SYNOPSIS - KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI
("SOMETHING HAPPENS")

  1. RAHUL (Shahrukh Khan) is mourning the death of his wife, TINA (Rani Mukherjee). She was aware that her pregnancy might be fatal, but chose not to tell him of the risks, since she knew how much he wanted their child. Rahul is very angry with her about this. Tina is leaving behind eight letters for her daughter, to be opened on each of her first eight birthdays. Tina begs Rahul to name their daughter ANJALI.


  2. Flash forward: 8 years later, the day before Anjali's birthday. At a school speech contest, Anjali is unnerved when she is asked to speak for sixty seconds on the topic of "Ma," or "mother." Rahul suavely interjects that mother is someone who loves them very much, who feels their emotions as her own, but who cannot be with them. Though isn't Papa pretty good too? Later, when Rahul's mother gently suggests that what Anjali needs is a mother, Rahul firmly tells her that one only loves and marries once in a lifetime.

  3. The next day. Tina's letter to Anjali promises to tell her a story about Tina, Rahul, and Anjali - a different Anjali. Flash back:

  4. Rahul's college years. He is best friends with ANJALI Sharma (Kajol), the biggest tomboy at St. Xavier's College. She's better than him at basketball and he is not a very good loser, so they fight quite often, though they always make up. (SONG: YEH LADKA HAI DEEWANA)

  5. The Principal, Mr. Malhotra, is a widower, and has a lively flirtation with one of the teachers, Ms. Braganza. It is "Friendship Day," and Anjali promises the Principal that she will keep an eye out for his daughter, who is newly arrived from her studies at Oxford in England. Anjali busts Rahul giving out Friendship bracelets right and left to all the pretty girls. She wonders when he will ever stop chasing after them. He says he is waiting for the perfect girl - and when Anjali asks how he will know her when he sees her, he replies, "kuch kuch hota hai" - literally, something happens; more loosely, "there's something there." No sooner than the prediction exits his mouth than he runs into Tina, who he does not know is the principal's daughter. He quickly offends her by insulting her father in an attempt to impress her.

  6. Unaccustomed to being rebuffed, Rahul seeks revenge by cornering Tina and forcing her to honor an age-old St. Xavier's tradition - singing in Hindi. (He assumes she does not know Hindi. A conceit of the film seems to be the pretense that the characters are actually speaking English, as they would if they were truly in attendance at St. Xavier's.) Tina surprises him with a very beautiful rendition of a famous classical religious devotional song or bhajan. She shows him up completely.

  7. In English class, Ms. Briganza poses the question: what is love? Rahul's careless response - love is friendship - may be aimed at Tina (who has refused his offer of a friendship bracelet), but it hits Anjali the hardest, for she mistakenly thinks he is referring to her. The shock makes her start thinking seriously about her relationship with Rahul, and she begins to realize she is in love with him.

  8. An inter-school band contest: St. Xavier's band cannot show up because an emergency curfew has been called in their district. Mr. Malhotra begs Anjali and Rahul to lip-sync to the band's song, "like they do in the films." They reluctantly agree, though Tina refuses to help them. However, the tapes are switched (does Tina do it?) and they end up being booed as they try to sing along to a classical piece. Tina saves the day with a mysterious costume change and a self-playing guitar. (SONG: KOI MIL GAYA)

  9. Tina and Anjali run into each other at Rahul's sports practice. Anjali is now wholly jealous of Tina. Tina asks Anjali if she is in love with Rahul, a question which stuns Anjali and which she never gets to answer. Rahul comes up and Anjali hustles him away to his weekly meeting with his relatives.

  10. Later that afternoon, Tina goes to the temple and discovers that Rahul's weekly family visit is actually a lie to cover his religious devotion. Embarrassed, he tells her that his father has always told him a man should bow his head to three women alone: to the goddess Durga, to his mother, and to... But he never finishes.

  11. That night, Rahul makes a surprise appearance at Tina's house, where she demands to know the identity of the third woman to whom he should bow his head. He answers the question quite effectively. On his trip home, he runs into Anjali, and they each make a wish upon a star. (SONG: KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI)

  12. The next day: Tina expresses her doubts that Rahul loves her, admitting that she wonders about him and Anjali. Anjali realizes she loves Rahul, and her dorm-mother councils her to go tell him. Rahul decides he has to tell Tina that he loves her. He runs into Anjali on the way and decides to practice the line on her, but neglects to tell her that he's just practicing to say it to Tina. She thinks he really means it - and when he elucidates that he is planning to go say it to Tina, she is crushed. But she pretends to be happy for him. She sends him running off to Tina, where he confesses his love. (SONG: TUJHE YAAD NA MERI AAYEE)

  13. Heartbroken, Anjali bolts town, never to return. (See if you can catch the neat symbolism in the last flashback scene. Here's a clue: unrelieved white is the color of mourning.)

  14. Flash to present: Tina begs little Anjali to reunite Rahul with big Anjali. She says that though she was Rahul's friend, she was never his best friend - adding that he was, in fact, meant to be with Anjali after all. Little Anjali takes the message to heart, vowing to fulfill her mother's last wish.

    INTERMISSION
  15. Little Anjali (henceforth referred to as Anjali #2) plays a word game with Rahul and tricks him into talking about Anjali Sharma. He reminisces about the tomboy, saying that dressing up and looking beautiful were never her thing.

  16. Meanwhile, Anjali is indeed looking very beautiful, and is preparing for her engagement ceremony to AMAN (Salman Khan). (SONG: SAAJANJI GHAR AAYE) Anjali admits to her mother that she loved once already, and does not know whether she can ever do it again. She advises her mother to think of the marriage to Aman as a compromise, which upsets her mother greatly.

  17. Anjali #2 travels with Rahul to Delhi for Tina's death anniversary ceremony (shraadh) and while there lets her grandparents read the letters. They get in on the plan and help her track down Anjali's old dorm-mother, who gives them the sad news: Anjali is planning to be married within the month. Anjali #2 prays as a Muslim (because the dorm-mother is a Muslim) and a miracle occurs: the pandit (Hindu priest) cannot find an auspicious date for the wedding for the next four months.

  18. Anjali gets a mysterious phone call, which is actually from Anjali #2 and her grandmother. They overhear her discussing her plans to teach at a summer camp in Simla (a hill station in the Himalayan foothills). Aman warns Anjali, only half in jest, that there is no backing out now. He has caught her hand, and if need be, he'll drag her to the marriage fire (i.e., the altar).

  19. Rahul forbids Anjali #2 to go to summer camp. He sets off for a business conference. Anjali #2 and her grandmother head to summer camp.

  20. At the business conference, both Aman and Rahul are in attendance, and both Anjalis manage to call at exactly the same time. A comic mix-up ensues, and the men briefly discuss their respective Anjalis.

  21. Rahul is miserably worried about Anjali #2, and when he stumbles upon a live taping of her favorite television show, he sends out a message of love and remorse to her. (Big) Anjali happens to be watching, and for a moment thinks he is speaking to her - and then she realizes the truth. Since Anjali #2 had already told her that her mother was dead, Anjali also knows that Rahul is no longer married.

  22. Anjali #2 springs the trap by calling Rahul and pretending to be sick. He drops everything to rush to her in Simla. (SONG: RAGHUPATI RAGHAV)

  23. Anjali and Rahul meet again at long last. (SONG: KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI (SAD)) They are initially awkward around each other. He is stunned by how beautiful and feminine she is. But thanks to the machinations of the camp-goers and a basketball game that pits the female sex against the male, they eventually loosen up. (SONG: LADKI BADI ANJANI HAI)

  24. A game of guess-the-movie-title is rained out. Anjali and Rahul connect. But before she can do anything foolish, Anjali is reminded of the reality of her engagement. She flees - straight into the arms of Aman, who has come for a surprise visit. When Rahul sees him again, he instantly realizes that Anjali is engaged.

  25. Anjali tries to confront Rahul, telling him "kuch kuch hota hai," or, "there's something there (between us)," but he denies it to her face. Miserable, she insists on leaving the camp. A bewildered Aman complies.

  26. At home, Anjali demands to have the wedding date moved forward. Rahul is visited by a wiser force than himself. Enlightened, he heads to Anjali's to straighten things out - and runs into her wedding-in-progress. Silently, with the language they devised during the game of charades, he tells her how he feels - and then he moves to leave.

  27. Aman sees Anjali's misery. He relents, explaining that what he sees in her eyes when she looks at Rahul is what he's always hoped to see there when she looked his way. He adds that there is no way he could deprive her of her love, when he himself knows so well how precious love is. He releases Anjali into Rahul's care, and a rosy world of happy-ever-after. Credits.

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