Dil Se..

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This article is about the Hindi film. For the US a cappella team, see Berkeley Dil Se.
"Uyire" redirects here. For the song, see Uyire (song).
Dil Se
Dil Se poster.jpg
Directed by Mani Ratnam
Produced by Bharat Shah
Mani Ratnam
Ram Gopal Varma
Shekhar Kapur
G. Srinivasan
Written by Tigmanshu Dhulia
(hindi dialogue)
Sujatha(tamil dialogue)
Screenplay by Mani Ratnam
Story by Mani Ratnam
Starring Shahrukh Khan
Manisha Koirala
Preity Zinta
Music by A. R. Rahman
Cinematography Santosh Sivan
Edited by Suresh Urs
Madras Talkies
Varma Corporation
Distributed by Madras Talkies(tamil)
Eros International(world wide)
Release date(s) 21 August 1998
Running time 158 mins
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget INR120 million (US$2.0 million)[1]
Box office INR175 million (US$2.9 million)[2] (All India Gross)

Dil Se (translation: From the Heart) is a 1998 Hindi film directed by Mani Ratnam. The film stars Shahrukh Khan and Manisha Koirala in lead roles while Preity Zinta (in her film debut) appears in a supporting role. Mani Ratnam also co-wrote the screenplay for the film. It is the third in Ratnam's trilogy of terror films that depict human relationships against a background of Indian politics and military, after Roja and Bombay.[3][4]

Dil Se was shot in Himachal, Kashmir, Assam, Delhi, Kerala, and other parts of India and Bhutan over a period of 55 days. The film is considered an example of Indian Parallel Cinema. The highly stylized film won awards for cinematography, audiography, choreography, and music, among others. Despite being a failure at the Indian box office, the film was a success overseas earning $975,000 (USA) and £537,930 in the UK,[5] becoming the first Indian film to enter the top 10 in the United Kingdom box office charts.[6][7] The film won 7 Filmfare Awards out of 10 nominations at Filmfare Awards 1998 ceremony.


Amar Varma (Shahrukh Khan) is a programme executive for All India Radio. He is dispatched across India to report on attitudes of locals on the government. At a train station, he comes across a beautiful woman (Manisha Koirala) and is instantly attracted to her. He tries to talk to her but she does not seem to respond, however when he asks if he can get anything for her she says she would like a cup of tea. As Amar goes to get her tea, her train arrives and she boards with three men. Meanwhile, Amar successfully interviews many citizens of India, including a few terrorist leaders.

Later, Amar is in town and comes across the same girl. He attempts to talk to her but she says she cannot recall meeting him before. They again part ways. A few weeks later, Amar goes on the radio and describes his encounter with the girl. Shortly afterwards, he comes across her in a post office but she tells him to leave her alone. He, however follows her to her house and tells her that he is in love with her. To make him back off the girl tells Amar that she is married. Amar feels embarrassed and wishes to apologise to her. He arranges to meet her in order to do so, however she arrives with two men (who Amar believes are her husbands), who take Amar away and beat him unconscious. During the beating, Amar learns that the men are in fact her brothers and that she had lied about being married. This motivates him to pursue the girl - he goes to the post office where he found her and bribes the owner into giving him her number. He learns that she is visiting Ladakh and follows her there, saying he is reporting on the festivals. He spots her and follows her onto the bus, where she falsely tells the security guard that she is Amar's wife. The bus breaks down and the passengers have to walk to their destination. Amar angrily confronts the girl for having him beaten up - she tells him she is called Meghna but says this is false. Amar eventually forces himself onto Meghna, causing her to have an anxiety attack. The two end up travelling together and give some hints of a developing romance. However, Amar awakes one morning to find Meghna has left.

It is revealed that Meghna is part of an extremist terrorist group. Amar travels back to his home in Delhi. He learns that his family have found a potential bride for him, her name is Preeti Nair (Preity Zinta). Amar agrees to marry Preeti as he does not hope to meet Meghna again. However, Meghna is in Delhi with her group - they plan to kill the prime minister during the independence day parade. Meghna arrives at Amar's house asking for a place to stay - the family takes her in and Amar gets her a job at the station. Soon, police start targeting Amar, believing he is a terrorist. Amar now finds out about Meghna's plan and takes her to confront her. He is soon arrested when he starts pulling at her clothes to see if she is wearing a bomb. He is released from prison, but Meghna's brothers take him away and beat him again. The next day, Amar finds Meghna and begs her not to kill herself. He embraces her and begs her to come away with him. Meghna now realises she loves Amar. As they embrace, her bomb explodes and they both die.



South Indian actress Simran Bagga was the first choice of director to do the role which Preity Zinta did later.[8]


Dil Se is said to be a journey through the 7 shades of love that are defined in ancient Arabic literature. Those shades are defined as attraction, infatuation, love, reverence, worship, obsession, and death. The character played by Shahrukh Khan passes through each shade during the course of the film.[9]

The film is a dramatisation of the attraction between a character from the heart of India and another from a peripheral state and a representation of opposites in the eyes of the law and society.[10] Dil Se is described as a film "structured through deferment and unfulfilled teasing promises." [11] Rediff.com said about the film, "The entire feel of the film is appropriately poetic, with a few romantic exchanges standing out quite memorably. Tigmanshu Dhulia has handled the film's dialogues adroitly. Amid moonlit desert dunes, there is a particularly stirring conversation between the leading pair. Amar reveals his love for Meghna's eyes -- because he can't see the world hidden behind them, and his hate for the same, stunning eyes -- because he can't see the world hidden behind them."[12]

Elleke Boehmer and Stephen Morton in their book Terror and the postcolonial (2009) believe that the songs and their exotic locations in the film were very important in masking the impossible reconciliation between a terrorist and an uptight government agent by evoking pure fantasy.[11] They argue that this is a phenomenon called the "liminal space of dreaming" in that the terrorist woman cannot fulfill her sexual desire so the songs fill the void of this desire by "their sumptuousness and exotic locales" in the Ladakh region.[11]

Release and reception[edit]

Dil Se was screened at the Era New Horizons Film Festival and the Helsinki International Film Festival The film went on to win the Netpac Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, two National Film Awards, and six Filmfare Awards. The film was a box office flop in India.[2] The intense political agenda of the film with the trials of the Assamese on the India-China border, the love story and the fact that it coincided with the 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations were cited for its failure at the time.[13] Interestingly, however, it became a major success overseas, particularly amongst the South Asian diaspora in the west.[14] It became the first Indian film to enter the top 10 in the United Kingdom box office charts.[6] Even two months after its release in September 1998 the film was still screened on five screens, five times per day with an average of 3000 spectators a day for each screen alone in the 14-screen Cineworld complex in Feltham, West London.[13]

Deepa Deosthalee wrote a positive review to the film, calling it "A picture perfect ode to love" and praising the direction, writing and performances.[15]


The film has won the following awards:

1999 Berlin International Film Festival (Germany)

1999 National Film Awards (India)

1999 Filmfare Awards (India)

1999 Star Screen Awards (India)


Dil Se
Soundtrack album by A. R. Rahman
Released 1998
Recorded Panchathan Record Inn
Genre World Music
Label Venus
Producer A.R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman chronology
Dil Se
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Planet Bollywood 9.5/10 stars [16]
All Music 3.0/5.0 stars [17]

The soundtrack features 6 songs composed by A. R. Rahman. Raja Sen of Rediff called it, "Rahman's finest soundtrack, by far."[12] The song "Chaiyya Chaiyya" became especially popular, and was featured as one of the top 10 songs of all-time in an international poll conducted by BBC World Service.[18] The song has been featured in the film Inside Man, in the musical Bombay Dreams, and in the television shows Smith and CSI: Miami.[19] This soundtrack is described as a landmark album in Indian music, with each and every song becoming colossal hits.

The soundtrack was recorded in several other languages. The Tamil version of the track "Chaiyya Chaiyya", entitled "Thaiyya Thaiyya", was sung by Palghat Sriram, although Sukhwinder Singh, who sang the Hindi version was credited as the singer.[20] Malayalam lyrics for the song "Jiya Jale" were penned by Gireesh Puthenchery while the Punjabi part of "Thayya Thayya" was penned by Tejpaul Kour.[citation needed]

Pink Floyd bass guitarist Guy Pratt for post Roger Waters albums Delicate Sound of Thunder, The Division Bell and Pulse played bass on title song Dil Se Re.[21]

The background score was also very much appreciated and said to have contributed largely to the film.

Hindi (Dil Se)[edit]

All lyrics written by Gulzar, all music composed by A. R. Rahman.

No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Chaiyya Chaiyya"   Sukhwinder Singh & Sapna Awasthi 6:54
2. "Jiya Jale"   Lata Mangeshkar, M. G. Sreekumar & Chorus 5:07
3. "Dil Se Re"   A. R. Rahman, Anuradha Sriram, Anupama & Febi Mani 6:44
4. "E Ajnabi"   Udit Narayan & Mahalakshmi Iyer 5:48
5. "Thayya Thayya (Remix)"   Sukhwinder Singh 4:35
6. "Satrangi Re"   Sonu Nigam & Kavita Krishnamurthy 7:25

Tamil (Uyire)[edit]

All lyrics written by Vairamuthu, all music composed by A. R. Rahman.

No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Thaiyya Thaiyya"   Sukhwinder Singh, Palghat Sreeram & Malgudi Subha 6:55
2. "Nenjinile Nenjinile"   S. Janaki, M. G. Sreekumar & Chorus 5:09
3. "Sandhosha Kanneere"   A.R. Rahman, Anuradha Sriram, Anupama & Febi Mani 6:42
4. "Poongkaatrilae"   Unni Menon & Swarnalatha 5:45
5. "Thayya Thayya (Remix)"   Hariharan, Srinivas & Malgudi Subha 4:19
6. "En Uyire"   Srinivas & Sujatha Mohan 7:26

Telugu (Prematho)[edit]

All lyrics written by Sitaram Shastri, all music composed by A. R. Rahman.

No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Thaiyya Thaiyya"   Sukhwinder Singh & Malgudi Subha 6:52
2. "Innalilla Leduley"   K. S. Chithra, M. G. Sreekumar & Chorus 5:06
3. "Ninnaeley"   A.R. Rahman, Anuradha Sriram, Anupama & Febi Mani 6:37
4. "O Priyathamma"   Mano & Swarnalatha 7:25
5. "Chaiyya Chaiyya (Remix)"   Sukhwinder Singh 4:17
6. "Ooristhu Ooguthu"   Srinivas & Sujatha Mohan 5:42


  1. ^ "IBOS network". IBOS network. 21 August 1998. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  2. ^ a b "Boxofficeindia.com". Boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 2011-09-21. 
  3. ^ Ciecko, Anne Tereska (2006). Contemporary Asian cinema: popular culture in a global frame. Berg Publishers. p. 142. ISBN 9781845202378. Retrieved 11 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Pat Padua. "FROM THE HEART - The Films of Mani Ratnam". cinescene.com. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  5. ^ "Dil Se - Starring Shahrukh Khan, Manisha Koirala, Preity Zinta, Raghuvir Yadav, Mita Vashisht, Zora Sehgal. Dil Se's box office, news, reviews, video, pictures, and music soundtrack". Ibosnetwork.com. 21 August 1998. Retrieved 2011-09-21. 
  6. ^ a b Aftab, Kaleem (October 2002). "Brown: the new black! Bollywood in Britain". Critical Quarterly (Blackwell Synergy) 44 (3): 88–98. doi:10.1111/1467-8705.00435. "The first Bollywood film to enter the UK top 10, Dil Se was nevertheless a flop in India. Such factors attest to the crucial role of the NRI audience in the commercial fate of Bollywood produce." 
  7. ^ Cary Rajinder Sawhney (2006). "Dil Se..". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2008-02-16. 
  8. ^ "Simran explains it all". minnoviyam.star.track. Retrieved Oct 1998. 
  9. ^ "Dil Se... A Mani Ratnam film". Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  10. ^ Chaudhuri, Shohini (2005). Contemporary world cinema: Europe, the Middle East, East Asia and South Asia. Edinburgh University Press. p. 172. ISBN 9780748617999. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c Boehmer, Elleke; Morton, Stephen (October 2009). Terror and the postcolonial. John Wiley and Sons. p. 350. ISBN 9781405191548. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Weekend Watch: Dil Se". Rediff.com. 21 October 2005. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Dudrah, Rajinder Kumar (2006). Bollywood: sociology goes to the movies. Sage. p. 34. ISBN 9780761934615. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  14. ^ Meyer, Michael (2009). Word & image in colonial and postcolonial literatures and cultures. Rodopi. p. 230. ISBN 9789042027435. Retrieved 11 April 2011. 
  15. ^ Deosthalee, Deepa (22 August 1998). "A picture perfect ode to love, Dil Se". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2011-12-07. 
  16. ^ "Dil Se - music review by M. Ali Ikram". Planet Bollywood. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  17. ^ "Dil Se - music review by Bhaskar Gupta". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  18. ^ The Worlds Top TenBBC World Service
  19. ^ "Dil Se Soundtrack". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  20. ^ K. Pradeep. "Musical notes". The Hindu. Retrieved 2007-09-08. 
  21. ^ "Dil Se Soundtrack at arrahman.com". arrahman.com. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 

External links[edit]