Intro To Bollywood, Movie #6: Kal Ho Naa Ho

Since Best Lovers are currently panicking about Dokko Jin’s chances of survival from heart surgery, it feels like the perfect time to review this film.

Kal Ho Naa Hoo is a 2003 film starring the has-been-reigning-forever King Of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan.

Naina (Preity) and Rohit (Saif) are best friends who attend MBA classes together. Naina is the typical tight assed female while Rohit is the typical playboy. She always acts angry and fed up with his antics but always hangs out with him which means she’s really not that bothered by his behavior, doesn’t it?

In comes Aman (Shah Rukh) into her life in the form of a new neighbor. He’s the typical happy-go-lucky guy whose cheer spreads to everyone around him. Naturally, she finds him very irritating at first but eventually warms up to him.

Rohit, on the other hand, is in love with her and that’s how our love triangle begins.

So Rohit loves Naina, Naina loves Aman but who does Aman love? Well, it turns out that Aman can’t accept her feelings and tells her that he’s married.

And not only that, he can tell how Rohit feels about Naina, and also how she feels about him even though she doesn’t know it herself. So what does he do? He decides to play matchmaker.

Just like many Bollywood fans, there was a time I absolutely fell for Shah Rukh Khan. But unlike many Bollywood fans, I also got tired of him (blasphemy!). So even though he was playing the usual selfless, loving hero in this movie, I was more interested in the Naina/Rohit story. It helped that they were shown to be compatible right from the start.

As with most Bollywood movies, it is a love story. But a love story of a woman who loves two men… a story of a woman loved by both men. So how does this love triangle get resolved?

Other than romantic love, it’s also about family love. Naina is bitter because her father committed suicide and left all his burdens to his wife who’s fighting to stay afloat financially. In addition, Naina’s mother has to suffer her mother-in-law’s scorn because she takes in a little girl that seems to have no parents. So who is that child?

A lot of the problems are charmingly solved in cliche ways by Angel Aman so there are not many cringe-worthy moments. Well, there is a lot of cheesy stuff but it’s the usual fare -cheesy lines, cheesy comedy and over the top emotionally manipulative moments. LOL. But that’s why we love Bollywood, right?

Pretty much all the songs in this movie are great although my favorite is Kuch To Hua Hai.

The title song is also pretty lovely.

I think all actors delivered although Preity was a little stiff but I think it’s more to do with her character than her acting skills. Overall, Kal Ho Naa Ho is  funny, touching, sweet, sad and romantic all tied up in an entertaining package.


  • ripgal says:

    Kinda reminds me of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, my favourite Bollywood movie EVER!
    Just love SRK and Kajol together, their on-screen chemistry always always delivers.

    • msclockwatcher msclockwatcher says:

      I love Kuch Kuch Hota Hai too and already wrote about it here.

      Kajol and SRK are great together but I think I was too late in watching Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge because by then so many movies had ripped off of it that it didn’t feel fresh. So KKHH will always be my favorite pairing of theirs. I still haven’t seen My Name Is Khan, though.

      • ripgal says:

        Wow, thank you! *just commented*

        I watched all of SRK and Kajol’s films together. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge I watched right after KKCH, and that was about 10 yrs ago? I think the last I read, it’s still one of the most memorable and re-watched Bollywood movies of all time in India.

        My Name Is Khan was good, chemistry still there, but I’d say a lil bit different than the normal Bollywood flic.

        I also liked Kabhi Kushi Khabie Gham.U seen that?

      • msclockwatcher msclockwatcher says:

        I think DDLJ might still be running in India. It’s definitely considered a modern classic. I liked it, especially the scenes in Europe but the second half wasn’t as great for me but as I said, I think I just saw it too late.

        I have seen K3G and like it but don’t love it like KKHH which is just awesome. lol

  • ripgal says:

    Straying away again, any chance u’ve seen Salman Khan and Karisma Kapoor’s films together? Biwi No. 1? Chal Mere Bhai or Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge? They’re my No. 2 Bollywood couple after the SRK-Kajol.

    You’re totally bringing out the Bollywood spazzing me haha..

    • msclockwatcher msclockwatcher says:

      lol… happy to bring out the Bollywood spazzing but I don’t think I’ve seen any of those movies! I really had to rack my brain to think of any Salman-Karisma movies I’ve seen and the only one I could think of is Andaz Apna Apna.

  • eshi says:

    wow I got wiplash from reading a bollywood review right after a korean movie review….I swapped in my bollywood craze for my kdrama/jdrama craze…but you cant really ever stop loving the classics.
    I had the kal ho na ho soundtrack on repeat the year this movie came out, but its been a while since I’ve watched a hindi movie.

  • I am absolutely fascinated that there are so many Bollywood fans among the K-drama crowd – it’s pretty awesome! I LOVE Kal Ho Naa Ho, but maybe because it’s the first Bollywood movie I ever watched. It was also a movie that I used to lure many a person to start watching Bollywood – muahahahahaha. I also really love the soundtrack. I think I really just love the unorthodox (for western films) ending, and that at it’s heart it’s about family and how we love not as isolated individuals, but that there are often other people involved in the mix.

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