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The Problem With Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham

Updated: Dec 11, 2022

Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham was the blockbuster of the new century. With a star-studded cast with Amitabh Bachan, Shahrukh Khan, Rani Mukherji, and Kajol, it was a dream come true for most people. I was star-struck by all the dancing, cinematography, and exhilarating songs, such as "Bole Chudiyan", and "Say Shava Shava." However, rewatching it now makes me realize the problematic themes in the movie.

Fat Shaming

There was a lot of fat-shaming by Rahul for his younger brother Rohan. The scene enabled fat shaming as a norm and reduced Rohan's self-image to shambles. Moreover, it also propagated the fact that being fat leaves you undesirable

Criticism and Slut-Shaming of Pooja

There was constant slut-shaming of Pooja for his choice of dressing by his brother-in-law and her own sister. This portrayed that wearing a "backless dress" was slutty and should be shamed. This shows the stereotypical mindset of male audience to morally police women.


Yashraj's Concept of Parampara (Tradition)

Yashraj was very keen about finding a 'Sansakri' daughter-in-law for his son who would be able to follow the 'Parampara' of the Yashraj'family. however, his concept is flawed since he is seen dancing with dancers in a dance song without any shame to his traditions and ideaologies

Kissing Without Consent

Rahul and Rohan kissing Pooja and Anjali without any consent were very problematic. This scene meant enabling acts of intimacy without the other individual's consent, which can be considered borderline harassment. Moreover, Anjali is uncomfortable at the end of this scene which shows she was taken by surprise and did not approve of it.


Love it or hate it, there were a lot of problematic scenes in K3G. Way to go Karan Johar!










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Similar to what you pointed out, the scene that struck me the most when I watched this film recently was where Rahul kissed Anjali without her consent. As a child I thought it was nothing but a romantic scene, showing the start of Rahul and Anjali's love story but now I think it is one of the many problematic scenes of Karan Johar's movies. Only because a guy has developed feelings for a girl or because he is the main lead, he does not have the right to invade her personal space and touch her without her consent,

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kashaf noor
kashaf noor
Dec 11, 2022

K3G has always been my comfort movie, but of course, we never fail to see the problematic things that this movie entails. One of the things being the distinction between the socio-economic class. The whole point of Rahul not being able to get married to his love interest was because their economic background did not match. Rahul was expected to get married to Naina since she belonged from the same economic background as Rahul, while Anjali was considered to be below their standards for her to be a part of their family.


This very clear distinction was truly problematic since, in the sub-continent culture, the socio-economic class of both families is highly regarded when it comes to marriage. Marriage between…


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I would disagree. Socio-Economic status should be considered before marrying someone since at the end of the day the both the families must be able to socialize with each other. For example in Raja Hindustani movie, Amir Khan had to face trouble in his marriage with Karishma Kapoor because he was a driver and she was the daughter of an industrialist.


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you pointed out some good problems, some other that i could think of from kabhi khushi kabhi gham was how Rahul even as an adult was not able to make his own decisions, it just furthers the agenda of controlling parents. another problem was how it was evident to everyone that Naina loved him yet Rahul kept on leading her on with no intentions to ever reciprocate the feelings.

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I think you have pointed out several different problematic aspects of the show. However, I’d like to add one more. Discrimination on the basis of socioeconomic status is a real issue and something that is very common in South East Asia especially when it comes to marriages. The movie further reinforces this concept when Rahul tries to marry someone outside of his socioeconomic status. This act infuriates his father who ousts him from the family purely because of his decision to marry someone outside of what he deemed acceptable. Furthermore, the movie does not even recognize such an act as a problem. When towards the end of the movie Rahul is reunited with his family, instead of apologizing, his father…


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I would disagree. Socio-Economic status should be considered before marrying someone since at the end of the day the both the families must be able to socialize with each other. For example in Raja Hindustani movie, Amir Khan had to face trouble in his marriage with Karishma Kapoor because he was a driver and she was the daughter of an industrialist.

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The problems with the 90s and early 2000s Bollywood movies were immense if seen again in 2022, as mentioned in the article. The most triggering point was the facade of "parmpara" where the father changed the entire course of his son's life by not accepting his choice in marriage for traditional values of the household. Not only does it prevail the idea for parents to control their child's life but also it is normalized in the movie to hide behind facades to prove a point.

It's saddening to see that our childhood favourite movies are actually traumatizing if watched again as there are so many more examples.

In Kal ho na ho, we see how Naina's grandmother keeps forcing her…

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I think it is important to deconstruct the old narratives of Bollywood movies and debate about the problematic things we used to see. Having a healthy discussion and debate is essential to progress forward

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