This weekend marks 19 years since Kuch Kuch Hota Hai released. Feel old yet? Your age isn’t even the biggest difference. Watch the pop culture favourite again in 2017 and the ‘woke’ ones will agree to how terribly fucked up the movie was.
For starters the Karan Johar venture strengthens gender stereotypes, totally gets the idea of love and friendship wrong, and isn’t even half the movie that the likes of BuzzFeed make it out to be. And there’s more.
Guy should only love the ‘girly’ girls
So Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan) and Anjali (Kajol) are best friends but he falls only for the mini-skirt clad Tina (Rani Mukerji) who returns from the US of A. What’s wrong with Anjali you ask. She’s ‘tomboyish,’ plays basketball and isn’t ‘hot’ enough. Because who gives a fuck about being a good person!
Sanskaars are only about religion
But wait, Tina is not accepted as the ideal girl straightaway either. She has to prove her sanskaars by chanting Om Jai Jagdish Hare while on public display. Pahlaj Nihalani would have been really proud of that scene though.
Weak girl runs away
So now that Rahul and Tina found love in a not so hopeless page, Anjali, being the ‘strong’ woman that she is runs away from college. Whatever happened to facing problems and confronting your ‘best friend!’
Love is NOT friendship
…Or the vice versa or whatever the hell SRK’s toothless character proclaims. Why did you not fall for the person you connect the most with otherwise? And why didn’t you even care what happened to her when she just disappeared one fine day?
The idea that friendship is so important is what the film exactly contradicts. What it normalises is taking your friends for granted and falling for them only when they turn sexier.
Good guys finish last
So Aman (Salman Khan) does nothing wrong in the movie but still gets robbed off his woman at the bloody mandap of his wedding. That too to a widower with an 8-year-old daughter who has already caused so much trouble in the woman’s life.
We saw Kuch Kuch Hota Hai again recently and all romantic notions about it faded away with every passing minute. It’s definitely not the same for us anymore and maybe that’s how it should be, 19 years on or beyond.