With its all-star cast and lavish locations, Karan Johar's tale of love, marriage and thwarted happily-ever-afters top-of-the-line Bollywood melodrama. But despite the US setting, the films length -- three hours and 15 minutes -- makes it an unlikely crossover vehicle.
The films lengthy prologue introduces six characters whose romantic destinies are about to become intertwine. Soccer pro Dev Saran (Shahrukh Khan) and ambitious magazine editor Rhea (Preity Zinta), who've known each other since childhood, have been married for fives years. The power couple score separate coups on the day of their wedding anniversary, a $5 million contract for him, a top slot at the second most famous fashion magazine in the world. Meanwhile, event manager Rishi Talwar (Abhishek Bachchan) and teacher Maya (Rani Mukerji), also childhood friends, are about to get married at New York mansion of his hugely wealthy father, Sam (Amitabh Bachchan). But Maya is having second thoughts: She's always loved Rishi, but more as a friend than a husband. Maya and Dev cross paths on the mansions grounds – Dev's mother Kamaljit (Kirron Kher), is the head caterer – and Maya pours out her heart to the sympathetic stranger. He counsels her to marry Rishi; he and his wife were friends first, and love came after their marriage. Shortly after their conversation, Dev is hit by a car; Maya, unaware of the accident, takes his advice and takes her vows. During the festivities, relentless philanderer Sam takes a shine to the beautiful and fortuitously widowed Kamaljit.
Flash forward to four years later: Dev's injuries forced him to retire, and he takes out his embittered frustration on his wife and son (Ahsaas). Maya and Rishi's marriage is also on the rocks: She's increasingly convinced that marrying him was a compromise she's going to regret for the rest of her life. And then fate steps in: Maya and Dev again cross paths and realize that they have more in common with each other than they do with their spouses. They start by pretending they're just friends and that they're getting together to trade tips on shoring up a crumbling marriage, but inevitably segue into a passionate affair that threatens to shatter both their lives and the lives of their loyal, beleaguered spouses.
The production numbers are terrific and the cast fantastic: They're all stars, but they can also all act when they're handed material that justifies the effort. Amitabh Bachchan runs away with his scenes as a aging rake, but the younger actors hold their own. Bring hankies, because the ending is an old-fashioned tearjerker.
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- Released: 2006
- Rating: NR
- Review: With its all-star cast and lavish locations, Karan Johar's tale of love, marriage and thwarted happily-ever-afters top-of-the-line Bollywood melodrama. But despite the US setting, the films length -- three hours and 15 minutes -- makes it an unlikely cross… (more)