Bollywood 101 – ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’

It’s Sunday Funday! What better way is there than to watch movies to calm your frazzled mind before heading back to work the next day? With an endless array of movies available at your fingertips 24/7, thanks to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, iTunes, and the likes, for someone who is a movie-junkie, it is heavenly. Binge-watching is an acceptable form of behavior in this day and age, and I have no problem with it.

But if you’re running out of shows or movies to watch, or if you’re just getting simply bored with the usual selection in the mainstream Hollywood scene, step inside the magical world of Bollywood. I was introduced to Bollywood in high school through my best friend who was enamored with Kajol and Shak Rukh Khan, who are household names in Bollywood. For those who are new to Bollywood, fear not, as there is a myriad of options available online.

So which movie should you watch as Bollywood 101? I present you “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai,” which roughly translates into “Something…Something Happens.” It’s a classic rom-com hit from the late ’90s starring, you guess it, Kajol and Shak Rukh Khan; this movie encapsulates everything that you want to experience about Bollywood in three hours or so (yes, its running time clocks in at 185 minutes, which is a norm in Bollywood).

Let me just say right off the bat that I was thoroughly confused when I first saw this movie because of its over the top narrative. But after watching it again over the years, I became used to Bollywood’s extra dose of melodrama and dance/music fanfare. I mean I’m all about dance and music, so it’s good in my book.

The main plotline is relatively simple to understand. It follows two best friends (Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan) from college, as they go through various obstacles — boy falling in love and marrying another girl — only to be reunited at the end with the help of Shah Rukh Khan’s precocious daughter. The tour de force on-screen chemistry between Kajol and Shah Rukh Kahn is so palpable that it’s hard to believe that they are actually married to different people in real life. And, of course, one can’t forget about Rani Mukerji — playing the girl that Shah Rukh Khan’s character eventually falls for, gets married to, and has a daughter with before she dies — who is also a mainstay in the Bollywood scene.

Keep in mind that a Bollywood movie isn’t a Bollywood movie without its lead characters breaking into songs and dances every so often to express their innermost desires and thoughts. It’s a three-hour-long extravaganza that once you’re sucked in, it’s hard to get out even though you might cringe at some of the corny and silly dialogues. Dare I say it’s whimsical?

I mean how can say no to this?


Or to this romantic pas de deux?


The bottom line is you truly don’t know what you’re missing out on until you experience it yourself. So when you’re feeling stressed out or down, immerse yourself in Bollywood and check out “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.” It surely is something!

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