24 March 2008

Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna

Bollywood is like crack cocaine*.

When I first watched Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, I gave it four stars out of five because I thought it was very well made, very pretty and stylish, and it had all my favorite actors. But I didn’t really like it. I wanted to, but the characters were all unhappily married, the situation was uncomfortable, and the whole movie was full of mean and crabby people. I also thought the music was too similar to the music in Kal Ho Naa Ho, and not as good (both soundtracks were done by the same music directors, Shankar, Ehsaan, & Loy). After the movie was all over, I decided it had been worth watching—once.

*not that I would actually know.

I took it back to the library, and believed I would never need to watch it again. After all, I have only so much time and so many thousands of Bollywood movies to watch, and I had to get cracking on the rest of them. And yet…and yet…somehow I found myself still thinking of Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna.

Despite not liking the movie, I did have a favorite song video scene which kept popping up in my brain, but I didn’t realize it was from that particular movie right away. The scene is this: Shah Rukh Khan is shown standing by himself on the playing field of an empty soccer stadium, singing, with his arms outstretched and the camera swooping and swirling around him in a circle, showing off the green playing field in the background. (It sounds cheesy, yes, I know. It always does. But it was a great shot, really—trust me.) I had to do some research online to try to figure out if it was in fact from Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, or from Chak De India, which is a movie about the Indian National Women’s Hockey Team and also involves large green sports stadiums and Shah Rukh Khan. Once I figured it all out and found the right scene from the right movie, I realized I also really loved the song Mitwa, which is the song playing during the scene.

One weeklong, nonstop Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna soundtrack binge later, I thought I would just check out the dvd a second time from the library, to watch the one song in its entirety—just the one song, you know. But by this time, all of the other songs from the soundtrack had been burned into my brain, and I had to play the videos of all the rest of the movie’s songs on the dvd too. Had to!

You can see where this is going. I must own this dvd. I must watch it again. The whole movie, not just the songs. Why? Why?? I have no idea. Regular movies don’t have this effect on me. Yes, I do own a great many non-Bollywood films, and I will pull one out every once in a great while to watch it again if I haven’t seen it in a few years. But I am not compelled to watch them over and over again within a month of first seeing them. Why are the Bollywood ones any different? Okay, so I LOVED Kal Ho Naa Ho. I LOVED Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. I've watched them both at least three times each since November, squeezed in among all the other Bollywood films I’ve seen since then. One could say it would be sort of understandable to want to watch them more than once in such a short time period, although I don’t usually do that with movies, no matter how much I loved them the first time. But Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna? Why? I didn’t like it much in the first place. Why do I need to see it again? (And I really, really do.)