One of my favorite Bollywood movies is Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna
(Never Say Goodbye), an incredibly polarizing movie which came out in 2006.
KANK was rather a shock to Bollywood which despite dance numbers with scantily clad people gyrating in water still espouses very conservative values. Why? The topic of KANK was adultery.
KANK revolves a quartet of unhappy even if affluent Indians living in New York, but more specifically it's about Dev and Maya - two deeply flawed individuals who cannot function in their marriages but against all odds find that their broken personalities actually work with each other.
Now, in Bollywood, such topics are largely left only to B-pictures (trashy, cheaply made, for-tittilation movies) or more mainstream movies starring unknowns and directed by unknowns. And even then (as in Murder), the adulterers are punished and the straying spouse always, always, ALWAYS returns to the forgiving marriage partner.
KANK did not conform to a single one of those rules: it was directed by Karan Johar, one of the biggest directors/producers in Bollywood and who, morevoer, made his name on incredibly mainstream, family-friendly movies (his previous huge hit K3G had the tagline "it's all about loving your parents"). It also starred some of the biggest stars in Bollywood, including arguably the biggest star of them all: Shahrukh Khan. As an adulterer. Yes.
The role of Dev was miles away from the image on which SRK made his career -- the sweet, traditional guy who most likely won't even take the girl he loves away without parental approval. Dev is a bitter, caustic man whose sports career was cut short by a crippling injury and who's been taking it out on others ever since. He is equally responsible for the failure of his marriage to his ambitious, somewhat neglectful wife (played by the incredibly awesome Preity Zinta) and he is not a very good father either. And his adulterous OTP? Maya as played by Rani Mukherji, the quintessential "girl next door." Maya is married to a wonderful man (Abhishek Bachchan) who loves her but the problem is Maya seems to have married out of friendship and obligation believing love would come. But what happens when it doesn't? Without a smidgeon of attraction to her own husband, with differing personalities, Maya is a borderline obsessive-compulsive, caught in her failure of being unable to have children.
Dev and Maya's paths cross and their relationship starts innocuously enough -- they decide to work to help each other to save their marriage. And then, somehow, they find they are compatible -- her breaks and disappointments work with his, somehow, and what neither can find with their perfect golden spouse, they can find in each other. Yeah. One of the things I love the most about KANK is that the two protagonists are deeply flawed people and they aren't married to monsters either.
This is all basically a very-longwinded way to persuade anyone who hasn't seen it to watch it. Check out this gorgeous MV for the movie!
Anyway, I have written tons of meta when I first saw it, so I better stop. Here is the KANK tag
, and here is my initial long meta on the movie