“Kya tune mujhe Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam ka Ajay Devgn samajh rakha hai jo Aishwarya Rai ko Salman Khan ke paas chor aayega”
This has to be one of the often-repeated dialogue said in jest whenever youngsters exchange friendly banter. After all, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam may have been a Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai love story but it was Ajay Devgn’s sacrifice, and a generous act towards the film’s climax, which is remembered quite fondly till date. After all, any romantic heart would agree that one of the most difficult things in life is to let go of your love but by doing so, Ajay Devgn’s character in the film managed to earn all the sympathy from the audience.
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam is what brought Sanjay Leela Bhansali into the Bollywood map quite firmly. Coming after a massive flop [Khamoshi] behind him despite top stars like Salman Khan, Manisha Koirala and Nana Patekar on his side and chartbuster music to add, Bhansali had to make a commercially viable film to stay in contention. In the industry which doesn’t really give you a second chance, Bhansali was fortunate enough to get big bucks for his dream romantic musical that also doubled up as a costume drama.
He decided to play on the front foot, instead of taking a step back, and this time the scale was upped all the more with Salman Khan continuing to stand by him and Aishwarya Rai as well as Ajay Devgn adding further star power. A plethora of credible supporting cast joined too and with Ismail Darbar bringing classical prowess, a memorable musical was born in the form of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam .
With close to a dozen odd songs in there, and practically each and every song turning out to be a chartbuster [Chand Chupa Badal Mein, Nimbooda, Aankhon Ki Gustakhiyan, Dholi Taro Dhol Baje, Tadap Tadap, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam – to name a few], this one was an exercise of not just heartfelt love but also immense patience.
Audiences gave a nod of approval too and when Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam released exactly 21 years back on 18th June 1999, there were good crowds that gathered on the first day with nearly 1.50 crore coming in. This was an expensive film though with the budget crossing 15 crores, which means despite a good opening, there was a lot that was yet left to be done. Ideally, the first day should have been at least 2 crores for this kind of budget but then such kind of numbers didn’t really use to come in a couple of decades back which means a major part of the job was left.
Fortunately for all involved, the word of mouth was good and as a result, the film gathered a lifetime of around 25 crores. Ideally, these numbers would have ensured a superhit status but then with heavy costs involved, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam had to be content with the hit tagging.