Freeze Frame #78, #79: Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na

In my opinion, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na is the most endearing movie of SRK’s career. This was before he refined his act, but one can see how his screen presence and his energy take the movie up a couple of notches. For those of us who first noticed him when he played Abhimanyu Rai in DD’s Fauji, this movie was a natural progression from that character as well as a much-welcome return to form after clunkers like Chamatkar and King Uncle. Two scenes stand out for me in this movie.

The first is the Don song sequence. Sunil (SRK) and his band get an opportunity to perform at a local club frequented by all the local gangsters. They start off doing pleasant, peppy numbers and get booed off stage. Then Sunil convinces them to do a number about a poor unemployed youth who picked up a gun in anger, became a don and lost the love of his life. (The fact that it is a big production number that could not have been put together at such short notice is besides the point.) The song works unsurprisingly well, but what adds a touch of genius to it is the shot where the head honcho there (played by Goga Kapoor) pulls out his wallet and stares longingly at what is presumably his long-lost love’s photograph. I remember being quite delighted by it when I first saw the movie – until that point, it didn’t really explore the comic angle of these gangsters. They were just generic bad guys that you didn’t want to mess with.

The other scene I really liked comes right at the end,during Anna’s wedding. Sunil has stepped aside so that she could marry the love of her life, and is the best man at their wedding. Just as Chris is about to put the ring on Anna’s finger, it falls out of his hand and rolls away. The entire congregation is searching for it when he spots it lying near one of the pews. But when someone asks him if he’s seen it, he shakes his head no. Sure, the entire scene is contrived – the ring had no need to fall off. But what it manages to convey is good enough to warrant the contrivance. Sunil’s character has an arc during the movie, but even though he’s reached the end of that arc, it shows that he’s still on the same circle.

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