Kaho naa pyaar hai? Kaha naa pyaar hai. No matter how cheesy it may sound, but everyone would agree that at some point in our lives we quite liked it. Years before John Green’s Okay? Okay! was popularised by the 2014 film The Fault in Our Stars, Bollywood found its own version of a brief romantic conversation, which didn’t need many words to explain the feelings of the people in love, when Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai was released in 2000. Yes, it’s been 21 years since the release of the film which gave Bollywood its very own Greek God in human form, Hrithik Roshan.
On Throwback Thursday this week, let us take you back to the time when we didn’t shy away from confessing our love for everything romantic and embraced this beauty directed by Rakesh Roshan with all our hearts. It was not just a regular love story, but also an exciting thriller which kept us hooked till the very end.
While many would argue that before Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai, Bollywood had a plethora of films that gave us lessons in love and romance. Shah Rukh Khan’s fans have a list of films ready. We don’t contest that. Let’s concentrate on Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai today. It started with a regular love story of a girl and a boy. In Hrithik’s Rohit and Ameesha Patel’s Sonia we saw ourselves. No matter how unrealistic it may seem today, most of us dreamt of a love story like theirs when we first saw the film. A rich girl falls in love with a poor guy was what made the Bollywood love stories back then. Rohit’s good looks might have played their charm, but hey it was not the only thing for which Sonia falls for him. Well, let’s move forward. They first meet at a traffic signal and instantly develop liking for each other. Smiling at a total stranger at a traffic signal seems so 2000 in the time of left and right swipes, no?
When did the accidental meetings turn into planned getaways, nobody realised. When Sonia receives her tickets for a cruise to Singapore, she doesn’t want to go. But when her friend tells her that he had made arrangement for Rohit to join them, her happiness has no bounds. At this point, we realise how innocent and naive one can get in love. Seeing Sonia pick out petals from a rose to find out if Rohit loves her or not prompted many to try the trick to find out the feelings of their crushes about them.
Bollywood romance is synonymous with picturesque locations and Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai gave us many reasons to believe that. Right from the shack where Rohit would practise music to the island where Rohit and Sonia got themselves landed all alone after a night of jealousy and drinking, everything seems like something just out of a fairy tale. The way Rakesh Roshan shot the island scenes made the movie-viewing experience more magical. The blue waters, white sand and Sonia’s pink skirt, everything adds to the aesthetics. Ameesha Patel in a blue ensemble dancing amid hundreds of sheep and Hrithik running after her to finally them falling together in the green meadow, is another scene which made us want a love story like theirs. Add to that the beautiful white mountains of New Zealand that make you go on a quick ski-trip with your special someone.
While Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai is known to be a romantic film, it is also an intriguing thriller. What starts off as romance between Rohit and Sonia, soon takes an interesting turn and brings in crime and a murder as a subplot. After Sonia’s father agrees to wait for Rohit to succeed in the field of singing and him selling record number of albums and a full-fledged concert to his name, one thinks that everything is going to be alright in their love story. But then something happens, which was not expected. Rohit witnesses a murder and is killed. The change in storyline was so subtle and thrilling.
When Sonia goes to New Zealand and meets Raj, who looks exactly like Rohit, her love story changes to a revenge drama. Raj now helps Sonia to find out about the death of Rohit and punish the culprits. How a mobile phone helps them unravel the truth was quite fascinating during the time when the gadget has just forayed into the Indian households.
Apart from the amazing lead pair of Hrithik Roshan and Ameesha Patel, one thing that made the film extremely popular among the young generation of that time was its music album. The film’s music was composed by Rajesh Roshan with lyrics by Ibrahim Ashq, Saawan Kumar Tak and Vijay Akela. Each and every song in the album became a rage and expressed every emotion a young heart goes through when in love. From Rohit praising Sonia’s beauty in Chand Sitare to them dancing on the deck of the ship singing Pyaar Ki Kashti Main, the songs put young hearts desires in words. Lucky Ali’s voice and Ibrahim Ashq’s words in Na Tum Jano Na Hum still work like a balm for paining hearts. And the epic Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai remained the go to song for youngsters to confess their love.
The first sight of young Hrithik Roshan in the film still gives goosebumps to many. Trust us, there are many who re-watch Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai multiple times just to see and admire the innocent Hrithik Roshan again and again. While Hrithik’s Rohit was raw and fresh, Raj was the glamour and charisma the former was lacking. For a newcomer to play a double role with each character having their own distinct mannerisms in his very first film is quite impressive. While Rohit and Raj have the same face, the way they talk, behave and present themselves is different. Hrihtik embodied two people with such an ease and proved that he has a long way to go in the industry. Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai gave the audience one perfect actor who had everything: from good looks to exemplary acting talent to killer dancing skills.
Well, if you have managed to read this far, we are sure you are now heading straight to watch Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai again. If not, do you even have heart? We suggest you watch the film not to criticise the cliches and cringe-worthy moments, but for your own innocent self who loved this film in the past. Have fun!