I actually like Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, although I know it is not most people’s favorite Karan Johar movie. It’s certainly not my favorite Shahrukh Khan film, but it does have some great moments for me. Today is the 10 year anniversary of KANK’s release date.
While it is about mature adults, and not young lovers, the subject of adultery is not one that everyone wants to watch in a film. I do love the music, too. I really like seeing how Karan played homage to Silsila especially in this song sequence. He copies the exact poses of Rekha and Amitabh.
But what I really take from KANK, is the gay subtext. It may have also been about Rani Mukherjee’s real life relationship with Aditya Chopra. But I think when Karan explores the sexual incompatibility of Rani and Abishek’s character’s marriage, and how Rani feels things with Shahrukh that she has never felt before — ding, ding, ding — we’re supposed to read into that a gay subtext.
Here’s an example when Shahrukh and Rani play act how he should greet his wife while they are in a department store. The first few times I watched this scene, I was focused on Shahrukh’s reaction, but look at Rani’s face at about the 1:17 minute mark. She realizes she’s feeling desire for Shahrukh that her character has never felt with Abishek. She wasn’t expecting to feel it, and she stops immediately, but she can’t stop thinking about it from this moment on.
I don’t believe that adultery is right, but I also don’t think people should stay in marriages where they are miserable. And that’s the real message that Karan is trying to tell us, whether the couples are gay or straight.