Here’s a big movie buff Debarupa Bhattacharjee, who wrote to Koimoi an article as her tribute to her most favourite romantic movie of all times – Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Read on:
The longest running movie of the Indian Cinema, the movie that defined the love stories of 90s, the movie that started a trend, the movie that made Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol superstars overnight – all these phrases are often attributed to the phenomenon that Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge was, is and will always be. But all these combined together would fall short of describing the impact that it has had over cinema lovers from all over the world in the last two decades. Some say that it’s not just a movie; it’s an experience, the experience of experiencing something which for the three odd hours transcends you into a world where two ordinary looking people make you a part of their most extra-ordinary love story. And even after those three odd hours, as you come back into the real world, the effect lingers on and the smile just refuses to fade away from your lips. What is it about DDLJ that makes it stand apart from the other love stories? What is it that makes it the benchmark of ‘romance’ in Bollywood even when the same genre has been exploited in numerous other movies as well?
Out of the millions of reasons that we discover every time we watch and re-watch the movie, here are a few that makes it the undisputed conqueror of our hearts:
The Characters – ‘Raj’ & ‘Simran’
‘Raj’ is the quintessential lover boy and ‘Simran’ is the girl-next-door that every guy wants to take home. They are not perfect, they are not the most good-looking but they are the characters that every guy and girl can identify with. Every girl finds a bit of her in ‘Simran’ and every guy finds a bit of him in ‘Raj’. Every girl wants a bit of ‘Raj’ in her lover and every guy wants a bit of ‘Simran’ in his girl. They are ordinary, yet larger- than- life as well. They are real enough to make us relate to their problems and fantastical enough to make us wish to live a life like that. And SRK and Kajol with their unconventional charm and appeal and the electrifying chemistry made these two characters so endearing that it is difficult to say whether the characters catapulted them to super-stardom or it is the other way around.
A Magical Ride That Everyone Wants To Be A Part Of
DDLJ gives us a piece of fantasy that everyone wants to be a part of. A girl and a boy falling madly in love on a trip, in the beautiful locations of Europe and their love towering supreme against all odds in the end. Simple story it is but the super-talented Aditya Chopra (the director of the movie) presented the love story with various little intricacies and numerous heart-touching moments, for instance, the “Palat”scene where Raj confesses his love for Simran and then the very next moment he laughs it off saying that he was just kidding, although it’s quite evident from his eyes that this is the girl that he can die for. The scene gives you goosebumps and when Raj says “Palat” and Simran turns back and Raj smiles, you can actually feel the happiness of the character. It is that movie where you laugh with the characters, cry with them and unknowingly and unintentionally fall in love with them. The movie made those die-hard romantics live their dream through the lead characters. Just like the tag-line of the movie goes “Come fall in love”, the movie indeed makes the people want to fall in love.
It’s ‘Cool’ Yet Traditional
It is one of the first movies that brought in the “cool” factor in Bollywood. The way the lead characters spoke, the way they danced and the way they looked, everything was a little more “English”, perhaps because this was one of the first movies to be made on NRIs as such. However, what appealed to the NRI audience more was that in spite of being an NRI, the hero ‘Raj’ seems to be very much rooted in Indian values. This comes across best in the Hotel scene where he first pulls a prank on Simran by lying to her that they have had an one-night stand, but when Simran gets hysterical, he tells her the truth and says that “Main ek Hindustani hun aur Hindustani ladki ki izzat kya hoti hai main achchi tarah janta hun” (I am an Indian and I know what honour means for an Indian girl). Just like the hero, the movie is a unique combination of modernity and tradition where the girl is modern enough to wear Western clothes but traditional enough to be obedient towards her elders. This theme of the movie strikes a chord with Indians all over the world and they feel proud to be Indians.
“Bade Bade deshon me aisi chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rehti hai ” (Such small things keep happening in big countries)!
“Agar ye tujhe pyaar karti hai toh ye palatke dekhegi.. palat.. palat” (If she loves you, she will turn around and see you.. turn.. turn)
Who can forget these epic dialogues? The script is the soul of the movie and the dialogues are the way through which the soul finds expression and connects with the audience. DDLJ’s dialogues by Javed Siddiqui not only connected with the audience but stayed with them much longer. So long that you wouldn’t be surprised if a girl watches this movie twenty times and still blushes when SRK says these dialogues in his own SRK-ish manner.
The Soulful Melodies Of Jatin-Lalit
Bollywood romances are incomplete without music. And in the case of DDLJ, the music is definitely one of its highlights. Every college or high school guy from the 90s must have sung at least once “tujhe dekha toh ye jaana sanam pyaar hota hai deewana sanam” (When I saw you sweet-heart, I realized love is madness sweet-heart) for his/her sweet-heart. Even today this song is like the anthem for romance. A marriage music album till date is incomplete without “Mehendi lagake rakhna doli sajake rakhna” (Put your henna on and keep the wedding palanquin decorated). Every song is cult in its own way. The music of this movie is a phenomenon in itself.
Numerous awards (which includes ten Filmfare Awards and one National Award) and accolades (it topped the poll conducted by IBNLive as the most romantic movie of all time) and records (it completed 900 weeks in Mumbai’s Maratha Mandir Theatre in 2013) have made this movie unparalleled in terms of the success it has gained over the years. But, for a rom-com flicks lover, this movie is much bigger than its success stories as “bade bade deshon me aisi movie kabhi kabhi hi ati hai” which carves a place of its own in our DVD collection as well as leaves its “feel good” factor in our lives forever.
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