Producer: Tips Films
Kundan Shah
Preity Zinta, Saif Ali Khan, Chandrachur Singh, Anupam Kher, Farida Jalal, Navneet Nishan
Rajesh Roshan

Released on : May 19, 2000

Reviewed by: Sunder

out of 
It was seven or eight years ago that Hindi cinema got the freshness of Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa. That was more than 10 years after Kundan Shah gave us the classic Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron. Now, after these many years - we have a double treat from him in Kya Kehna and Hum To Mohabbat Karega next week. However, Kya Kehna comes across as a letdown from the high standards set by the director's first two movies - and it badly lacks that freshness in presentation.

Many scenes in Kya Kehna remind you about his previous movies, especially KHKN. The opening scenes with Anupam and Chandrachur waiting at a railway station for Preity bring back welcome memories of Shahrukh in fine form. Even the sequences near the climax when two suitors head off (one in a car, one on a bike) to propose to the common love. These are just a few, and many of the family sequences that abound are reminiscent, but without the same effectiveness. The form is there to see, but the heartbeat is often not there to feel - and this is where the movie suffers.

About the story, Preity is the darling of the household of Anupam Kher and Farida Jalal, and her three loving and protective brothers. Chandrachur Singh plays her childhood friend and silent lover. Saif, a smooth, fast, and attractive guy in college. The story goes along predictable lines - glossed with sugar coated sequences of love, drama, and forced songs. It tries to be different towards the second half, when the movie really begins - with Preity stirring her household with a decision to be a single mom, and then fighting her way through home, college, and society - to defend her decision. This could have been the difference that could have made the movie much better - but it comes too late, and after too many cliched sequences. Just makes one wonder if a different narrative - rather a simple straight flow would have made wonders to this movie. And this reminds you about the opening of KHKN, and how that sequence is so effectively repeated in the end.

That very sequence also underscores another key difference - the way you identified with Shahrukh in KHKN in almost every sequence, and the many in Kya Kehna where you don't with any of the characters. At the same time, Kundan Shah does manage to weave together the plot that had much potential into a movie that has a few scenes that are as good as they can be. Saif is effective in his role, in many of his face-offs with his parents as well as with Preity's parents. The love scenes though are quite unimaginative as are the songs. On the other hand, Chandrachur looks his role of the silent and "almost" lost lover - but his acting is not quite as good as he manages to look the part! Preity is inconsistent, but stands up to the role in good measure. The rest of the family cast is professional, but way short of the brilliant characters that were in KHKN. The characterization in this movie is just not as well laid out as it could have been.

Despite these many reasons why the movie falls short of expectations, I would still place above many of the run-of-the-mill below average movies that release every week, for the few moments in the movie which are most poignant, including a strong climax.