The film went on to do well both critically and commercially. It was the second highest Bollywood grosser of 2000, after Rakesh Roshan's Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai. It also won several awards including the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor and the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor, for Khan and Bachchan respectively.
Narayan Shankar (Amitabh Bachchan) is the strict headmaster of Gurukul, a prestigious all-boys university. Narayan wants the best out of his students, and places emphasis on tradition, honor and discipline. He has run the university for 25 years and over that time, he has forbid the students from any kind of romance — anyone he catches falling in love will be expelled. The film focuses on three of the school's students: Sameer (Jugal Hansraj), Vicky (Uday Chopra) and Karan (Jimmy Shergill) who all fall in love. Sameer is in love with Sanjana (Kim Sharma), his childhood friend. Vicky falls for Ishika (Shamita Shetty), a student at the all-girls university next door to Gurukul. Karan becomes smitten with Kiran (Preeti Jhangiani), a girl he sees one night at a train station. All three know that if they're caught they'd be expelled, so they at first do not pursue their love interests.
Raj Aryan (Shah Rukh Khan) joins Gurukul as a music teacher. He challenges the status quo and slowly introduces changes that Narayan dislikes. Raj is a strong believer of love, and when he learns the stories of the three boys, he encourages them to follow their hearts. The boys take his advice, but are disappointed: Sameer discovers that Sanjana has a boyfriend; Vicky only makes Ishika dislike him when trying to woo her; Karan learns that Kiran is married to a pilot who is assumed to be dead. Raj tells the boys to not be disheartened, and tells them that his love, Megha (Aishwarya Rai) is dead, but he continues to love her and imagines that she is still by his side. Raj encourages the boys to continue to stay loyal to their loves.
One day Raj throws a party in Gurukul, inviting the students from the girls' school from next door as part of his plan to spread love in Gurukul. Narayan is furious and threatens to fire him. Raj then reveals he was a student at Gurukul years ago, and he fell in love with Megha, who was Narayan's only daughter. Narayan had expelled Raj without ever seeing his face, and afterward Megha committed suicide. Raj returned to Gurukul as a teacher in the hopes of changing Narayan's ways and honoring his love for Megha. Raj promises that before he leaves Gurukul, he will fill it with so much love that even Narayan will not be able to remove it. Narayan accepts this challenge, and allows Raj to continue as a teacher for a while longer.
Sameer, Vicky, and Karan one by one win over the girls they love. Narayan retaliates by tightening the rules of Gurukul, but the boys continue to break the rules, which encourages other students to do the same. Narayan finally decides to expel the three, and Raj speaks up on their behalf, telling Narayan that he is the instigator and the boys should not be punished for it. Raj also says that he feels Narayan lost the battle, because his daughter left him and now Raj (who considered Narayan an elder) is leaving him. Raj's words make Narayan realise his mistake. He publicly apologises to the students and steps down as the principal, allowing Raj to take over. Raj turns Gurukul into a love-filled university. In the end Raj, Narayan and a vision of Megha walk happily together towards the gates of Gurukul.Amitabh Bachchan as Narayan Shankar
Shah Rukh Khan as Raj Aryan Malhotra
Aishwarya Rai as Megha Shankar
Jimmy Shergill as Karan Chaudhry
Jugal Hansraj as Sameer Sharma
Uday Chopra as Vikram "Vicky" Oberoi/Kapoor
Shamita Shetty as Ishika Dhanrajgir
Kim Sharma as Sanjana
Preeti Jhangiani as Kiran
Amrish Puri as Maj. Gen. Khanna, Kiran's father-in-law
Shefali Shah as Nandini, Kiran's sister-in-law
Parzan Dastur as Ayush, Nandini's son
Saurabh Shukla as Sanjana's father
Anupam Kher as Kake
Archana Puran Singh as Preeto
Helen as Miss Monica
Sindhu Tolani as Ishika's friend
Rushad Rana as Gurukul's Student, side dancer in Soni Soni & Pairon mein bandhan hain
Geeta Kapoor as the lady dancing
Before the production of the film, Amitabh Bachchan was attempting a revival of his career but it was of little success. Also, he was in financial trouble with the bankruptcy of his production company, ABCL, which was hurting his image. These troubles left him almost penniless, and it was at this time that he contacted his friend and director/producer Yash Chopra, who told him of an upcoming production that he could be in. With Mohabbatein, he was finally able to shed his "hero" image and to play older, more mature roles. This was the first film in which Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan appeared together. This created a strong buzz for the film as it brought two huge stars of different generations together.
Filming took place in India and England. Longleat, a country house in Wiltshire, England, was used as the location for filming Gurukul school. Oxford and Cambridge Universities were also used for filming. The scene where Narayan Shankar walks right before meeting Raj Aryan was filmed at the Queen's College, Oxford. The railway station scenes were shot at Apta Railway Station, Panvel Maharashtra, India. The scene where Karan asks for friendship from Kiran was shot at Birla Mandir, Revdanda, Alibag, Maharashtra, India. It was rumored that Sridevi was approached to be a love interest to Narayan Shankar, but she turned down the role. Midway through the filming of the song "Aankhein Khuli", Jugal Hansraj fractured his foot, which required him to wear a cast for the rest of the filming of the song. Aishwarya Rai was slated to only make a guest appearance, but her presence generated so much interest that her role was promoted to that of a regular character.
The music of Mohabbatein was composed by Jatin Lalit while lyrics were penned by Anand Bakshi. The album was very well received by the audience. It was the best selling Bollywood soundtrack of the 2000s. According to the Indian trade website Box Office India, around 5,000,000 albums were sold.
Music was used extensively throughout the film and features leitmotifs that relate to each of the main characters (each couple having unique theme music).
The songs included on the official soundtrack:
Mohabbatein grossed ₹70.62 crore (US$11 million) in India and $4.17 million (₹19.39 crore) in other countries, for a worldwide total of ₹90.01 crore (US$14 million), against its ₹19 crore (US$3.0 million) budget. It had a worldwide opening weekend of ₹11.37 crore (US$1.8 million), and grossed ₹20.45 crore (US$3.2 million) in its first week. It is the highest-grossing film of 2000 worldwide.
It opened on Friday, October 27, 2000, across 315 screens, and earned ₹1.19 crore (US$190,000) nett on its opening day. It grossed ₹3.54 crore (US$550,000) nett in its opening weekend, and had a first week of ₹7.62 crore (US$1.2 million) nett. The film earned a total of ₹41.88 crore (US$6.5 million) nett (plus a distributor share of ₹25.52 crore (US$4.0 million)), and was declared "Blockbuster" by Box Office India. It is the 2nd-highest-grossing film of 2000 in India after Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai which grossed ₹44.27 crore (US$6.9 million) nett.
It had an opening weekend of $1.16 million (₹5.39 crore) and went on to gross $1.63 million (₹7.57 crore) in its first week. The film earned a total of $4.17 million (₹19.39 crore) at the end of its theatrical run. Overseas, It is the highest-grossing film of 2000.
Mohabbatein received positive reviews from critics. Savera R Someshwar of Rediff.com commented, "It's a mish-mash alright. But it is also a successful, feelgood film. You'll enjoy yourself as you watch it." Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave it 3 out of 5 stars. He praised the conflict between the lead characters and the three love stories depicted in the film but criticized its excessive length.Won
Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor – Shah Rukh Khan
Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor – Amitabh Bachchan
Filmfare Award for Best Sound Design – Anuj Mathur
Filmfare Award for Best Scene of the Year – Aditya Chopra
Filmfare Award for Best Film
Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Aishwarya Rai
IIFA Awards – Best Costume Design – Karan Johar
IIFA Awards – Best Story – Aditya Chopra
Screen Award – Best Lyrics – Anand Bakshi
Sansui Viewer Choice Movie Awards – Best Actor – Shah Rukh Khan