"No, I think it's from the early nineties," I replied.
"Which apparently is like the seventies in India," he commented, eyeing Juhi's ruffled dress with fascination.
In point of fact, HHRPK came out in 1992. The movie, which translated supposedly means "We Are Travellers on Love's Road," stars Aamir Khan, Juhi Chawla, Sharokh, Ashrafa, and Kunal Khemu. And, all fashion faux pas aside, it's a really cute movie which falls on the kid-friendly side of things for the most part, even though it won the Filmfare Best Film award for its year.
Rahul Malhotra (Aamir) would be a serious young man under the best of circumstances, but currently he's enduring the worst. His sister and brother-in-law died in an accident, leaving him in custody of their three children: Vicky (Sharokh), Munni (Ashrafa), and Sunni (Kunal). They like to make huge messes and terrify the servants Rahul tries to fob them off on. He isn't very good with children, but that might be a small problem compared with his other conundrum. He also inherited a shirt-making sweatshop--okay, sorry, it's a factory--and has no idea how to make it turn a profit, particularly since he owes a past-due order to an unscrupulous businessman: Mr. Bagnini, whose daughter Maya is a real man-eater with an appetite for Rahul.
Into this mess comes Vaiyjanti (Juhi), an impulsive, bubbly girl of South Indian descent whose father just arranged her marriage to a Bharatanatyam dancer about whom she complains, "Every bone in his body is crooked as a camel's!" (He's also majorly effeminate, but I don't know if Bharatanatyam dancers are "supposed" to be that way or if it's just his particular character.) She runs away. At a fair she hooks up with the three children, who have sneaked out of the house after Rahul, at his wit's end, has locked them into their room and left.
Eventually, Rahul discovers that Vaiyjanti is living in his house and, after some highly unconvincing crying on her part, he hires her as a governess/maid. She's excellent with the kids, even though she can't cook, and helps him get along with Vicky, who's at the most awkward stage of puberty. Rahul notices that she's uber-cute (I mean, she's Juhi! who wouldn't?) and they begin to fall for each other.
However, the course of Love's Road never did run smooth, and soon complications ensue. After some broad physical comedy (thankfully, without the crotch-kicking that now seems obligatory for every such sequence now produced in Western film), mad truck-driving, and serious dishoom-dishoom, will all come to rights in Rahul's world? C'mon, it's a rom-com, were you ever in doubt?
This was my second Aamir movie, after Lagaan, and I have to say that I am still totally not "getting" him. Lagaan made no impression on me whatsoever--I saw it back before I became a Bolly-lover, when it was nominated for the Oscar, and thought, "that was...different." Probably not the reaction he was aiming for. In HHRPK his character is very reserved for the most part, although good-hearted and kind. Juhi as Vaiyjanti totally eclipses him. Those big eyes! Those adorable dimples! That fantastic dancing! Still, when he engages in some karate action late in the movie and actually grins (I'm pretty sure for the first time), there's a second where that famed charisma lights up the screen. I haven't given up on finding a movie that does him justice--and since Dil Chahta Hai should make it here sometime next month I'm sure I'll find it.
As I said, this movie definitely caters to children's tastes, with lots of messy action, goofy dancing, and physical humor. Plus the child actors (who are very good, by the way) definitely have a lot to do. Bearing that in mind, I asked my own personal nine-year-old (my son) for his take on the movie:
"It's a sweet story. I like this movie. I think it looks good. My favorite part is when they fly kites together because I practice with my sister's kite too. I laughed a little about the egg-throwing. Munni (the sister) is my favorite person in the movie. That's it, I'm done."
I don't have much to say after that succinct summary, except to apologize for the lack of pictures and say that veracious has some adorable screencaps in her post about the movie, which you can find here. In case my opinion isn't clear, HHRPK is definitely worth its price. Also I would like to add that Kunal now looks like this:
Holy cow. And that's all I got to say about that.