From Ana’s Dungeon

This Episode’s unearthing: a 2001 Bollywood movie, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham.

Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham or It’s All About Loving Your Parents

I love Bollywood movies. I am not, by any means, a great connoisseur, but I have watched a few and I loved most of them. My favorite so far is Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham or K3G as it is known in Bollywood circles – a movie that is charming and heart-warming and was an immense success both in India and Europe.

Rahul is the most adored adopted son of one of the wealthiest families in India. He is doted upon like a biological son would be, the father is extremely proud of him but it is the mother that he has a special connection with. She can feel whenever he arrives at the family grounds, she loves him beyond anything. Rahul is expected to do great things, to follow all the family traditions, to carry on with the family name in business and life and to marry his childhood friend, a woman that his family has chosen to be his wife. He is very happy to do all of this, in part in gratitude for everything that they have done for him but also because he respects and loves his family above all things.

The movie is divided into two parts: Part one shows Rahul’s relationship with his family, and the family’s interactions with each other. We can see that his parents love each other very much but there is a very patriarchal feel to it and that the father can be quite ruthless at times and the mother has no other choice but to be submissive. This is after all, how things are. Rahul has also a much younger brother, Rohan, born 9 years after he was brought to the family who is also very much loved.

Until Rahul meets Anjali. Sweet, beautiful, vivacious, completely batty Anjali, a sweetshop owner’s daughter who is from the wrong side of the tracks, a very happy yet very poor girl who lives with her father and her younger sister. Anjali is great, with a wonderful sense of humor and who loves her family above all things as well. They fall in love and Rahul wants to marry her – she is desperate that she will have to leave her most beloved father but she knows it is dum dum dum Destiny. My silly romantic heart loves all the scenes when they are together, they have great chemistry. Rauhl trying to seduce her with banter and witty comments and how she can not fight it.

But the father tells him he cannot possibly marry a woman who knows nothing of their traditions, of their power – she is just not suitable. Rahul caves because as we know, he can not bear to disappoint the father. He goes to tell Anjali that they can not be together but when he gets to her, dear lord, her father had just died and she is now alone in the world, having to take care of her sister and Rahul does not blink, he knows what he must do and so they marry in a rushed ceremony. When he takes his new wife home to ask for his family blessing, one of the most important things for a newly -wed couple, his father tells him with all letters: you are not my son. You have proved this to me today OOOOOOOOOOOOHHHH. Bad, bad father. Rahul has to leave never to come back and the scene where he has to say goodbye to his mother who is not allowed any saying in the matter, omg is heartbreaking. He says goodbye to Rohan and tell him never to ask why he is leaving and to carry on loving their parents for both of them. And so they leave.

Cut to 10 years later. Rahul’s brother Rohan, now a full grown (and very very very handsome), man finally learns the truth about what happened to this brother and why he hasn’t seen him in ten years. His family is in tatters – the grandmothers are depressed, the mother and the father have lost their close relationship so he VOWS to bring them together. So he goes in search of Rahul who now lives in London with Anjali, their son and Anjali’s sister. We learn that although they are happy, the lack of blessing from the family is something that mars that happiness. Rohan manages to infiltrate the family posing as a friend (he isn’t recognized because he has changed so much since he was a child) .

He starts to work on his plan by talking with Rahul about family life whilst at the same time, falling in love himself with Anjali’s sister. (Yes, it is all in the family).

And one by one, they recognize him. His true reunion with his brother is so heartwarming but not as much as when finally he manages to make his parents come to London and Rahul and the mother meet again. I dare you not to cry at that scene or not to go all nutso and woohooooing at the screen when the mother finally stands up to the father and tells him that it is HIS own fault that they have lost a son and when finally the father breaks down and reunites with Rahul? Goosebumps.
This movie has everything: good songs and cool choreographies, beautiful protagonists, amazing – heartwarming story, with love and misunderstandings, laughter and tears. Plus some amazing photography and the Indian clothes? So envious. But the best is the well-acted relationships between father and sons, father and mother, between the brothers and of course between the two couples.

If you have to watch but one Bollywood movie I reckon it should be this one. Be warned though, you must be in a particular frame of mind to be able to enjoy it: it is very loooooooong with 3 and a half hours. It is beyond cheesy and melodramatic, people do burst into singing and dancing out of nowhere and the protagonists’ hair float around their heads like in a cheap shampoo commercial. But if you can get pass these things, I am sure you will love it as much as I did.

Go on, give it a go.


  • Thea
    April 24, 2008 at 9:12 am

    This one doesn’t have the guy with the extra thumb, right? :p

    Awesome. I’ve never really watched an entire bollywood movie–but I always have found the clips and American takes on them (The Guru, Bride and Prejudice) fun! And I love the colors and clothes, and dancing.

  • Shannon
    April 24, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Bride and Prjudice is the only one I have seen (dude! Naveen Andrews sings and dances!!!) I will definitely have to add this to the Netflix.

  • Kate
    April 26, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Loved Bride and Prejudice!

    Saw a really (interesting?) one on a plane recently, Bhool Bhulaiyaa, about a haunted family and a possession. (Don’t worry, it’s Bollywood…all ends well). I’m not really versed in Bollywood enough to know if it’s good or bad, but the end – when the possessed person dances this huge scene as the spirit (I’m trying not to give too much away!) – is incredible.

  • Mina Wolf
    May 7, 2008 at 10:32 am

    So being indian, I took this guy I was dating (non Indian) to see this one in the theaters because I was so excited about seeing it. He Loved it. Now, 7 years later we’re married with a baby boy. I still say, it was his reaction to this movie that made me realize he was the marrying type.

  • Ana
    May 7, 2008 at 10:39 am

    WOW Mina, that is incredible! What a great story!!!!

    Thanks for sharing it with us!

  • Five Years of Book Smuggling… | The Book Smugglers
    January 7, 2013 at 12:03 am

    […] love for Christopher Pike, Thea’s tween/teen obsession with Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, Ana’s Bollywood faves, etc… 5. From the Page to the Screen – in which we review films derived from books […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.