It’s Kajol’s birthday—the actor who gave us innumerable Bollywood gems over the years. Kajol began her journey in the 90’s, an era where subtlety was akin to a blunt axe, as flamboyant dancing and singing, and breathy emotional dialogues were essential ingredients for a blockbuster. Kajol starred in the biggest successes of the era—Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaaenge and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, and no matter how much we dissect the films today, they unfortunately, or fortunately, shaped the ideas of Bollywood romance. Yet, while everyone’s aware of Kajol’s huge hits, she also starred in some films that were just so outlandish that they’re absolutely brilliant for a watch. They were entirely entertaining and were masala in true sense of the word.
Here’s looking back at several underrated, outlandish gems of Kajol’s, that serve for an absolutely hysterical watch.
This is a story of reincarnation, starring Aditya Pancholi and Saif Ali Khan besides Kajol. Aditya Pancholi’s Yash Vardhan (still embodying his Yes Boss character) becomes obsessed with Kajol and must have her at any cost, but too late, she’s already fallen for Saif Ali Khan’s smarmy Raja (it pretty much took one song of complimenting her dupatta from Saif). In a rather dramatic scene on a cliff, he lets Raja fall to his death and an vengeful Rani jumps too, promising to return. Twenty years later, Yash finds Rani and is determined that she will never find Raja, but again, he fails. Rani finds Raja and breathlessly convinces him that she is his love from his previous life. It’s a happy ending as Yash falls off a cliff.
Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kiya (1998)
Ah the good old days when Salman Khan impressed an entire generation by playing a guitar on the beach, and being shirtless. The film starred Arbaaz Khan as Kajol’s overtly protective brother Vishal, who doesn’t want Salman’s excessively cheerful Suraj anywhere near his affectionate and innocent sister, Muskaan (Kajol). He takes his job very seriously and resorts to medieval forms of torture—including letting Suraj being dragged around by horses. Nevertheless, Suraj’s love defeats all obstacles and passes all tests, including a surprise cooking examination. The film had it all–trademark Bollywood slapstick comedy, with intense action scenes at the end. And how can you not have a Bollywood film without a heroine getting kidnapped randomly and being paraded in the khet?
Pyaar Toh Hona Hi Tha (1998)
An attempted remake of French Kiss, Pyaar Toh Hona Hi Tha sees Ajay Devgn and Kajol, two strangers, who fall in love, despite being on two very different missions. Ajay Devgn’s Shekhar is a thief (for good reasons of course), and Kajol is Sanjana, a broken-hearted woman who has found out that her boyfriend is cheating on her. Shekhar and Sanjana team up, with hilarious consequences. There’s the trademark airport chase, an almost-hostage situation, and basically just Kajol tripping everywhere and being a disaster on two feet as her character Sanjana is supposed to be bumbling and clumsy.
Dil Kya Kare (1998)
Kajol termed her role in this film as someone with ‘shades of grey’. The film was oddly perplexing—as Ajay Devgn and Kajol meet on a train in the midst of riots taking place. He saves her and as two strangers in a deadly scenario, they spend the night together (What?). She disappears the next morning, and several years later, he discovers that the biological mother of his adopted daughter is Kajol. Unfortunately, he’s married to Mahima Chaudhary. Boom. The film was panned terribly, but honestly the excessive emotion, gushing dialogues and an appearance by Chandrachur Singh makes it a really fun watch. Who is looking for nuance here? And why?
Cashing in on the magic between Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, we got Karan Arjun, another story about reincarnation, also starring Salman Khan. Packed with iconic dialogues (‘Mere Karan Arjun aayenge’ for one), and blaring songs like Jai Maa Kali (You can’t ever forget Kajol dancing like one possessed in a temple), Karan Arjun serves for the perfect 90’s binge. It had all the gorgeous weirdness of that era, as depicted in that one song, Jaati Hoon Main, something that even makes SRK and Kajol cringe today. But hey, we all need a good laugh sometime.