one would have to go to the big screen. Meanwhile, the snippets appearing on TV and the documentary on the making of the film supplied viewers with enough teasers to want to see 'more'. Part of the success can be attributed to the tremendous screen presence of the truly charismatic Madhuri Dixit and the string of songs that turned out to be chartbusters.
It was also said that because HAHK has no 'sex and violence' it has succeeded as a 'family film'. This probably means that all members of the family can watch and enjoy the film together as it has no "sex" and/or "violence". That criteria does not make HAHK unique as both Kabhi Haan, Kabhi Naa and Andaz Apna Apna have the same quality. But HAHK is a family film in the literal sense because it is about the family. Therefore, HAHK's articulations around the institution of the family may provide some insights into the film's appeal.
To quote Sooraj Barjatya HAHK is "a tribute to the traditional Indian joint family." The film revolves around two families and many characters. Kailashnath (Alokenath) is a wealthy bachelor who has dedicated his life to bringing up his two nephews Rajesh (Monish Behl) and Prem (Salman Khan). Rajesh gets married to Pooja (Renuka Shahane) the daughter of Kailashnath's old friends (Rima Lagoo and Anupam Kher). During the wedding and its attendant revelries, Pooja's sister Nisha (Madhuri Dixit) and Prem fall in love. Before Pooja can arrange the two to be married,she dies unexpectedly in an accident leaving a small child behind. That Nisha and Prem are in love never gets known. In order to provide a 'mother' to the child, the two families decide to get Nisha married to Rajesh. Nisha imagines that she is getting married to Prem and agrees. A day before the wedding Nisha realizes the mix-up. After her initial trauma, she reconciles herself to marrying Rajesh as she feels her duty to the family comes before her love for Prem. Both Prem and Nisha decide to sacrifice their love at the alter of familial duty. On the wedding day, however, the family pet dog (a major protagonist in the film) pulls off a trick whereby Prem and Nisha's relationship is disclosed. The film ends happily as Nisha marries Prem instead of Rajesh. Pooja's death and the events following constitute only one-third of the film.
HAHK is best described as a family carnivalesque. During the popular antakshari (a game of songs) sequence in Maine Pyar Kiya the hero persuades the heroine to say 'I love you' through a medley of old Hindi film songs. In an instance of carnivalesque egalitarianism, hierarchies of social classes break as domestic helps, cooks and other