Narrating a love story set amidst a turmoil of politics and terrorism by making a socio-commentary about it is an art that filmmaker Mani Ratnam has mastered early on. This week on Koimoi Recommendation Friday we recommend you Dil Se, Mani Ratnam’s cinematic ode to the Indian landscapes and a poetic thrilling love story with a doomed fate, starring megastar Shah Rukh Khan and the beautiful Manisha Koirala.


Director: Mani Ratnam

Language: Hindi

Available on: Netflix (but this one will give you chills)

Koimoi Recommends Dil Se: Mani Ratnam’s Cinematic Ode To Love That Is Tragic & Dark Starring Shah Rukh Khan-Manisha Koirala
Koimoi Recommends Dil Se: Mani Ratnam’s Cinematic Ode To Love That Is Tragic & Dark Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Manisha Koirala

Amar(kanth) Varma (Shah Rukh Khan) an All India Radio employee, meets a mysterious woman on an all empty railway station and is instantly attracted toher. We meet Moina (Manisha Koirala) or Meghna as she introduces herself to Amar. A girl with eyes as transparent as glass but a heart locked like an old safe. Amar in a scene tells her she couldn’t be read and yes, that’s true!

But fate pulls them apart and Amar sets out on a quest for his newfound love. He does meet her again but she holds some deadly secrets that lead to their doomed fate. (Okay, no spoilers! Stopping here).

What would go wrong when stalwarts like writer-director Mani Ratnam, lyricist Gulzar, composer-singer A R Rahman, dialogue writer Tigmanshu Dhulia and cinematographer Santosh Sivan decided to come together. Dil Se is a poem, a tragic one, that sucks you in from the very first shot and leaves you devastated by the time it ends.

Known for his interesting trilogy Bombay, Roja, and Dil Se, Mani let his poetic intellect lose in the third one. Every frame, every dialogue, each emotion and even the flying fabric in his universe is reciting poetry that is like no other!

Amar falls in love with a mysterious girl and gives her all of him in that very first glance. He is a lover who goes through all the seven stages of love according to the Arabic literature. We see him traveling from the attraction, infatuation, love, reverence, worship to the eventual obsession, and death.

Meghna, on the other hand, is a clear canvas, not letting anything about her spill. It is till the last scene you are confused whether anything that this mysterious woman has said is true. You don’t trust her, she is evil but with Amar’s gaze she looks ethereal and that is all that matters in his universe.


Such powerful is the writing in Dil Se. Ratnam not only writes a stereotype love story, but he also defines it, sets it in a turmoil and tells you the tale of both sides, while being completely objective! Now that certainly is a difficult niche to achieve.

Pair this amazing screenplay with Gulzar’s surreal and hypnotizing wordplay of his lyrics and Rahman’s enticing music, magic is bound to happen!  Songs like Chaiya Chaiya are the most famous ones, but the ones like Aae Ajnabi and Jiya Jale speak the soul of the film!

Anyone who has seen Ratnam’s body of work knows that the man is known for creating paintings out of his frames. The camera helmed by Santosh Sivan is a marvel. Every frame tells a story, it’s a dreamland. Even a burnt bus amidst the riot looks intriguing and add to it innocent children playing around it with cheerful smiles. Yes, it’s heartbreaking but beautiful. Below are the few favorites.

Gulzar and Rahman need no validation. The two together have created an album that will be remembered forever.

This isn’t a film that just talks about a generic love story we have been fed for ages, it talks about the complexities of it, the wrong intention that one of the two is leading to and the heart aching end that will leave one shattered. Yes, patriotism, country and protecting it plays a major part, but no one ever EVER gives an in your face monologue about it.

We dil se recommend this masterpiece for your next movie watching session for its a prefect mixture of immense love with immense heartache!

Tell us about what you think about this Shah Rukh Khan and Manisha Koirala starrer!

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