Thursday, August 16, 2007

Kabhi Kabhie

Yash Chopra
adjective (Yash Chopra-ier, so much of Yash Chopra)
• beautiful and stylish; romantic and dreamy; indulgent of emotion; using dramatic elements without going overboard: This film is delightfully Yash Chopra, as it maintains a delicate balance among its potentially ridiculous plot elements, such as a poet with unrequited love, an adoption, and an endangered engagement.*
And that would just about describe it. Kabhi Kabhie is all of the above - and everything I hope for in a Yash Chopra movie.

The cast deserves special note. We've all seen big movies packed with big names and they disappoint, either because they're under-used or the actors turn in uninteresting (or even bad) performances. That is very much not the case in Kabhi Kabhie. This movie has three of my most favorite people from past decades - Shashi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, and Rakhee Gulzar - and they and everyone else do a fantastic job. Shashi is smiling and breezy but not careless or unfeeling. Amitabh is brooding but repentant. Rakhee is funny and sweet but mindful. Even Rishi Kapoor, whom I don't necessarily enjoy, was a treat, very physical in his gestures and expressions. I wasn't actually fond of his character, but I liked his performance. I read that Neetu and Rishi fell in love during the filming, and I hope that's true, because I feel like I saw it in their performances. Very cute and very endearing - not just the lovebirds but the whole cast.

There were also some sweet touches of everyday life (very welcome in the movie world of mega-houses, horse racing, poetry, and tv studios) that made me like the characters even more: the funky wooden table in Amitabh and Waheeda's daughter's teen hangout room in the basement, Rakhee sitting on the floor working at the coffee table, Rishi trying to take his phonecall from Neetu as far away from his father as he could, limited to the reach of the cord (if you're my age or oler, you might even remember doing such a thing...kids today, with their mobile this and their wireless that, they have no idea...).

For me, Kabhi Kabhie was no more - and no less, it's important to stress - than an exceptionally well-executed example of the Yash Chopra type. Like the parents in the story, it is generous and indulges us but keeps us in check. There were zero surprises, but no matter. A well-worn path can be amazing when it's blanketed in flowers and poetry, populated by interesting, charming people, and given a classic soundtrack.**

Let's see some of that pretty, shall we?













My computer did not like this DVD and it got really spazzy about halfway through the movie, so my screen captures are limited. But I just had to have this scene, so I resorted to taking a picture of the tv screen. Just look at the mustache and shades!


* While I don't think the movie would have been less without the adoption plot line (I read somewhere that the story originally focused on the adults and that arc was added later), it was handled nicely, and every time I found myself about to get tired of the kids, the movie shifted to the Amitabh/Rakhee/Shashi story. Can anyone confirm that the story was indeed originally proposed without the Neetu/Waheeda story?

** I know a lot of people adore this soundtrack. I don't. My verdict is that the songs are wonderful in the movie but I don't feel the need to listen to them on their own (a few of them appear on various compilation albums I have, and I never choose these - but I listen to them if they come up on shuffle).

11 comments:

Miss Bolly said...

This was a movie I just couldn't get into! I tried--twice! It was just too slow and dreamy too early. And the plot lost me early on. Maybe I should give it one more try. Sigh.

GuNs said...

Kabhi Kabhie, the title track is my all time favourite Hindi song. It is sung by Mukesh, my favourite singer too as an added bonus.

-PeAcE
--WiTh
---GuNs

Aspi said...

I've always found the music of KK to be snoozeworthy - although I'm in the minority for sure.

alienvoord said...

Again this spelling "kabhi" 2 different ways, like in K3G. What's up with that?

I guess it's Yash Chopra-ier.

Sanket Vyas said...

Never thought much of the movie but the soundtrack is one of my top 10 of all time. Desis the world over have grown up on this soundtrack and even those who don't particularly like Bollywood (blasphemy!) like these songs. In an aside - I had this music playing in my room and my sister in law to be (who was over for a party we were having) heard it and introduced herself to me. A few months later I met my wife to be and the rest is history. So if it hadn't been for this soundtrack? ;)

Katrin said...

I really like the soundtrack, too - especially the title song in all versions.
While the climax was a wee bit too over the top for me and didn't really fit the mood of the rest of the film, it's still one of my favourites. And no, that's not only because of the wedding night scene :P

Lalit nagrath said...

kabhi-2 was a good movie , music definately was the plus point , and it s still same soothing all these years along

shrijana said...

Can anyone post the link to watch this movie?? I am dying to watch this movie.......pleaseeeeeeeeee

bawa said...

Actually the film credits the story to Yash Chopra's wife Pamela Chopra, but at the time it was said to be a straight lift from serialised stories that appeared in British Women's magazines, very popular among certain classes of Indian women, namely Women's Weekly and Women and Home. This one was very like a story in Women and Home. And that one included the kids angle I think, though of course not the tacked on Hindi film ending, which maybe is the reason it looked so out of place.

Beth said...

bawa - Interesting! Now that you say it, it does sound like a magazine serial.

yves said...

Hi Beth, just to let you know I've availed myself of your inspirational article on Kabhie Kabhie - which not many other bloggers seem to think inspirational!
thanks and cheers