Happy Anniversary Aish and Abhi! I Hope Your Relationship in Real Life is as Good as in Guru and Kuch Naa Kaho!

I follow Amitabh on twitter (of course), and he mentioned today that it is Aish and Abhi’s wedding anniversary.  Congrats Aishwarya and Abhishek!  I have complicated feelings about your relationship (simple version: why no more babies?  I need more Bachchans in the world!), but I love love love you as a couple onscreen.  Specifically, in Kuch Naa Kaho and Guru (Sarkar Raj is a mess, and I haven’t seen Dhaai Akshar Prem Ki (has anyone?)).

In general, separately, I find both Aish and Abhi a bit too much to take in their own ways in most films.  Aish is to mannered and practiced and perfect.  Abhishek is a bit too loud and crude.  I have liked them in certain roles in certain films on their own (Aish in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Abhishek in Sarkar), but I always like them when they are together!  They smooth out each other’s rough edges and balance each other perfectly onscreen.

Kuch Naa Kaho was the first place I noticed this.  Actually, I didn’t notice it, I just felt it.  I really really liked Kuch Naa Kaho, it felt fun and light and happy and it just worked for me in a way that not every movie does.  But it was maybe my first Abhishek movie, and my second Aish (after Mohabettain), so I didn’t realize how different they felt onscreen than they usually did.

In Dostana, for instance, Abhishek has a kind of similar character, but comes off as something of a jerk.  Always looking for the angle, playing a part, persuing his own selfish desires.  It works in Dostana, because he’s supposed to be kind of a jerk until he is redeemed at the end.  But in Kuch Na Kaho, he is supposed to be the hero.  And yet, the first time he meets the heroine, he is tricking her into giving up her seat on an airplane wuth a clearly false sob story about his sick child.  Not only that, once he gets what he wants (her ticket), he ignores her.  What a bozo!

But it works, because Aish is coming off as someone who kind of needs to be tricked.  I don’t want to say “deserves it”, because that has all sorts of connotations.  But more like, she is a little rigid and a little nervous, and it is probably good for her to have her plans shaken up a bit, for her world view to be challenged.  So your reaction to Abhishek stealing her ticket isn’t exactly “boo!  Tricking this poor woman!”  But at the same time, it is a mean thing to do, so you reaction to Aish isn’t exactly “I hate you and I am glad you were tricked!” but rather “Oh man, in the long run this is probably fine, but you have my sympathies in the short term.”

This dynamic is just increased in their first song together, the totally awesome “Baat Meri Suniye To Zara”.  Especially because they have both been coming off a little unpleasantly in the interim.  Abhishek accidentally breaks up his cousin’s wedding and then has to scramble to fix it up again (because he is so confident and focused on what he wants over what other people want).  Aish arrives at her engagement party and makes it all about her and how hard it was for her to get there (because she is so aware of her own life and problems above others’).  I mean, they’re not horrible people doing unforgivable things, it’s more that I find my over-whelming sympathy for them starting to slip away.  And then they confront each other, and it all comes back!  Abhishek is sooooooooooo confident and dismissive here!  I am totally with Aish in trying to knock him down a few pegs.  But on the other hand, Aish is so determined and just won’t let it go, I can completely see Abhishek’s urge to keep pestering her.

(Bad quality, but with subtitles!)

Their next few meetings keep this dynamic. If you remember, Abhishek’s uncle Satish Shah is forcing him to meet potential brides.  And Aish works for the Satish Shah, so he is making her promotion hang on her ability to get Abhishek to meet these women.  Abhishek is treating it all as a joke, coming up with the most delightfully absurd ways to turn them off (pretending to be a father just looking for a free nanny for his son, pretending to remember the girl from a past life, and so on), but Aish is treating it completely seriously since she needs that promotion! I actually sympathize with Aish’s character, she is completely in the right all along and Abhishek is completely in the wrong.  But she takes things so seriously, it’s kind of a drag to watch, so I am also okay with Abhishek doing stuff he really shouldn’t be doing just to bug her.  With any other couple, I would either find her too much of a buzz kill or him too much of a flibbertigibbet, but somehow the two of them together just work.

And then there is my second favorite song, which I know is objectively terrible, but I don’t care, I love it!  Maybe because the set-up is so great?  Abhishek and Aish are working together to try to get a fighting couple back together.  All along, Abhishek has been teasing and teasing and being horrible and Aish has been just putting up with it.  But this time, the girl he is meeting turns out to have her own issues, and Aish and Abhi are able to be good people and try to help her, and in so doing, to also work together for the first time.  Plus, I think it is really cool when silver jacket guy picks Pony up and carries her off at the end.

 

Usually these “and suddenly I saw her in a new light and I am in love!” plots don’t work for me, but at the end of that song, when Abhishek sees her in a new light and falls in love, it really really does!  And it’s not because of anything in the script for sure, it’s just their chemistry together.  I mean, I love the script, it is super clever, but they haven’t really had any conversations or bonded in any way.  But they way he looks at her, and the way they vibe together in conversations, just feels nice and normal and pleasant.

And then, twist!  She has a child!  And a husband she hasn’t seen in like 6 years!  This is another reason to like this movie, how well they handle the married woman/single mother thing.  And maybe that’s sort of related to the Abhishek and Aish chemistry too?  Because Abhishek shakes her up a little, so it doesn’t come across quite so much as “suffering tragic mother figure” and a little more “stiff-necked goodie two shoes who needs to have some fun and be young again.”  But at the same time, he has that innate Bachchan gravitas, so I can believe that he really is mature enough to handle taking on a wife and a son at the same time.

Although, it takes Aish a little longer to believe it.  Again, if she weren’t so stiff and he weren’t so loose, the whole bit where he follows her to parents’ Day at her son’s school would be a little awkward.  But as it is, it’s just nice!  He goofs with her son, but gives her proper distance, and she convincingly plays “torn between desires and duty”.  And then they fall in love because they fall down a mud slide together?  This bit is a little harder to make sense of.  But whatever, the song that comes after is really nice and pretty (soundtrack by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, my favorite music directors).  And especially impressive, considering the many many other “Kuch Na Kaho” songs they are competing with!  Including the one from 1942: A Love Story, RD Burman’s last soundtrack.

 

All of this is nice, and their chemistry lifts it from an okay rom-com to a really fun rom-com, but the final twist is where the chemistry is actually vital from a story perspective.  Aish’s husband comes back, and the whole last hour is focused on showing them trying to be a married couple, because they are actually married, but at the same time showing that Aish and Abhishek, unmarried, are more of a couple than she will ever be with her husband.  And it is all in silent glances and little moments, that only land if this couple really does feel like a married couple.  Which they do!  The little jokes, the comfort, the support, it’s all there!

I think, from the director/screenwriter’s perspective (Rohit Shetty, by the way.  Wrote it specifically for his lifelong friend Abhishek Bachchan), that was supposed to be the big meaning of the film.  That you have this woman who is married, according to society.  She had the religious and the legal ceremony, she even gave birth to his son, and now she is living alone and raising him.  There are plenty of movies in which you have women in this situation (for instance, Juhi in Paheli), and the lesson is that this is still a marriage, she is still a married woman.  The husband doesn’t have to be present to be “present”.  She is married to her husband because he is her husband, and that is that.

At first, it looks like they are going to set this on it’s head by making her an abandoned wife.  To argue that she still needs a husband, and it is a matter of simply swapping for one who is actually there.  Which is still a good message, that a husband isn’t a husband any more if he is gone that long.  But then it goes further, when the husband comes back.

It’s not just that he has to be present in her life, it’s that the marriage has to work.  They have to love each other, to be considerate of each other, to just make sense together.  And that’s where the ending comes from.  Abhishek steps back, because he knows her husband loves her and he has a right to make his marriage work.  But in the end, Aish chooses Abhishek instead.  Because the marriage isn’t working, and it never will, and no magical words said in a ceremony or written on a piece of paper are going to make it work.

In contrast, all along, we have seen how Abhishek and Aish really do work.  They balance each other, they challenge each other, they can work together to achieve goals, and they are actually in love.

21 thoughts on “Happy Anniversary Aish and Abhi! I Hope Your Relationship in Real Life is as Good as in Guru and Kuch Naa Kaho!

  1. Hahaha oh man, Eijaz Khan! That guy was almost the King of Indian TV until he disappeared after Kavyanjali.

    And that song – what was it and that trend to wear a kind of dupatta with dresses? Lol

    I want to watch this movie again now! The mud slide was so fake hahaha. I also really liked the ending how she didn’t go back to her husband because: duty or somehow being married automatically means she’s in luuurrrrvvvveeee.

    Like

    • Wait, silver jacket guy from the song was an actual actor?!?! I always thought it was just a random dancer/model guy! Now I almost want to watch one of his shows!

      Personally, I have a hard time with all the tight pants with ankle slits. Aish wears that hideous purple pants in the argument song, and Kareena had the same ugly style in “Bole Chudiyan” and “You Are my Soniya”. They were everywhere from 2001 to 2003, and then thank goodness they seem to have disappeared forever!

      Like

  2. Hahahaha oh yeah I think they were called “parallel suits” or something. I never owned a pair. They were ALL the rage and everyone just looked the same. *shudder*

    Yes an actual actor! He disappeared and tried making a comeback but failed massively – his skin looked horrible in his comeback and he just looked tired.

    Like

  3. I watched Dhai Akshar Prem Me. Cheesy as hell. And I think they overacted a bit. Aish mostly. Nice music though!

    Which was why I loved their dynamic here. It was way more natural and better-written and things just, well, flowed better in this movie.

    Like

  4. Pingback: My Movie To-Do List: Let Me Know If I Missed Something! And Click the Links to See What I Have Already Covered! | dontcallitbollywood

  5. Pingback: FanVid Post: No Reason, Just Felt Like It | dontcallitbollywood

  6. Pingback: Important Music News! Mirzya Album is Out!!!! | dontcallitbollywood

  7. Pingback: Innathe Chintha Vishayam: A Pleasant Unambitious and Quietly Radical Film | dontcallitbollywood

  8. Pingback: Monday Malayalam: Oru Muthassi Gadha, Wait The Heroine is YOUNGER THAN MY MOTHER????? – dontcallitbollywood

  9. Pingback: TGIF: Happy Birthday Again, Abhi Baby! – dontcallitbollywood

  10. Pingback: Film Reviews | dontcallitbollywood

  11. I watched this today and I felt that the screenplay was so dull. And that mudslide scene is actually hilarious lol. But I really liked the last scene, where she tells Arbaaz off and goes back to Abhishek. Back in 2003, this would have been progressive.

    Like

    • Heck, TODAY it would be progressive! there are so many movies where the woman just endures a bad marriage because it is the “noble” thing to do. I just saw Ninnu Kori last year, in that one she had a good husband, but the overall message was “marriage over love every time”.

      And yes, the mudslide is ridiculous.

      On Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 8:59 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

      • The girl in Ninnu Kori remained with her husband because she loves him, not because it’s the noble thing to do, at least I see it this way, because she was so happy when they reconciled.

        Like

      • Yeah, I saw Ninnu Kori too, but I got the feeling that she actually liked her husband? He was not mean to her and stuff, I saw it like the circumstances weren’t favourable to Nani and Niveda… maybe she should have listened to him before rushing off, but some girls are like that, impulsive.

        Like

  12. There is so much I loved about this movie that I am just going to list them all.

    1. Aish a wonderful mother – Not weirdly indulgent like PC in Pyar Impossible and not one that will randomly hit a child for being a child (i.e., when Adi thew a tantrum by throwing the ice cream bowl).

    2. The kid-he is just adorable again, probably because he has a wonderful mom.

    3. Clever dialogues. This movie is legitimately funny – e.g, Abhishek scaring potential suitors, Abhishek jumping from the roof and the contrasting dialogue between him and Adi vs the kids on the ground, the Punjabi guy comforting the wrong child, and the Mudslide scene.

    4. Progression and dialogue are logical (e.g., The train scene when Aish accuses Abhishek of using the child to get to her, and he simply states that he did not even know she had a child when he wrote that or the fact that Aish lets Abhishek know right away when Arbaaz comes into her life. It just all seems logical without the added theatrics for no reason.

    5. Aish doesn’t take nonsense from Abhishek and sticks up for herself. This is of course shown in the end scene, but also in car scene when Abhishek ignorantly states that it must have been Aish’s fault that her husband left and she immediately calls him out on it.

    6. I love that this movie deals with emotional abuse and not just physical. As Aish describes, he constantly manipulated her into feeling inadequate or not making him happy.

    7. The Aish-Abhi chemistry is greatbut to me, what makes this movie special is that they are actually good for each other! They talk through things, they balance each other, he doesn’t come to her rescue unless she or the kid asks, he is respectful towards her wishes, she feels comfortable allowing him on her bed and touching him (which was so blantantly contrasted with the scenes with Arbaaz).

    8. I like that she’s older than him in real life and in this movie. It is especially clear when Arbaaz comes into the picture and he is very clearly much older than Abhishek.

    9. There is only one very civil conversation between Abhishek’s mother and Abhishek where she questions whether it is okay for him to get involved with a married woman. And the minute Abhishek explains that Arbaaz dissapeared over 7 years ago, the mom completely understand and gives Abhishesk her blessing, and when she sees Aishwarya, she truly welcomes her with open arms. I love this so much!!! There is no outrage, no drama about her having a child.
    Also, another depiction of a wonderful single mother!

    10. In fact, I really love how they have shown multiple single parents in the movie, including Satish Shah.

    11. I love that when Abhishek’s mother find out about Arbaaz being back in Aishwarya’s life, her reaction is to call and leave Aish a message supporting whatever decision Aishwarya wants to take regarding her life AHHHH!!

    12. The scene when Abhishek is in Aishwarya’s bed giving her bangles from his mom. I love the intimacy, warmth, love in that scene.

    13. Calling out misogyny in 2003 – e.g., Arbaaz is mad because the woman he abandoned Aish for left him for another guy?! The narcissism is amazing.

    14. Satish shah doing all the paperwork for Aishwarya’s divorce.

    15. Abhishek’s during the bar scene with Arbaaz, calling Adi, Aishwarya’s son not Arbaaz and Aish’s son.

    16. Abhishek putting his feelings aside for his cousin’s wedding. He truly is happy for his cousin.

    17. How Abhishek speaks to Adi. Even when he is hurting, he asks Adi to call Arbaaz dad. How he explains everything to Adi. It is just all so wonderful.

    18. The contrasting scene of Abhishek wanting to tell Adi himself that he is going to be his dad, vs. Arbaaz creepily making Aishwarya tell her son that he is his actual dad because it is her duty. UGH.

    19. The Sita reference!!! I love that Aishwarya just calls it out rejects being “Sita.” Obviously the while ending speech. Again, I love that Abhishek doesn’t swoop in to fight her battles!

    20. Finally, this is a bit silly, but I loved that there was just no violence.

    Like

    • Yes! So much to love!!!

      1. I found Aish-the-actress struggling a little bit in some of the scenes with the little kid, but Aish-the-character was written perfectly. A good Mom, who set limits and tries to keep her kid happy and safe.

      2. Yes, the kid was appropriately naughty. He got frustrated some times, he complained about not having a Dad, and so on and so forth. But he wasn’t mean, or overly saintly, or overly clever, or anything.

      3. Agree, the whole set-up of Abhishek meeting this series of potential romances and scarring them off is super fun and clever. It should be irritating to spend so long spinning wheels before Aish and Abhishek fall in love, let alone the conflict of her ex is introduced, but the ride is so fun it doesn’t matter.

      4. I really like the way they handled Abhishek meeting the son and falling for Aishwarya simultaneously. It’s kind of an enormous coincidence, but it’s so much better than any stupid drama of “I love the woman but hate her kid” or “I love the kid and that will make me realize I love the mother”. Come to think of it, this point is related to the last point, in order for them to react logically and without stupid drama, there has to be a wild amount of plot shifts tangling them up.

      5. Aish stands up at work too! She wants a promotion and pushes for it and gets Satish to consider it.

      6. Also deals with “I’ll marry him because I am close to his parents” issue! They only married because his parents wanted it, he never wanted to be with her, she never wanted to be with him, cursed from the beginning.

      7. And they are friends first. Not even friends, people getting to know each other. They spend time together, they become friends, and only then does Abhishek fall in love. And Aish doesn’t return his feelings until even longer.

      8. That’s part of the getting to know each other too, Aish is set up to help him find a bride, because she is mature and smart and so on. They can be alone together because (unlike the brides) she isn’t some fragile younger thing.

      9. Contrasts with her first marriage and in-laws again. That time, she married a jerk because his parents were nice to her. This time, she falls in love with a nice guy and therefore his family is nice too.

      10. Single-parents, and non-traditional co-caregivers. Satish Shah seems to be the primary male figure in Abhishek’s life, while he is a “brother” to his female cousins. A family about everyone pitching in and loving each other and not worrying about who is the father and mother and so on.

      11. Again, think about her first marriage! Marrying this guy in order to keep his family in her life and be supported. this time, she can do whatever she wants, Abhishek’s Mom will still be there for her.

      12. Their chemistry is so great in this movie. Also shout out for the scene when she has to tell him Arbaaz is back and he is wrapping her in a sari being all sweet.

      13. Arbaaz is the perfect combination of horrible but not evil. He’s narcissistic, he only sees what he wants, but I can also believe he will step aside for Aish. He has enough of a kernal of decency to do that.

      14. Satish and Aish’s relationship is one of my favorite parts of the movie! He gives her a hard time at work, but he is really good to her too. It’s not the over the top Rajshri “you are a daughter to me!” kind of thing, but he knows she has a son, cares about how they are doing, and stuff. Even before Abhishek falls in love with her. And then once Abhishek is in love, Satish is all in on the plan to get her a divorce and help her move on with her life. Like, I think even if it wasn’t Abhishek, if Aish just came to Satish and said “I am in love with Random Dude and need time off for the wedding”, Satish would have been just as eager to help with the divorce and wedding planning.

      15, 16, 17, 18. Abhishek is introduced as the usual playboy NRI guy, and then we quickly see he isn’t like that at all. He’s a good cousin, he’s nice to little kids, he’s able to be a friend to a woman without hitting on her, all kinds of good things. Once the plot really gets going, his essential decency gets more and more and more.

      19. Aish having the final speech is just PERFECT! And she isn’t fighting her battle alone, everyone at that wedding is on her side and cheering her own, but they aren’t speaking for her. It’s very different from the movies where a woman has to say something wild and radical while everyone else in the film is supposed to be all shocked and stuff. Or of course where someone else speaks for the woman.

      20. I also loved there was no violence. I liked that Aish’s evil husband didn’t cross that line, unpleasant to watch plus shows us that a guy can be a bad husband even if he never lays a hand on his wife. And I liked that he was convinced to leave without needing any help.

      Additional point 21: The “pony” and “silver jacket” love story culminating in “Tumna Aaj Maina Jo Dekha” is so happy! And dumb! We only get 10 minutes with them, but it is this bonus happy little story for us.

      On Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 10:30 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.