Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham

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KabhiKhushiKabhiGham_Poster.jpg
Film poster for Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham is a Bollywood film released in India and countries with large NRI populations on December 14, 2001. Its popularity was pre-determined by virtue of possessing many of the biggest names in the Bollywood film industry: Amitabh Bachchan, his wife Jaya Bhaduri, Shah Rukh Khan, and his frequent co-star Kajol (who had announced she would retire after this movie), along with rising stars Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor. This was also director Karan Johar's follow up to the immensely popular Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Indeed it also showcases the pretty Rani Mukherjee but this time in a small role. She is only seen for a short time in the first half of the movie and dancing in the song "Say Shava Shava".

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham is the highest grossing Indian film overseas. It climbed up to 3rd place in the British box office within two weeks of release, and maintained its place for over 3 weeks. The film was also thought to have broken the American Box Office Top 10, but this remains uncertain due to a lack of confirmed figures from the distributors. The film was the first Bollywood feature to see a theatrical release in Germany (with German subtitles, a dubbed version was produced, too). It was the highest grossing Indian film ever until 2002's release Devdas, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

The story starts with a flashback to earlier, happier times that went astray, and then shows the characters working to right things out. This basic plotline, and many of jokes and characters within, are directly lifted from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai - for instance, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol were not only the romantic leads in both movies, but they play characters with the same names. However, masala romances don't exist for the fresh, original plotlines, and in other regards Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham excels. The actors are charismatic, the soundtrack by Sandesh Shandilya and brother duo Jatin-Lalit (with Aadesh Shrivastava composing the single "Say Shava Shava") is excellent, and the art direction is colorful, glossy, and dream-like, with elaborate sets and massive dance sequences, often done in beauiful hues of red and gold.

One noticeable aspect of the movie is that the latter half takes place principally in London, where several of the characters are supposedly studying to earn their MBA at King's College, London. While the use of foreign locations has been relatively common since being popularized in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, this movie, along with Kal Ho Naa Ho, ranks as one of the most amusing blendings of Bollywood sensibilities and a foreign setting.

Filming locations include: Egypt, Bicester Village Shopping Centre (on DVD's deleted scenes), Blenheim Palace (King's College in the film), Bluewater Shopping Centre (the mall), Bond St., Kingsway Rd., Covent Garden, British Museum, Butler's Wharf, Heathrow Airport, Leicester Square, Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Piccadilly Circus, Stowe School, The Strand and Waddesdon Manor.

Variations on the title

This movie also goes by the title Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... due to the vagaries of Romanizing the Hindi language. It is also said that the "e" in the second "Kabhie" was added to help protect against rampant video piracy: indeed, most pirated copies of the film omit this "e". Marketing for the movie also uses the title KKKG or K3G. The title translates in English into "Sometimes Happy, Sometimes Sad."

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