As Karan Johar’s newest outing Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani sparks debates round adultery, we revisit the saga that began all of it
Spoiler alert (by no means thoughts, the film is 17 years outdated) – on the finish of Karan Johar’s Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, when Shah Rukh Khan as Dev proposes to Rani Mukerji as Maya, he, as a matter of reality, (and evidently nonetheless guilt pushed) says, “Khushi aur gum to sab baante hai, main tumhare saath apni saza baatna chahta hoon.
” (everybody shares their pleasure and sorrow, I wish to share my punishment with you) This, in flip, serves as a stark reminder that director Karan Johar, at no level, paints a rosy image of discovering love exterior marriage and understandably so.There aren’t any proper and mistaken solutions on this 2006 saga that sparked off big (and debatable) POVs round adultery and falling in love exterior marriage. There aren’t any black and white characters, there aren’t any victims. Soccer coach Dev, professionally far much less profitable than his excessive flying trend journal editor spouse Riya (Preity Zinta), is bitter and egoistic, stemming from an accident that left him with a everlasting limp, by the way occuring on the day he has a short encounter with Maya for the primary time, simply earlier than she was on the brink of tie the knot along with her childhood good friend Rishi (Abhishek Bachchan). Nonetheless, his situation has merely exacerbated his borderline obnoxious character, which wasn’t amiable to start with.
Reduce to 4 years later, Rishi and Maya’s marriage shouldn’t be a mattress of roses both. College trainer Maya, evidently not in love with Rishi, took three years to say sure to his proposal and feels no ardour in the direction of him, although the suave, subtle businessman is insanely in love along with his spouse. Maya, reeling in guilt over taking the mistaken determination, coupled with the truth that she will be able to’t bear a toddler, continually distances herself from Rishi, more often than not for no fault of his. In each instances, for those who really feel sorry for anybody, it’s the spouses who get cheated on and never vice versa, having to continually cope with companions, who negate all their efforts to fix the connection.
Karan Johar, normally identified for his romcoms and ‘pure breed’ love tales like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, takes on one of many hardest topics to cope with. As he himself mentioned in lots of interactions, Dev and Maya are massively ‘flawed’ characters who fall in love with one another, even whereas being married to 2 loving companions, who do the whole lot (properly, virtually the whole lot) right. Whereas Riya is a profession oriented girl, that doesn’t make her any much less of a spouse or mom, Rishi, then again, regardless of his flamboyant nature, is nuts about Maya, and places up a jovial entrance, whereas silently affected by the dearth of affection from his chilly as ice spouse.
Dev and Maya, sad of their respective marriages, finally discover love in one another. A teary-eyed Dev confesses his emotions and shares with Maya his goals, that embrace shopping for a ‘blue’ automotive, earlier than strolling away, assuming the connection has no future. Maya, by means of a collection of flashbacks, realises that that is her one probability at discovering real love and rushes to him, screaming ‘I like Blue’. A color co-ordinated love tune follows, the place Dev and Maya, removed from the madding crowd, are misplaced in their very own world. Each are bitter, cynical, loopy, illogical however, as Dev places it, “akele jitne adhure, saath utne hi pure”. (incomplete on their very own, full collectively)
Johar, a grasp in storytelling, deviates from his fortunately ever after route to color a sensible image of city marriages, whereas conserving his classics intact – NRI properly to do millenials, customary Manish Malhotra sarees and the entire tune and dance routine. Nonetheless, on the coronary heart of it, he carries the burden of portraying a love story that appears convincing (and never morally proper) on display, and one which the viewers ought to empathize with and never essentially agree with.
One of many turning factors within the film comes within the type of a ballet sequence the place Dev and Maya arrive to look at it with their respective companions. The 2, going by means of a lover’s spat, exit of their approach to make one another jealous in the course of the efficiency, caressing their spouses whereas sitting throughout from one another. Rishi, overwhelmed by the sudden PDA from his in any other case aloof spouse, goes overboard, making Dev seethe in anger. As Maya feels responsible over what she has accomplished to Rishi, Dev scorns her for feeling sorry for him, earlier than turning aggressively possessive. The 2 consummate their relationship quickly after, at the same time as their respective spouses have a good time the sudden spark of their marriage by partying in a membership. In case you, like me or anybody else ‘hated’ Maya and Dev right here, it was speculated to be like that.
Karan’s brilliance shines by means of within the ultimate showdown scene when Dev and Maya come clear to their spouses. Whereas Riya, with tears welled up in her eyes, slaps Dev after telling him that the wedding is over, Rishi has a much more heartbreaking meltdown. Deeply damage, he goes on a rampage destroying issues round the home, questioning Maya as to why she did this to him, even after he liked her a lot. Identical to Maya, the viewers too, has no solutions, however that’s okay.
It is not a standard ‘Glad Ending’ for Dev and Maya as properly, not less than not initially. The 2, unknown to one another, stay a lonely life alone for 3 years, considering that the opposite one is glad in his/her respective marriage. In an irony of types, Rishi, all set to get married once more, invitations Maya to be his ‘greatest man’ which is the place she meets Riya, who’s now courting her boss. The three 12 months hole that Karan locations within the story was his manner of portray repentance for the leads, who regardless of the whole lot, should acknowledge the truth that what they did can’t be thought-about ‘proper’ in any universe.
Versus what many thought, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna doesn’t ‘glorify’ extra-marital affairs. What it does nonetheless, spell out (in no unsure phrases) is that marrying for the mistaken causes is a recipe for catastrophe. Whereas Dev and Riya have been school pals who simply ‘casually’ determined to get married, Maya married Rishi purely out of guilt – as a way of paying again for being her solely household in New York. As Dev quips ultimately – “Kehte hai shaadi ki buniyad sirf behintaah mohabbat honi chahiye, kyunki agar buniyad galat ho toh rishte toot jaate hai.” (the inspiration of a wedding ought to solely be immense love, as a result of if the inspiration is weak, the wedding will crumble)
Ultimately, Dev realises that the ghosts of what they’ve accomplished will nonetheless mar their relationship, but staying with Maya is price taking the danger. A far cry from ‘you make me the happiest man on this planet’, he proposes by saying, “Tumhare saath zindagi poori nahi hogi, par zindagi toh hogi“, (with you, it will not be an ideal life, however a life however), absolutely conscious that it will not be clean crusing.
Life appears to have come a full circle for Karan, as his newest outing Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani has sparked conversations round adultery once more, because the widow Jamini (Shabana Azmi) reconnects with an ailing Kanwal (Dharmendra), and rekindles their a long time outdated romance, that began in Shimla once they have been each married. Whereas it’s a must to watch the film to grasp the context extra, the nuance stays the identical – on the subject of love, the traces between proper and mistaken will at all times be blurred.
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ETimes Decoded is our weekly column the place we deconstruct films, characters or plots to uncover a contemporary, usually undiscovered perspective.