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Movie Review: Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna

October 2006
Movie Review: Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna

Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna

Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Abhishek Bachchan, Preity Zinta

Director: Karan Johar

Music Directors: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

Kabhi Alvida? is, according to Karan Johar, his most mature movie till date. Well, he might be right but he still has lots of growing up to do. Especially since the film is the never- been-married director's take on love and marriage. Karan and his buddy Shah Rukh Khan seem to be a little lost in an alien world and the proceedings sometimes seem contrived and plastic, despite the film raising the pertinent question – should marriage make way for love or vice versa?

The film is basically the story of two couples. Dev (Shah Rukh Khan), a footballer whose multi-million dollar career is fractured by a disabling accident, is married to the super successful Riya (Preity Zinta), a high-flying fashion magazine editor. Rishi (Abhishek) is a flamboyant PR guru married to the self-doubting schoolteacher Maya (Rani Mukherjee). Thrown in for good measure is the widower (Amitabh Bachchan), Rishi's father, one of the most colorful playboys seen on the desi screen. Dev and Maya are drawn to each other. The bond transforms into something deeper and both relationships see turmoil. That in a nutshell is what the film is about.

It doesn't need to be reiterated that Big B is excellent at whatever he does. But just a passing thought: Picture of dignity that he is, does he really need to play every role that he is offered? Having said that, it is equally true that the high point of the movie is the rocking chemistry between father and son. Rani of course plays her morose act to perfection but pray, what is Preity Zinta doing in a walk-on part. She has been reduced to a garishly done up item number! Abhishek is delightful as Rani's doting husband. And King Khan himself? Well, can he ever change his stereotyped expressions? But it doesn't really matter, as long as he keeps the audience thronging to the theatres and keeps the cash registers ringing.

The very opportunity to see some accomplished actors together, lyrics by Javed Akhtar set to tune by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, and the heady effect of uptown New York and Philadelphia where the story is set and shot, give it the looks and sound of a worthy proposition. So the movie with some delightful cinematic moments is definitely worth one watch. But that's about it. It doesn't really linger on in one's memory. Especially since it's too long and tedious.

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