Tag Archives: Always Kabhi Kabhi

Movie Review: Always Kabhi Kabhi (2011)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

Always Kabhi Kabhi (“Always Sometimes Sometimes”) is one of the rare Hindi movies that specifically targets a teenage audience. Perhaps that rarity has something to do with the fact that most teen movies are pretty much the same, and Always Kabhi Kabhi is no different.

The many similarities in teen movies have to do with the similarities in the lives of teenagers — particularly middle-class teens — across the globe. Academic pressures, tested friendships, budding romances and family friction are universal.

Those are precisely the problems afflicting the students at St. Mark’s High School, a private school in Delhi. Slacker Sam (Ali Fazal) has the hots for the pretty new girl, Aishwarya (Giselli Monteiro), who’s threatening to steal the spotlight from stubborn Nandy (Zoa Morani). This interpersonal drama plays out to the amusement of Sam’s best bud and Nandy’s nemesis, nerdy Tariq (Satyajeet Dubey).

St. Mark’s hosts a Shakespeare festival, and Sam and Aishwarya land the lead roles in Romeo and Juliet. The whole setup is very High School Musical, complete with several song-and-dance routines. (Producer Shahrukh Khan adds his star power to a number during the closing credits.)

The young lead actors are generally competent, though none stands out as Bollywood’s next big star. Monteiro moved to India from Brazil to play Harleen Kaur in 2009’s Love Aaj Kal, a role with minimal dialog. She gets a few more lines as Ash, but her acting lacks conviction. Perhaps language is still an obstacle for Monteiro.

For American audiences, Always Kabhi Kabhi has some novel cultural differences that could make it more interesting than other teen fare. At a dance club, Sam smokes his first joint. Almost as if the joint were alarmed, the cops immediately swarm the club, and Sam gets busted. The cops bribe him in order to keep the matter from his parents. If only American teens had such an option.

Also, Ash’s mother pushes her to shoot some modeling photos wearing — gasp! — a bikini. Ash looks as though her mother has just sold her in to prostitution. Her reaction is understandable within its cultural context and seems positively quaint compared to the antics of the kids on Jersey Shore.

Every once in a while, it’s refreshing to see a movie that is truly friendly for all audiences. The characters aren’t especially wild (or realistic, for that matter), but their harmlessness shouldn’t be held against them. Always Kabhi Kabhi isn’t profound, but nothing says it has to be.


Opening June 24: Double Dhamaal

This weekend’s big new Bollywood release is Double Dhamaal, a follow-up to the 2007 crime caper Dhamaal (“Fun”). The trailer below features multiple characters wearing blackface and afro wigs, so expect a double dose of casual racist fun!

In the Chicago area, Double Dhamaal opens on Friday, June 24, at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 18 min.

Of last week’s releases, Always Kabhi Kabhi leaves area theaters on Thursday, while Bheja Fry 2 gets a second week at the Golf Glen 5.

The Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30 are holding over Ready for a fourth week. Salman Khan’s latest earned $910,446 during its first three weeks in the U.S.

Other Indian films showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Avan Ivan (Tamil) and both the Tamil and Telugu versions of 180.

Opening June 17: Always Kabhi Kabhi and Bheja Fry 2

Chicago area Bollywood fans have two new theatrical releases to choose from the weekend beginning June 17, 2011. The teen romance Always Kabhi Kabhi gets the wider opening of the two.

Always Kabhi Kabhi opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles and the AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. AMC’s site gives the movie its standard Hindi-film runtime of 2 hrs. 35 min., but I suspect it’s somewhat shorter based on how showtimes are staggered.

Also opening on Friday at the Golf Glen 5 is Bheja Fry 2, the sequel to 2007’s low-budget success Bheja Fry.

The Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30 are both carrying over Salman Khan’s Ready for a third week. The movie has earned $781,855 in U.S. theaters so far.

Other Indian movies showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Avan Ivan (Tamil) and Badrinath (Telugu).