Dil Chahta Hai
|Dil Chahta Hai|
|Directed by||Farhan Akhtar|
|Produced by||Ritesh Sidhwani|
|Screenplay by||Farhan Akhtar
Saif Ali Khan
|Cinematography||Ravi K. Chandran|
|Edited by||A. Sreekar Prasad|
|Distributed by||Excel Entertainment|
|24 July 2001(10 August 2001 in U.S.A.)|
|Budget||140 million (US$2.2 million)|
|Box office||261 million (US$4.1 million)|
Dil Chahta Hai (English: The Heart Desires, but billed as Do Your Thing) is a 2001 Indian comedy-drama film starring Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Preity Zinta, Sonali Kulkarni, and Dimple Kapadia. The first film written and directed by Farhan Akhtar, it is set in modern-day urban Mumbai and Sydney, and focuses on a major period of transition in the lives of three young friends.
In 2001, the film won National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi. It performed better in the urban areas of the country compared to the rural areas, which was attributed by critics to the city-oriented lifestyle depicted in which all the characters are from rich or upper-middle-class families. Over the years, it has attained a cult status.
This movie is about three childhood friends, Akash Malhotra (Aamir Khan), Sameer Mulchandani (Saif Ali Khan), and Siddharth "Sid" Sinha (Akshaye Khanna) who, after college, fall in love. In the beginning, Aakash does not believe in love, so he does not keep girlfriends for more than two weeks. Sameer is a genial, well-meaning, desperately romantic but confused guy who is prone to romantic infatuations and believes to have found true love whenever he gets attracted to a girl. Sid, an artist by profession and the most mature of the three, is not interested in trivial romances and is dedicated to his work.
Aakash, who is a cad in his personal life (breaking hearts, proposing to a girl named Shalini (Preity Zinta) in jest) and a mischief-maker in his friends' lives, craftily engineers a breakup between Sameer and his girlfriend. He then plans a vacation trip to the beaches of Goa.
Sameer predictably "falls in love" in Goa with a pretty Swiss girl, a story that ends in disaster.She took his wallet, cash and Passport. He returns home to find that his parents have arranged a meeting with a potential marriage prospect. He resists at first as he does not want an arranged marriage, but the moment he sees the girl, Pooja (Sonali Kulkarni), he realizes that she is 'the one'. Unfortunately, she is already in a relationship with someone else and Sam has to be content with just being her friend.
Sid, in the meantime, befriends and eventually falls in love with Tara (Dimple Kapadia), an older divorcee and alcoholic, who had moved into a nearby house and shares his love for art. He decides to keep it from her, suppressing all hopes of a relationship as he knows that she, like most other people in society, would consider this scandalous. When his family and friends start finding out, everything goes wrong. Sid's mother is horrified and wrongly accuses Tara of having led Sid on. Aakash makes fun of Sid's true intentions and his offensive remarks create a rift in their friendship. Tara hears that Sid has quarreled with friends and family because of her and feeling that she has ruined his life, refuses to see him.
Aakash, on the other hand, is also experiencing romantic upheaval. His parents send him to Sydney, Australia to work for the family business. On the flight, he meets Shalini again. He apologizes for his earlier prank and asks her to show him around the new city. Even though Shalini is engaged to marry someone else, she finds herself agreeing and they both, eventually, start to feel a certain "something". She tries to find out how he feels, but he holds back. She then leaves for India to marry Rohit, her fiancé. Aakash lets her go, then realizes that he can't live without her and returns to India to win her back. He proposes to her a day before her wedding and she accepts with the blessing of Rohit's parents. Rohit tries to resist but is helpless with his parents' decision and Shalini's true love for Aakash.
Meanwhile, Sameer and Pooja start going out after she breaks up with her boyfriend, and Sam plans on proposing marriage soon.
Tara is hospitalized with liver cirrhosis and dies with Sid at her bedside. Sid and Aakash reconcile (with a little help from Sameer) and two years after their first Goa trip, the three friends regroup in Goa where Sid sees a girl (Mandala Tayde) also visiting the same place. They share a smile, implying that Sid is moving on.
During the credits of the film, all six are sitting at a table: Aakash with Shalini, Sameer with Pooja, and Sid with his partner.
- Aamir Khan as Aakash Malhotra
- Saif Ali Khan as Sameer
- Akshaye Khanna as Siddharth "Sid" Sinha
- Preity Zinta as Shalini
- Sonali Kulkarni as Pooja
- Dimple Kapadia as Tara Jaiswal
- Ayub Khan as Rohit
- Suhasini Mulay as Sid's Mother
- Rajat Kapoor as Mahesh
- Samantha Tremayne as Deepa
- Suchitra Pillai as Priya
- Azad Dadarkar as Subodh aka Time Table
- Rakesh Pandey as Rohit's Father
- Ahmed Khan as A K Malhotra, Akash's father
- Mandala Tayde as Sid's Partner
- Kiran Rao in uncredited role
The movie is partially based on writer-director Farhan Akhtar's diaries on his trips to Las Vegas, his 1996 month-and-a-half long stay at New York, and a storyline narrated to him by a friend. Farhan Akhtar began work on the script in 1998; the relationship of the characters Akash and Shalini was based on a similar experience of one of Akhtar's friends. Other parts of Dil Chahta Hai were adapted from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Aamir Khan was initially offered the role of Sid, but he elected to play the role of Akash, for which he grew a soul patch. Abhishek Bachchan was also offered the role of Sid. After he turned it down, Akshaye Khanna accepted the part. Akhtar convinced actress Dimple Kapadia to come out of retirement to play the role of divorcée Tara Jaiswal. After 15 months of extensive pre-production, the film was shot over a four-month period in Mumbai, India and Sydney, Australia.
Dil Chahta Hai's style extended to the music and its picturisation. One song sequence recapitulates, and to some extent, parodies Bollywood song-and-dance history. Other songs drop the usual dance accompaniment — one depicts an argument between two protagonists through the song's lyrics, another establishes the character's state of mind through a moody photo collage, while yet another imagines the beautiful and idealised world of an artist in love through a song inside a painting. There is an extended opera sequence at the Sydney Opera House, which was exclusively commissioned for the film.
The film received praise from critics for portraying contemporary Indian youth as cosmopolitan and urban. The characters are depicted as upper-class with lavish houses and designer clothes. They attend art exhibitions and performances of Western opera, and travel overseas as a matter of course. Some critics opined that Dil Chahta Hai did not perform well in the non-urban areas because the lifestyle depicted was too city-oriented.
Dil Chahta Hai had what Bollywoodhungama described as an average start at the box office,
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