Kal Ho Naa Ho (also known as KHNH) is a romantic comedy-drama film directed by Nikhil Advani as well as written by Karan Johar with dialogues by Niranjan Iyengar and produced by Yash Johar. Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, and Preity Zinta appear in the movie, which also features Sushma Seth, Reema Lagoo, Lillete Dubey, as well as Delnaaz Paul. It chronicles the narrative of Naina Catherine Kapur, an uptight and gloomy MBA student in New York City.
She met and fell in love with her next-door neighbour Aman Mathur, a terminally sick patient who seeks to pair Naina up with her closest friend Rohit Patel because he is afraid she would mourn for him and if he reciprocates her emotions.
Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy wrote the soundtrack as well as the background score in collaboration alongside Johar for the first time. The cameraman, costume designer, and art director, respectively, were Anil Mehta, Manish Malhotra, and Sharmishta Roy. From January to October 2003, filming started taking conducted in Toronto, New York City, and Mumbai. The album was released on September 27, 2003, to generally good reviews, with the title song, “It’s The Time To Disco,” “Kuch To Hua Hai,” and “Pretty Woman” receiving special attention.
“A Story of a Lifetime… In a Heartbeat” was indeed the advertising slogan for Kal Ho Naa Ho, which was released on November 27, 2003. The movie garnered favourable critical reviews and became a commercial success, collecting 860.9 million dollars and becoming the year’s highest-grossing Indian film. It looks at non-resident Indians, inter-caste marriage, terminal illness, and homosexuality through innuendo and homosocial bonding, among other topics. In 2004, it received two National Film Awards, eight Filmfare Awards, thirteen Indian Film Academy Awards, six Producers Guild Film Awards, three Screen Awards, and two Zee Cine Awards.
After openly expressing their dissatisfaction with Johar’s choice to hire different music directors for Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, the composing team Jatin–Lalit discontinued their affiliation with him… During their first collaboration with Johar, Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy wrote the music for Kal Ho Naa Ho, with lyrics by Javed Akhtar.
Unlike so many other past Bollywood movies, Johar followed international copyright regulations and got permission to adapt Roy Orbison’s 1964 song “Oh, Pretty Woman” for such a movie, renaming it “Pretty Woman.” Loy Mendonsa created the melody for the title track, “Kal Ho Naa Ho,” while he and Advani were visiting a German Bakery in Pune. Advani desired a song that was lyrically comparable to Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” from 1997, which he had been humming there at the time. Mendonsa did come up well with the music and recorded it on his phone when he heard it. The trio wrote the song when Shankar Mahadevan and Ehsaan Noorani listened to it.
The Sony Music India label published the soundtrack on September 27, 2003. The Taj Lands End in Mumbai hosted the audio launch celebration two days later. The album received favourable reviews, and songs like “It’s The Time To Disco,” “Kuch To Hua Hai,” and “Pretty Woman” hit. “A fantastic mix of Indian melodies and contemporary sound,” according to a Bollywood Hungama critic. Apart from “Kal Ho Naa Ho” and “Kuch To Hua Hai,” another reviewer on the same website said the remainder of the tracks were “average” to “very average.” The soundtrack was placed 66th on Film Companion’s list of “100 Bollywood Albums” by Vipin Nair.
Despite the album’s “pretty wide mix of tracks,” Nair picked the title track as his favourite, describing it as “one of the most emotional tunes written ever since the turn of the century.” With over 2.8 million copies sold, it was India’s best-selling album of the year. In 2015, the German Embassy in India developed an eight-minute video called Lebe Jetzt, which featured the title music (“Live now” in German). Inside the video, Shah Rukh Khan, Zinta, and Saif Ali Khan play German Ambassador to India Michael Steiner, his wife Elisse, as well as former Indian Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid, respectively.