Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai: I Think This is the Best I Have Ever Seen Twinkle Look

Twinkle was so great in this!  Well, really Twinkle and Salman.  The two of them together just lit up the screen in a really unusual way.  Which, I think, was on purpose to support the story.

I love Twinkle, like, as a person.  And one of the reasons I love her is that she is very upfront about not having been the greatest actress and just sort of doing the whole acting thing because she was young and didn’t know any better.  Which is how she comes across in most of her roles, nice enough, young enough, but not really bringing anything special to the table.

But in this film, she just glowed!  Not in the usual otherworldly beauty and virtue kind of way, but with a real solid warmth to her.  Especially in her scenes with Salman, they felt like two real people who just really really liked each other.  Which is, I believe, what makes the film work.

For me, the film is about the question of formal roles in a family and in a relationship, versus the real emotions that can underlay those roles.  This is a theme set up right at the beginning, Salman isn’t being a very “good” grandson.  He never comes home to visit, he forgets his grandfather’s birthday, he spends all his time drinking and romancing instead of working to support the family.

But those are all the surface parts of it, the real underlying necessity of a “good” grandson is that he love and care for his grandfather.  And so, once Salman is informed that he has hurt Anupam (rocking the wig to convincingly play a whole 2 generations removed from Salman, who is only 10 years younger than him) by forgetting his birthday, Salman immediately make sit up to him, because he cares.

(born in 1965: born in 1955)

Maybe a usual “good” grandson would be super respectful and obedient and all those things.  But does that mean anything if it doesn’t have a big heart and true love behind it?  In the same way, maybe a normal grandfather would have stopped his allowance, forced him to get married and settle down.  But Anupum explains that they never had that kind of relationship, his parents died so young that Anupum felt he had to make up their love to him, and so just focused on loving him.

It is related to the message at the beginning of DDLJ, that Anupum and Shahrukh have an unusual relationship with his casual acceptance of Shahrukh’s failing school and all their jokes and games.  But ultimately, Shahrukh is ready to quit his fun and settle down and work if he thinks it will make Anupum’s life easier.  His behavior may not be the usual respectful son behavior, but his attitude and emotions are all that could be wished.  In the same way, Salman may be introduced as the drunken womanizer in London, but he really does love his grandfather and is ready to drop everything to make him happy.

(There are so many white women in this song!)

I also like how Salman is introduced as a “womanizer”.  We see multiple women coming to bid him goodbye at the airport as he leaves London.  And they are sad to see him go, but not in a “I thought we would be married!” kind of way, more in a “oh darn, we had such fun together, miss you!” kind of way.  He is clearly not a womanizer who lies and seduces and tricks.  He just enjoys sex and spending time with these woman, and they enjoy spending time with him, and it is all completely above board.  There is no demonization of them for enjoying sex, and no demonization of him for enjoying their enjoyment.

Skipping ahead a bit, there is a later flashback where we get to see in more detail how he deals with these women.  He may sing songs to/with them, he may sweep them away on romantic getaways, but he never says “I love you” and he is completely above board about his intentions.  When he learns that one of his women has fallen in love with him, his response is not to run in the opposite direction, but to gently explain that he doesn’t feel that for her, that all he feels is friendship, but that he is happy to be her friend for life.  And I believe it!  I believe that he isn’t just spending time with these women because they are warm bodies, but that he sees them as people and cares about them as friends.  It makes all the difference in the “womanizer” portrayal.

(Also, I don’t think I have ever seen Namrata look better than she does here)

Really, this is all just saying the same thing over and over again, that labels matter less than how you feel about people.  Except for those times when the labels really really matter.  That’s what the film is talking about, the difference between the label and what’s underneath.



So, Salman and his friend/servant/”brother” Johnny Lever are sent to the remote area around Ooty to build a hotel.  Really, it’s just a way to get him out of the temptations of the city.  Salman sees Twinkle on the street, after having already glimpsed her from a moving car back in Bombay, and immediately falls in love.  He pursues her in a way he never pursued the other girls (so far as I can tell from what we see of his past life), spending days searching for her, lying once he finds her if it can help him spend time with her, and being heartbroken when she finds out the truth and rejects him.

Back in Bombay, he doesn’t forget her, even with other beautiful women around, and finally tracks her down to a hotel boutique she manages (I also like that it isn’t a “sweet and innocent girl” that makes him change his ways.  I mean, she’s not a “bad” woman, but she is a mature working city girl, not some pretty little teenager).  She is still mad at him, and challenges him to change his ways, to go to work every day and stop drinking and smoking, for 6 months.  And then she will marry him.

And Salman actually does it!  Goes to work, stops drinking, the whole thing.  Culminating in her hearing that he was taken to the hospital for drinking, running down to tell him off, and then learning that it was for withdrawal symptoms because he quite cold turkey, and running back in the room to embrace him.  And now they are really really in love!

(Really really in love and in super cute matching outfits!)

I like this whole romance a lot.  For one thing, because they both choose each other.  He falls for her at first sight and proves through his constant efforts that he really does want her, just her, not an idea of her or some perfect woman to save him, but really her.  And she isn’t willing to just marry some perfect guy her family picks out for her, OR to accept him as he was to start with, she knows the kind of man she wants and if he doesn’t become that, she won’t marry him.  We have to believe in this romance, that she loves him because he lives up to her standards, and that he loves her in particular and not just any woman could make him happy, because the whole second half of the film hinges on it.

Just as their romance reaches its happy ending, when they are having smile-y good night kisses and talking about how they can’t wait to be married, a little kid shows up and announces that Salman is his father!

I was mad at Salman at first for how he reacted, I wanted him to say “Of course you are my son!” and announce it immediately to his family and his fiancee, and be very proud and loving.  Instead, he gives the kid a meal and then sneaks him into his house and hides him until he can take him to boarding school.

But, you know what, it’s better this way!  This whole film has been saying “relationships don’t just happen!  You have to feel the right way, and then everything else follows.”  Salman didn’t feel like a father yet.  He felt like some random guy who is suddenly responsible for some random kid.  And from that side of things, he was being pretty stand-up about it.

(not exactly thrilled to meet this kid, as you can see)

Once the DNA test confirmed their relationship, (for once, someone actually has a DNA test in these movies!), he never tried to escape from his responsibilities.  He made sure the kid had a place to stay and plenty to eat, he went to drop him off to boarding school himself and met the teachers and everything.  If he had left him there, and visited him and paid all the fees and kept up with his teachers, and then paid for his college and stayed in touch the rest of his life, well, that would have been pretty decent!  Not the most I could expect from someone in this situation, but far from the least I would expect!

Only, he doesn’t leave him there, not because he has a surge of responsibility, but because he has a surge of love.  He sincerely misses the kid and wants to spend time with him.  So he brings him back to Bombay, because he also misses Twinkle, and Anupum, and he can’t bear to be parted from any of them.

In most movies like this (Mausam, Main Hoon Na, the terrible terrible Dil Hai Tumhare, the almost as terrible Brothers), the kid shows up after the marriage, when the man and wife are not just tied by love, but by society and their other children together, and a million other bonds.  But this movie went a different way.  Salman had no societal ties to Twinkle, and he had no societal ties to the kid.  He could have left either of them at any point with no major issues.  Which makes it clear that the only obstacle was his heart, he just loves them both to much to choose.

And Twinkle loves him too much too.  If it had just been a matter of an arranged engagement, or if she hadn’t returned his feelings in the same way, there would be no issues.  Salman could spend all the time he wanted with the kid, and Twinkle could do her own thing.  But she loves him, and wants to be with him and spend time with him alone, and resents the time he spends away from her with the child.  And we see that in their acting and the way they are directed.

There is a scene in the second half when Twinkle and the kid have had a big fight, and Salman is trying to play peacemaker.  He comes over to Twinkle’s house and is arguing with her, and in the middle of it, the phone rings and kid calls up to say “sorry Auntie”.  And Twinkle forgives him, and then hangs up, and looks at Salman, and repeats what the kid just told her, “sorry auntie”, and then they both kind of smile and laugh, and lean in on each other.  In another movie, this would have been just a dialogue scene, they sit on their marks on opposite sides of the room, they yell at each other, she says “sorry”, scene over.  But in this, the way they are smiling and laughing and making eye contact and moving towards each other even while disagreeing, it feels more like two people who are in love, with all the complications and layers that implies not just two characters acting out their roles in a film.

I said that this movie doesn’t believe in labels, but that’s not quite true.  It doesn’t believe in the labels that are forced on us and then the emotions are left to follow.  It does believe in the ones that arise naturally out of what we are already feeling.  It is wonderful that Salman loves his son so much.  But ultimately, their relationship needs the security and certainty of social acknowledgement.  It can’t keep going on like this, as something they each feel inside but no one else can see.

I love that, in the end, he has to tell Twinkle the truth, and Anupum the truth, and the whole world the truth, not because there is any huge deadline or external pressure, but because he can’t keep his feelings inside any more.  He is this boy’s father, not just because of biology, and also not because he does the standard “father” things (he doesn’t work to support him, or punish him, or make him study hard, or give him a lot of rules, or any of that), but because he loves him like a father loves a son, and that’s all there is to it.

I kind of saw the ending coming, or at least hoped it would end the way it did, and I am so glad it did.  Because, once again, it was on Twinkle to make her own decision about what societal label she feels ready to accept.  She agreed to marry Salman with her eyes open, aware of what he was and still ready to accept him.  And she agreed to be his son’s mother not because it was forced on her as a condition of the marriage, but voluntarily, because it was something she felt ready to do in her heart.

(Oh hey!  That’s the title, right?  “When love happens”, or something like that?)

22 thoughts on “Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai: I Think This is the Best I Have Ever Seen Twinkle Look

  1. Wow, you’ve really been on a Salman films binge of late! Is it that Sultan inspired you so much, or there’s not much else that interests you at the moment? 🙂 I think you pretty much nailed this one, too, in terms of interpretation. I recommended this to you in the context of Salman playing father roles, didn’t I? So what do you say about that? (in terms of his performance) Some of the best “father” roles Salman played have been when he didn’t have any kids (of course, he still doesn’t), but also when he was too young to even have any kind of marital experience. I find that fascinating, because both SRK and Aamir were already fathers in real life long before they played fathers on screen.


    • I was really interested in how Salman plays a “father” here, and father-like parts in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, because it’s all about unconditional love and keeping them happy at all times. No “I am the head of the household and you have to listen to me!” kind of moments.

      I wonder if SRK and Aamir were more cautious about playing fathers BECAUSE they are fathers in real life? They didn’t want to risk reminding their fans that they weren’t the young bachelors they always played onscreen? Although I do find it interesting that Shahrukh made Kuch Kuch Hota Hai the same year his first child was born, like maybe he was testing the waters a little.

      (also, is that post above you, you posting under a different name or spam?)


      • “That post above you” — above, or below? At any rate, it seems like a rather weird randomly generated comment, quoting my comment and bits of your review. It certainly wasn’t me.

        Yeah, I also always thought that Aamir and SRK, and especially Aamir, were more careful not to pay parental roles just because they were already parents. But it doesn’t apply to KKHH, does it, if that film released the same year SRK became a father? They would have been shooting before his fatherhood. I did read some articles that he was hesitant to play the role, since he didn’t think he could play a college student at age 30.


        • And the funky post is now gone! Thanks for confirming!

          I wonder with KKHH if the thinking was “Shahrukh is in the news because he is going to have a baby, let’s make a movie about him having a baby to pick up on that, but let’s have him be extra young and romantic and unattached for the whole first half to balance the father role in the second half”.


          • I remember Karan talking in one of his elaborate “Making of the Movie” DVD extras for KKHH (gotta love that about him: he’s always so elaborate with behind-the-scenes and deleted material, lovingly giving us his stories and rationale behind everything xD It’s something I don’t seem too often with a lot of filmmakers. Only exception was KANK, which was disappointing at the time coz I was binge watching it like crazy and hoped for something just as elaborate) about how the movie itself was a patchwork of two separate story ideas he had for his first film. Like the college bit was a separate storyline, and the dying mother bit was a separate storyline. And then he decided to combine them in the same film but didn’t have a hook. And then he went to London and ordered a McDonalds burger and that’s where inspiration hit lol (he got the idea for the letters while eating there). I’m guessing it was coz Karan had always envisioned SRK and Kajol in whichever lead roles he was going for, whatever it entailed, and it never occurred to him to go for anyone else.


          • You are better than me, somehow I have a hard time watching those DVD extras. But now I am picturing Karan sitting in McDonald’s having a brainstorm! It’s a good advertisement for McDonald’s, maybe I should go there next time I need an idea for a blog post.


      • I wonder why you expected them to play the “father” as a stern paterfamilias? That kind of role is usually done by the older actors playing fathers to adult children, not heroes playing fathers of young children. I mean, I can’t recall any father role of SRK where he also wasn’t all about just loving the kid, not disciplining them — and KKHH is a great example of that. The only father role of Aamir that I can recall is AKAH, and he almost nauseated me with the number of times he kept saying “I love you,” to his son in that. 🙂


        • Still haven’t seen AKAH! But I have seen Hum Hain Rahe Pyar Ki where Aamir is a father/uncle, and One 2 Ka 4 with Shahrukh. And they both have moments where the “father” figures get mad and impatient and blow up at the kids, and then worry about making money to keep the household going and support everyone. That kind of side of fatherhood.

          Even in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, there is that one scene where Shahrukh gives Little Anjali the speech at the school function. It’s loving, of course, but it also has a tone of “I can say this because I am your father and you respect me and I know how to teach you things.” I don’t know, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but in this film and in Bajrangi Bhaijaan I got more of a sense of his relationship to his kid being one of equals and friends than it is for Shahrukh and Aamir in their movies.


          • That’s interesting. What do you think about his father portrayal in Biwi No. 1? That’s also all about just loving the children (who are much younger than here). I always thought it was very interesting how, even as he’s philandering around on his wife, his perception of his fatherly duties/responsibilities never changes, and it’s the perceived threat to his children that breaks up his affair.


          • Hmm, Biwi No. 1 is an interesting one to think about! I think it’s that he always seems happier to be treated as an equal to the children, rather than their responsible parent. So, in Biwi No. 1, when the household was “happy” at the beginning, Karisma was the one taking care of everybody and indulging them all, Salman just as much as her kids. And her moving out of that role is part of what made Salman finally grow up and realize what he really wanted, once he was forced to be the full time responsible parent instead of just the “fun Dad”. And, hopefully, when it was all over, their marriage was stronger because he learned to appreciate what she did for him more. Does that make sense?


          • You are correct to a certain extent. That is, yes, his wife did all the heavy work of parenting while they were still together, but when the children came to stay with him and Sushmita, there was never a question in his mind that they belonged with him, or that he would put their interests first. Yes, he was a bit overwhelmed at having to take care of them, but the point was that he did step up and do everything needed, never got irritated with them for being so demanding. He never thinks twice about letting them into his bed, for instance, while that’s what drove Sushmita mad (sorry, I can’t remember her character’s name). And when she loses her temper with them, he blows his top and tells her to leave! So he always put the kids’ needs ahead of his own.

            I actually found the rationale for the affair quite interesting. Too bad David Dhawan can’t handle any serious emotions. The idea that Salman felt neglected because his wife was so involved with the kids was one worth exploring more, I thought. But it is just mentioned, enough for us to know that he wasn’t really the roving type, just weak under stress. It wasn’t only the responsibility of the kids that lets him realize his mistake, I think. It’s that he realizes that a wife has a lot more responsibilities to fulfill (which Karisma was doing) than a mere lover — e.g., taking care of his mother as well as the kids, and generally running the house, etc.


          • Have you seen Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam? I think the director was going for that idea there, the strain on a marriage when the wife can’t put her husband first. But with all the filming issues in completing it, the end result just feels kind of choppy and confused to me, so it’s not one of my favorites. But I do like the idea of a husband wanting a wife who is there to spend time and have fun with him, and how that can conflict with her responsibilities to everyone else in the family.


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  4. Fascinating. This is an underrated Salman film and one of my personal favorites. Your review is interesting- especially the no labels until you want labels part.

    I also love Salman as a dad and you are right in identifying that he always plays the fun dad because I think he is (or thinks of himself as) the fun person with no rules and ruled by the heart than the head. He comes across like that in all his roles (I have stopped watching him recently for Aishu reasons but I remember thats how it was in the older movies). SRK was the possessive I wont take no for an answer lover. Aamir was always love with a purpose and Salman was always the love with no rules kinda guy. Remember Nandini slapping Sameer in HDDCS. That had NEVER happened. I had never seen anyone but the villain hit a hero until then and even then he always got wiped out. That Sameer didn’t even retaliate (except to sulk) was something very different.


    • If you ever go back to watching Salman, you should check out Bajrangi Bhaijaan. It’s a great movie, but it’s also a very good role for that “ruled by the heart” kind of idea. In a new way.

      On Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 6:42 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



        • Oh, Bajrangi isn’t the wrestling movie, Sultan was just okay. No, Bajrangi is something completely different. But, again, no need to watch it if you don’t want to. Just saying it’s good.

          On Sat, Sep 9, 2017 at 2:32 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • Oh I watched bits of bajrangi I remember now. It’s the movie with the minuscule Kareena role. It didn’t do anything for me. Plus who was this flabby over religious man who seemed to look a lil like Salman? Unrecognisable.

            The film itself I found facetious and over simplistic with not even the saving grace of a sexual energy between him and Kareena.


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