Kal Ho Naa Ho

November 28th, 2003


Kal Ho Naa Ho

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Life of a very serious girl Naina, changes on the arrival of her new neighbour, Aman, who teaches her a new way to live.

Release Year: 2003

Rating: 7.7/10 (8,436 voted)

Critic's Score: 54/100

Director: Nikhil Advani

Stars: Preity Zinta, Shah Rukh Khan, Sushma Seth

Naina {Preity Zinta} is a young woman, slightly ticked off for reasons more than one. His father committed suicide when she needed him the most, leaving Jennifer{Jaya bachchan}, his wife all alone. Lajjo{Sushma Seth}, Jennifer's mother-in-law blames Jennifer for the same. furthermore, Jennifer is unhappy because Lajjo refuses to accept Gia, a 6-year old girl whom Jennifer adopted. Even the restaurant Jennifer is running is not going great guns. in short, nothing is well on the Kapur family front. the only factors that redeem Naina's existence are his toiling and tolerant mother Jennifer, and her bumbling stumbling MBA classmate Rohit {Saif Ali Khan}. Meanwhile, Aman{Shah Rukh Khan}, a happy-go-lucky guy arrives in Naina's neighbourhood and soon changes everything around, thanks to his contagious joviality and jest for life. He proves to be the messiah for the Kapur family in every sort...

Writers: Karan Johar, Karan Johar

Shah Rukh Khan - Aman Mathur
Preity Zinta - Naina Catherine Kapur
Sushma Seth - Lajjo Kapur
Reema Lagoo - Aman's Mother
Lillete Dubey - Jaswinder "Jazz" Kapoor
Delnaaz Paul - Jasprit "Sweetu" Kapoor
Rani Mukerji - Special Appearance
Sonali Bendre - Dr. Priya
Sanjay Kapoor - Abhay
Sulabha Arya - Kanta Bhen (as Sulbha Arya)
Athit Naik - Shiv Kapur
Princey Shukla - Gia Kapur (as Jhanak Shukla)
Simone Singh - Camilla
Satish Shah - Kursann bhai Patel
Rajpal Yadav - Guru

Taglines: A Story Of A Lifetime.......In A Heartbeat


Official Website: Official site |

Release Date: 28 November 2003

Filming Locations: India

Opening Weekend: $758,211 (USA) (30 November 2003) (52 Screens)

Gross: $1,787,378 (USA) (21 December 2003)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Karan Johar had written the script with his friend Kareena Kapoor in mind as the leading lady. But she asked for too high a fee and was replaced by Preity Zinta.

Crew or equipment visible: In the scene where Aman Mathur enters the kitchen to look for Rohit Patel, who has gone for a date with Camilla, he and Kanta Bhen have a conversation in the kitchen, in front of the glass door. The reflection of the boom mic is visible on the glass door.

Kurzon bhai Patel: There is this famous decorater from Paris who is coming and at the same time he will decorate my hole! You know... I have a very big hole!
Rohit Patel: Hall!

User Review

YAY! What a pleasure!

Rating: 9/10

Well, it is always a bit difficult in Western countries to get to see Bollywood movies with English subtitles, and though I have made a bit of an effort to spot them in the last few years I wouldn't call myself a Bollywood expert - and of course I've grown up with Western rather than Indian aesthetic standards ingrained. Although as a fan of Baroque Opera, I don't really have much difficulty with the basic premises of the Bollywood style!

Having said that, this was possibly the most interesting Bollywood movie I've seen to date - especially in its attempt to incorporate elements of Western pop culture, including several blatant references to American movies, from Grease and a spoofed James Bond to Brad Silberling's City of Angels, which evidently contributed a lot to the way Shahruk Khan's character is handled (including him starting to see things in black and white when he is near dying - that one goes back all the way to Wim Wenders!).

The soundtrack is stunning, and again it's great to see the way the New York setting gives opportunity to mix in some Western elements in an intelligent way. The dance and song numbers are a true joy, and it doesn't hurt that they are better integrated into the plot than in most Indian movies I've seen.

Shahruk Khan is nicely parodying himself - at least, I thought he was... maybe I'm wrong??? :-o - I also particularly enjoyed the running joke about Aman and Rohit being a homosexual couple - one could indeed ask oneself who is really in love with who here? And why exactly does Aman prefer to love vicariously rather than going for the girl himself? It's also perhaps significant that it is Rohit rather than Naina who stays with Aman to the last. I am sure the filmmakers are intelligent enough to be aware of these undercurrents, even if perhaps most audiences aren't!

In any case, watching this movie (with a very sympathetic audience at a foreign film showcase here in Wellington, people who actually laughed in most of the *right* places!) was a pure joy and it makes me happy to see how Indian cinema is finally beginning to be perceived as a legitimate part of international film culture even by Western audiences, rather than just an exotic oddity - something that Chinese and Japanese movies, for instance, have already achieved to a much greater degree!

And now I'm off to buy the soundtrack...


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