Kal Ho Naa Ho, Part 1

Certificate. A message tells us that any resemblance this movie has to actual events is coincidental. I’ll have to keep that in mind in case anything realistic happens. Production credits. Fade to black. All is silent except for a solemn heartbeat. Ba-bump. Ba-bump. Ba-bump. Now for some jazzy French horn music! It’s the Statue of Liberty. Hey, this isn’t India! What’s going on? Helicopter shots of tall buildings and a large, rectangular park. Preity Zinta’s disembodied voice tells us that it’s New York, one of the biggest cities in the world. Thanks, Preity! She says that in New York everyone is in a hurry, as indicated by the speeded-up video of crowds walking fast along busy streets. Preity explains that New York has no time for slow people, and that the city is infested with Indians. She probably could have found a nicer way to say that, but OK. In fact, every fourth face in New York is Indian, she says, as the faces of Indian people light up in color among the black and white crowd. One in four sounds a bit high, but I’m too lazy to do research, so we’ll just leave it at that.

As the camera zooms in on a jogging woman’s backside, Preity says “Oh, by the way, that’s me.” A catchy beat kicks in, and Preity’s back jogs through a crowd, past a restaurant, a market, and along the center lane divider of a bridge. Preity should watch out, because New York has no time for pedestrians who jog in the middle of busy four-lane highways. She runs through Central Park, then to a bridge, where she pauses. She sits down on a bench with her back to the camera, as Voiceover Preity says that this city taught her to fulfill her responsibilities and to face life, but that it couldn’t teach her how to love. If New York can’t teach her how to love, maybe she can receive tuitions from somewhere else. My relatives are all about the tuitions; I bet they could hook her up. Anyway, Preity says that in New York there’s no time for love, and that when she watches the city from afar, she feels her Papa is closer. Her imaginary Papa and Child Actress Preity frolic along the bridge as Jogging Preity watches. Jogging Preity turns around to reveal her face in profile. She removes her glasses and blots some invisible tears from her eyes with her fingertips. As she gazes off into the middle distance, she tells us that her name is Naina Catherine Kapur, and this is her story.

Jaya Bachchan is on the phone in a yellow-wallpapered dining room. She expositions to Mr. Shah on the phone that she must have the loan extension, please, because even though the restaurant is centrally situated, there is competition. Voiceover Naina tells us that this is her mother, Jennifer, and that since Naina’s father passed away, all the responsibility for the family fell on her, but that Jennifer never let them feel this burden. Well, then how does Naina know that she’s a burden? As Naina walks in, her mother says “Thank you,” and hangs up the phone. Jennifer wipes away her invisible tears with her fingertips in the same way that Naina does and asks Naina where she’s been. She says that she’s been at Central Park, meeting someone. Naina’s mom asks who, and Naina says sarcastically that she was meeting her boyfriend. Her mother says, “Tah!” and taps her on the arm.

Naina looks through the mail, which is mostly bills, then finds a letter marked “Private and Confidential.” Jennifer says that it’s hers, and takes it from Naina. Naina says that they’ve gotten Sweetu’s mail again, and that she can’t understand why the mailman can’t figure out that they’re the Kapurs with a U, and their neighbors are the Kapoors with an O. She notices an envelope from a marriage bureau called Kunwari Kudi and angrily asks her mother what it is. Naina says that she doesn’t want to get married, and asks why Dadi won’t just leave her alone. Her mother asks why Dadi won’t just leave. Naina taps her on the arm. She doesn’t say “Tah!” though. They wonder where Dadi is, then some basketball players, a gospel choir and a bhangra group shout out a ten second countdown to………an elderly woman! Naina’s grandmother Lajjo. Naina says that all her grandmother wants in life is for New York to become part of Punjab, for Naina to marry a Sardar, and for Naina’s mother to die. Sounds like a lovely woman.
Part 2


At 2/28/2008 2:40 PM, Blogger Goot said...

my god how did u manage to write it all?! respect...

At 6/23/2008 7:01 PM, Blogger ajnabi said...

"I’ll have to keep that in mind in case anything realistic happens." LOLOL Somehow I don't think you'll have to worry about it. At least, not with KHNH.

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