Movie Club: Kal Ho Naa Ho

Movie Club: Kal Ho Naa Ho May 24, 2014

I enjoyed this movie a lot. It’s not displacing my favorites, but it was really nice.

The title basically means what if there’s no tomorrow. As in, live for today.

Here are my thoughts as I was watching (there will be spoilers):

It’s so funny. The grandmother and her friends singing is hilarious and there’s a lot of great moments of comedic timing.

There are lots of aspects of this movie to draw me in. Such as the interfaith family with the Sikh grandmother and Catholic mother (I assume Catholic because that’s the form of Christianity most common in India). And the adopted sister and disabled brother. All things that are relevant to my life!

As soon as the mom starts talking about angels and praying for an angel, who do we see? Shah Rukh Khan, of course. SRK is an angel. Of course he is.

Interesting vision of America. It felt pretty believable as a movie version of New York City. I liked that they showed a lot of the diversity of America.

Someone get that brother into wheelchair basketball, for God’s sake. He’d love it!

It annoys me when people, in real life or movies, assume that someone can’t do something because of a disability. It would have to be an enormously severe disability to stop them and even then there’s usually a work around. There’s always a way. It takes creativity and determination, but I have yet to see anything that can’t be done.

Aman is really weird. I like that he brings people together and helps his new friends, but I don’t really understand him at all.

There are a lot of mostly naked women in that club. I guess I can’t say that’s inaccurate to America. Yes, some do dress this way and others don’t. I personally dislike clubs like this and I can count on one hand how many times I’ve ever been to one. I don’t drink at all and the crowds and noise triggers anxiety for me. So again, it’s important to remember that there is a lot of diversity in America and people in this club don’t represent all of Americans!

I thought Jenny was Catholic, and she did call the pastor “father” and crosses herself like a Catholic, but the gospel choir at the church is something you’d find at a Baptist service. Weird.

I don’t think they need to be fighting with the Chinese food place. There are plenty of people in NY and when they have different things to offer, why should they be angry with the Chinese? It’s very unflattering to Aman’s character to see him talking about the Chinese in a way that the movie actually bleeps!

This is one of the few times I’ve seen a love triangle where I’m not sure who I want to win out in the end.

Oh right, Aman is married. Why is he never with his wife? Is she a patient somewhere, hospital or institution, that he has to go visit her? No, they meet for lunch.

I was just thinking about how the songs aren’t really grabbing me, they’re nice and all, but nothing special, when suddenly the title song comes on and it’s lovely.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOOe2_2UMEQ

Of course taking off Naina’s glasses is the cue that she’s now ready for romantic relationships. She looks super cute in them and I’m a little sad she never wears them again!

Rohit is growing on me. I’m skeptical of stories where someone who is a huge player, always chasing different women, settles down suddenly and is devoted to one woman. Romeo and Juliet brings out the same skepticality in me!

As funny as the scenes with Kantaben catching Aman and Rohit looking like they are lovers, it’s weird to me that Rohit would have a servant in NYC. I guess that shows how rich he is? I don’t know about New York, but I haven’t met an Indian family here who brought a servant with them. Still, it’s certainly possible. Reminds me of that strange court case about the woman who was arrested for not paying her servant minimum wage.

Ah, Aman is sick. But wait, if Priya is his doctor, why does he have a wedding photo of them? Oh, I guess he was a guest at her wedding?

I don’t know if Aman really knows that much about women. But his methods do seem to be working on Naina. I like the Cyrano de Bergerac aspect of it, him giving Rohit the words to express his love.

Rohit’s family are so funny. In a lot of movies you see Sikhs and Punjabis in general being the butt of the joke. They often kind of play the fools, but in this movie that’s done with the Gujaratis.

It’s nice to see the interfaith family coming together and praying together.

Public confrontation is really interesting when you think about how none of the people around can understand a word. They just see Naina yelling at Aman and Rohit but don’t know at all what they are saying.

Okay, now that Naina knows the truth, she’s crying constantly. The whole rest of the movie she’s non-stop in tears. It’s getting a little grating. The whole tone of the movie shifts really dramatically.

Why didn’t Aman just tell her? It’s really not fair to just die on her with no preparation. When someone you love dies unexpectedly, you want so much to have been able to know it was coming, to talk with them about it, to emotionally prepare. But you can’t. They’re just gone and all you can do is talk to them about it in your dreams.

I am skeptical that Aman can leave the hospital and run around NYC with a heart condition and not drop dead. I’m also skeptical that he could find Naina where she ran off to. It’s not that easy to just bump into someone in a city like New York!

Was it right for Aman to “step aside” and not marry Naina? I think she should have had all the information and been able to make that choice herself. (As much as I really like her and Rohit together…and he is remarkably understanding).

“You got her in this birth, but in the next she’ll be mine.” That’s nice. I like that sentiment. A good solution! (Of course, I’m lucky that there is no one other than my husband in my heart and I want to spend every lifetime I have with him).

I like that we get to see an epilogue 20 years later. Rohit and Naina are really great together.

The message of the movie is to live for today and that’s a message I can support!

***

For next week, we’ll watch Kahaani because it keeps showing up in my Netflix list and the description has me intrigued!


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