and Aman slowly realizes Naina loves him(he also loves her). Despite of loving each other, Aman knows that he can't be with her since he has a life altering secret which he has been hiding from everyone.
The film has a very emotional string attached, but never goes away from its light and entertaining treatment. The writer and director stick to the funny scenes and larger than life portrayal and I have to say it works. It is more of a celebration of life rather than the tragedy of death which certainly takes control in the ending reels. The performances are top notch and the chemistry between all three is fantastic.
This is a not a film you would want to miss, it will make u laugh and cry!
Kal Ho Naa Ho, probably one of the most trivial Bollywood films of 2003. I went to see it in the cinema, and it just hit me like a bus.
With some of Bollywoods best actors and actresses, Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta, Jaya Bachchan, and a few surprise appearances from many recognisable faces throughout this film.
A film for everybody, a comedy, a love story, a story of pain, and a story of the realities this world faces.
Set in New York City, New York, USA, and appropriately filmed there throughout too, Kal Ho Naa Ho tells of Naina (Zinta), her mother Jenny (Bachchan), her grandmother Lajjo Ji (played by Sushma Seth), and her younger brother and sister.
Naina, daughter to a Christian Indian and a Sikh Punjabi; is a mature business student in New York, with her good friend Rohit (Saif) a Gujarati boy living in Manhattan with his dog (also Naina) and disturbed housekeeper Kaanta Bhen.
Naina is a boring so-and-so, and is never smiling, that is until when she prays for an angel to save her family, and the next day it appropriately arrives in the form of one Aman Mathur (Shah Rukh Khan).
He is the nephew of Lajjo Jis neighbour and secret fancy, Chaddha Uncle. When Aman arrives, he brings happiness and fun back into their lives, and helps them get their lives on track, and trying to fulfil his one main aim, making Naina smile. He does everything from helping Nainas mother cook Indian food and re-establish her café, to setting up Naina with Rohit. He helps deal with the fact that Nainas younger sister is not her mothers daughter, and tries to hide from everyone the fact that he has inoperable cancer with no way of getting better.
As he helps their lives back on track, his is derailing
Nevertheless this film shows Shah Rukh Khans acting at a peak, and the accompaniment of great actors and actresses has set a trend for others to follow.
And with the great directing of Karan Johar, and the superb music of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Javed Akhtar, as well as the well-known song from the Julia Roberts/Richard Gere classic Pretty Woman, this film is yet another Shah Rukh Khan hit.
Kal Ho Naa Ho Tomorrow May Never Come