The other day, while writing up a Rishi Kapoor sob-fest, I idly thought to myself "How long are they going to keep making Laila Majnu/Romeo and Juliet stories?" After watching 1988's Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, I've decided the answer is: as long as they need to. The specific obstacles and/or cultural taboos may change, but until the day comes when nobody has a love affair disapproved of by parents or society, there'll always be an audience.
The young lovers in QSQT are so happy-go-lucky in the beginning, with their college dance parties and cheerful co-ed camping trips (despite the "rowdies" lurking in the woods, ready to attack young girls who are out on their own), I found their budding romance a very disconcerting fit with the tragic blood feud that's going to wrench them apart.
I guess that's really the point, and also makes the movie a good example of the conflict between modern and traditional attitudes: pretty Rashmi is an old-fashioned dutiful daughter, but she's also a contemporary college student. Here, suddenly, her parents are saying that her arranged bridegroom will get to decide whether she can finish school or not. Even without a Raj waiting to carry her off on his red motorscooter, I like to think she'd have rebelled sooner or later.
A lot of movies debut new faces, but few are as auspicious as "Introducing Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawli." (Although of course Aamir worked as a child actor, and Juhi had a few earlier minor credits). When Aamir showed up in a polo shirt, holding a tennis racket, I couldn't help but think: Jeetendra Junior! Or maybe, since he's so young and preppy, like early John Cusack. Of course, Cusack's teen movies didn't, as a general rule, start with grim subplots about suicide and murder.
There's a whole slew of awesome angry relatives: Dalip Tahil, getting some motivation for his scowling. Alok Nath, as always, the voice of reason. Reema Lagoo, on the other side of the feud. I also loved new-to-me Shehnaz Kudia (who sadly has very few credits) as Rashmi's most modern-thinking friend, always trying to get her to stand up to her dad, and happy to help the couple elope. As an added bonus, the soundtrack contains some evergreen Udit and Alka tunes I was already familiar with, especially "Ae Mere Humsafar" and "Akele Hain To Kya Gum Hai."
Most importantly, the movie very sweetly includes a personal greeting in the credits: "Special Thanks - Time Pass Club."