One of the most iconic films of the 90s, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, completes 20 years Tuesday and we are getting all sorts of feels. While there is no denying the fact that film is flawed in countless ways and comes across as misogynist, it is also no secret that it is a Bollywood lover’s guilty pleasure and we can’t help but drop its dialogues every now and then, especially, “Kuch kuch hota hai, tum nai samjho gay.”
It is also important to note that Karan Johar’s directorial debut starring Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Rani Mukherji, set a new precedent for a way films were done in Bollywood.
On the film’s 20th anniversary, revisiting the film with some lesser known facts:
– Rani Mukerji wasn’t Karan Johar’s first choice to play Tina. The character was originally written with Twinkle Khanna in mind, who is also Johar’s childhood friend, and was even named after her (Twinkle’s nickname is Tina). However, after the actress rejected the role, it went to Rani.
– Karan Johar in this memoir, An Unsuitable Boy revealed that he was unable to find someone to play the role of Aman Mehra in the film because it was a supporting part and the character makes an entry only in the second half of the film. Karan initially met Saif Ali Khan for the role but he refused, saying that he wants to do Indian, commercial parts and Aman seems too western and hip. Then, KJo approached Chandrachur Singh, who also turned down the role. Karan shared that he became extremely depressed at this point.
However, a few days later, at a party hosted by Chunky Pandey, Karan shared his woes about being unable to find an actor. Salman’s sister, Alvira Khan Agnihotri, also present at the party told Salman about this who immediately went to Karan to ask him the details. After Karan gave him a brief overview, Salman said, “No hero will want to do this role. There’s only one idiot in the industry who’ll do it, and that’s me. You know, my sister says you’re a nice guy. Come and narrate it to me tomorrow.”
Karan narrated the story to Salman who agreed to do the film for him and more so for his father, whom he called “the nicest guy in the industry.”
Salman eventually went on to win a Filmfare Award for the Best Supporting Actor and also garnered a lot of praise for his role and performance.
– The film was based on the Archie Comics. Shah Rukh was Archie, Kajol Betty and Rani Mukherjee Veronica. Anupam Kher’s character was based on Mr Weatherbee, the principal of Riverdale High School.
– SRK and Kajol were Karan’s first choices to play Rahul and Anjali, respectively. They had promised to be a part of Karan’s first film back when he was the assistant director on Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.
– Salman Khan and Kajol were reportedly not on talking terms while shooting for the song Saajanji Ghar Aaye
The cast and director of the film also fondly recalled the film on its anniversary. Karan Johar took to social media to express his feelings writing, “I can’t believe it’s been 20 years! A film that gave me love, acceptance and a career…will always be eternally grateful to Kajol, SRK, Rani and Salman Khan for indulging a 25 years old boy with stars in his eyes! Thank you for all the love.”
I can’t believe it’s been #20YearsOfKKHH ! A film that gave me love ,acceptance and a career….will always be eternally grateful to @KajolAtUN @iamsrk #rani and @BeingSalmanKhan for indulging a 25 years old boy with stars in his eyes! Thank you for all the love❤ pic.twitter.com/xm3RGVOneI
— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) October 16, 2018
Meanwhile, Kajol shared her favourite memory from the shoot in an interview with Hindustan Times.
“We went to Ooty (Tamil Nadu) to shoot the film,” she said, “We stayed in a hotel that had just come up. We were the first people to stay in that hotel. We were there for 40 days. I can’t imagine how they put up the set in Ooty, in the middle of a valley! They had created this set of houses, summer camp. It was an amazing feat. I remember Yash [Karan’s father] uncle clearly; he’s one of my fondest memories of the film. He was this huge driving force behind the way everything was done.”
On whether Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Janhvi Kapoor, who are Karan’s dream cast for KKHH’s sequel, would be able to do justice, Kajol said, “I hope they can. I know they won’t be able to recreate our magic, that’s not possible!”