Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
|Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge|
Poster of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
|Directed by||Aditya Chopra|
|Produced by||Yash Chopra|
|Written by||Javed Siddiqui
|Screenplay by||Aditya Chopra|
|Story by||Aditya Chopra|
|Starring||Shah Rukh Khan
|Music by||Jatin Lalit|
|Edited by||Keshav Naidu|
Yash Raj Films
|Distributed by||Yash Raj Films|
|Budget||40 million (US$630,000)|
|Box office||1.22 billion (US$19 million)
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (English: The Brave-Hearted Will Take Away the Bride), also known as DDLJ, is a 1995 Indian romantic drama film. It was written and directed by Aditya Chopra, produced by Yash Chopra, and stars Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. The film tells the story of a young non-resident Indian couple, Raj and Simran, who fall in love during a European vacation, and relates how Raj attempts to win over the Simran's family, so that the couple can marry, despite Simran's father having long ago promised her for his friend's son. It was filmed in India, London and Switzerland.
Earning over 106 crore (US$17 million) in India and 16 crore (US$2.5 million) overseas, it became highest grossing Bollywood film of the year, and one the biggest hits of all time in India. It won 10 Filmfare Awards, the most for a single film at that time, and won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. The film's soundtrack was one of the biggest sellers of the 1990s, and songs from it are still popular at weddings.
The film was able to connect with different segments of society by simultaneously promoting strong family values, and the following of one's own heart. The success of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge led to the targeting of non-resident Indian audiences by other film makers, which deemed lucrative for them. The film also spawned many imitators of its story and style, and homages to specific scenes.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge was one of two Hindi films in the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die" along with Mother India. It was placed twelfth on the British Film Institute's list of top Indian films of all time. It is the longest-running film in the history of Indian cinema, and as of early 2015 was still showing at the Maratha Mandir theatre in Mumbai after nearly 20 years.
Raj Malhotra (Shah Rukh Khan) and Simran Singh (Kajol) are two NRIs living in London. Although both value their Indian roots, they have experienced different parenting styles. Simran has been raised by her conservative father Baldev Singh (Amrish Puri), while Raj's father (Anupam Kher) is very liberal. Simran has always dreamt of meeting a perfect boy who is the one for her. Her mother Lajjo (Farida Jalal) warns her against this, saying dreams are good but one should not blindly believe that dreams come true. One day, Baldev receives a letter from his friend Ajit (Satish Shah) who lives in Punjab. Ajit wants to keep a promise he and Baldev made to each other 20 years ago — to have Simran marry his son Kuljeet (Parmeet Sethi). Simran is disappointed — she does not want to marry somebody whom she has never met before.
Raj asks his father if he can go on a train trip with his friends around Europe; his father agrees. Later, Raj enters Baldev's shop after closing time, and fakes a strong headache, using it as a pretense to get the shop open to buy beer. When Baldev refuses, Raj grabs a case of beer, runs off, and throws the money on the counter. This infuriates Baldev; he calls Raj a disgrace to India. Meanwhile, Simran is invited by her friends to go on the same European train trip. She tells her father that she should be allowed to go because it will be her last chance to see the world before she marries a complete stranger. Baldev lets her go, but tells her not to betray his trust.
On the trip, Raj and Simran meet. Raj constantly flirts with Simran, much to her irritation. Then, the two miss their train to Zurich and are separated from their friends. They start to travel with one another to catch back up and become friends in the process. Raj falls in love with Simran on the journey and when they both part ways back in London, Simran realises that she is in love with him too. Simran tells her mother about the boy she met — Baldev overhears the conversation and becomes furious with her. He says that the family will move to India the next day. Meanwhile, Raj tells his father about Simran and that she is getting married soon. When Raj says he believes Simran loves him too, his father encourages him to go after her.
In India, Baldev is delighted to be reunited with his friend Ajit and all his relatives. Simran and her younger sister, Chutki, meet Kuljeet, Simran's fiancé, and instantly dislike him due to his arrogance. Simran still cannot forget Raj and is miserable about having to marry Kuljeet. Her mother tells her to forget Raj because she knows that Baldev will never accept it. The next morning, Simran is reunited with Raj out in the fields. She begs him run away with her, because she knows her father will never let them be together. Raj refuses and says he will only marry Simran with her father's consent. Raj befriends Kuljeet and quickly gets accepted by both families and builds a good rapport with them. Later, Raj's father arrives in India and also becomes friends with everyone. Eventually Lajjo and Chutki discover that Raj is the boy Simran fell in love with in Europe. Lajjo also tells Raj and Simran to run away, but he still refuses. Baldev finally accepts Raj, until he discovers a photograph of Raj and Simran together in Europe. He openly insults Raj, telling him to leave.
As Raj and his father are waiting at the station, Kuljeet and his friends arrive and attack them. Eventually Baldev and Ajit arrive and stop the fight. Raj boards the departing train with his father. Simran then appears with her mother and sister. She tries to join Raj on the train but Baldev stops her. Simran begs him to let her go, saying that she cannot live without Raj. Baldev thinks, and then realises that nobody can love his daughter more than Raj does. He lets her go, and she runs and catches the train as it takes off.
- Shah Rukh Khan as Raj Malhotra
- Kajol as Simran Singh
- Anupam Kher as Dharamvir Malhotra, Raj's father
- Amrish Puri as Chaudhary Baldev Singh, Simran's father
- Farida Jalal as Lajwanti "Lajjo" Singh, Simran's mother
- Pooja Ruparel as Rajeshwari "Chutki" Singh, Simran's sister
- Satish Shah as Ajit Singh, Baldev's friend in India
- Parmeet Sethi as Kuljeet Singh, Ajit's son
- Mandira Bedi as Preeti Singh, Ajit's daughter
- Achala Sachdev as Simran's grandmother
- Himani Shivpuri as Kammo Kaur, Simran's aunt
- Anaita Shroff Adajania as Sheena, Simran's friend
- Karan Johar and Arjun Sablok as Raj's friends
Aditya Chopra had assisted his father, the director/producer Yash Chopra, during the making of Chandni (1989), Lamhe (1991), and Darr (1993). During this time, he had been writing his own scripts, including one that would become his second film, Mohabbatein. For three years he worked on the script that would become Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge before approaching his father to direct it. Yash, did not want to do it though, and persuaded Aditya to direct it himself. Aditya's intent was to make a wholesome story that people could watch repeatedly. He wanted to show that unlike the normal story where lovers elope when their parents object, that if the love were strong enough, that the parents will eventually understand. Aditya had total editorial control and made the film according to his own tastes and sensibilities. Yash did not even view major portions until it was nearly complete. After viewing the script, he was consulted about the songs, but mostly left the creative process up to his son. There were some clashes over writing credits on the final script. Honey Irani believed that she deserved a writing credit that she did not receive, and Javed Siddiqui believed that Aditya Chopra did not deserve partial credit for dialogues. Both writers never again worked with Yash Raj Films afterwards.
Aditya originally wanted to cast Tom Cruise for the role of Raj, as he wanted it to be an affair between an American and an Indian, but was dissuaded by Yash, who did not want a foreign star. They decided to go with a theme of non-resident Indians (NRIs). Chopra then asked Saif Ali Khan to play the lead role. He declined, prompting Chopra to approach Shah Rukh Khan for the lead. Khan was initially not interested because of the romantic nature of the film. Chopra eventually convinced him to do it, and Khan has since then expressed his gratitude to Chopra for making him a star with this film. Chopra then cast Kajol to star opposite Khan. The two actors had previous worked together in Baazigar (1993) and Karan Arjun (1995). Kajol has said that the Simran character was very hard for her to relate with, whereas Khan claimed that the Raj character is very much like himself.
The first sequence filmed was with Kajol in Switzerland for the song "Ho Gaya Hai Tujhko". Filming of the European trip scenes and songs was done primarily in Switzerland, including Saanen, Montbovon, and Gstaad. Numerous scenes were shot in England, including at Trafalgar Square and King's Cross railway station, and in India.
Saroj Khan was the choreographer for most of the schedule, but after several disputes between the veteran and newcomer Aditya Chopra, she was replaced by Farah Khan near the end of the shoot. Khan choreographed "Ruk Ja O Dil Deewane", during which Chopra did not inform Kajol that Shah Rukh Khan was going to drop her, as he wanted to capture her genuine reaction. Sharmishta Roy was the art director. Manish Malhotra was in charge of costume design, with help from Karan Johar. While the two had many ideas, Chopra wanted to keep the clothing style simple; he did not want it to distract from the story. The film's title was suggested by actress Kirron Kher, and was taken from the song "Le Jayenge Le Jayenge" from the 1974 film Chor Machaye Shor. The character of Raj sings small parts of this song throughout, and it recurs at the end. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge is believed to be the only film with a "Title suggested by" credit.
Towards the end of the shooting schedule, Shah Rukh Khan had to split his time between this film and Trimurti (2005), spending half of his day on each film. In early August 1995, when filming was not yet complete, a release date in October was decided on, around the time of the Diwali festival. Jatin Lalit were given only 10 days to complete the background score, and the first copies were printed on 30 September. After filming was complete, Chopra decided to make a Hollywood-style documentary of the film-making process, which had never before been done in India. Karan Johar and Aditya's brother Uday were put in charge. On 18 October, The Making of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge was aired on Doordarshan, two days before the film's premiere.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge repeats the usual conservative agenda of family, courtship and marriage, but it proposes that Indian family values are portable assets that can be upheld regardless of country of residence. To prove this, Raj (who was brought up in London) is seen as the "good guy" of the story, whereas Kuljeet (raised in India) is seen as the "bad guy". This is a reversal from typical Indian films, which usually portray Indians as being morally superior to Westerners.
The story aims to capture the struggle between traditional family values and the modern value of individualism. Although Raj and Simran want to be together regardless of her father's plans for her, Raj tries to win over the father rather than simply eloping. In this and other Indian stories, family values are ultimately considered more important than the romantic plot. Individual desires have to take a back seat to moral values and rules of conduct. The film implies that "Indianness" can be defined by the importance of family life: whether at home or abroad, it is the Indian family system that is recognised as the social institution that most defines being Indian.
There are themes of the purity/sanctity of women being related to the purity/sanctity of the nation. In the scene after Raj and Simran spend the night together, and Simran is concerned that something happened, Raj tells her: "You think I am beyond values, but I am a Hindustani, and I know what a Hindustani girl’s izzat (honour) is worth. Trust me, nothing happened last night." This speaks to the Indian diaspora and their need to try and sustain their value system, as well as the male's responsibility to protect the Indian woman's sexual purity. The Routledge Encyclopedia of Films notes a running theme of unfulfilled desires in the film, as exemplified by Raj's father telling him to enjoy life, since his own was a struggle, and Simran's mother telling her to run away with Raj, because she was unable live her own dreams.
Scott Jordan Harris, of RogerEbert.com suggests that the films popularity lies in its ability to effectively convey two opposing themes, appealing to different portions of society. He said, "It argues that we should follow our hearts and chase happiness wherever it leads, regardless of the obstacles in our paths, while simultaneously suggesting we should respect the ways of our elders, particularly our parents, and do nothing that challenges their will."
|Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge|
|Soundtrack album by Jatin Lalit|
25 July 1995
|Genre||Feature Film Soundtrack|
The soundtrack features seven songs composed by Jatin Lalit, with lyrics by Anand Bakshi and voice rendered by Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Kumar Sanu, Abhijeet Bhattacharya, and Udit Narayan. Jatin Lalit were considered for the soundtrack job, their first with Yash Raj Films, when singer Asha Bhosle contacted Yash Chopra after meeting the duo. They secured the job after singing "Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna" for Chopra. In return, they ensured that she got to sing a song, "Zara Sa Jhoom Loon Main". Chopra's wife Pamela helped them to select tunes and instruments to give some of the songs a Punjabi flavour. Bhasker Gupta wrote for AllMusic that the soundtrack was the best of Jatin Lalit's career, and called it the beginning of the fifth wave in Indian cinema soundtracks. Avinash Ramchandani of Planet Bollywood gave the soundtrack 4 out of 4 stars, saying that Jatin Lalit's first soundtrack for Yash Raj Films fit very well with previous films from the company, and called it one of the duo's best efforts.
The soundtrack became the best selling Bollywood soundtrack of the year with 9-12 million units sold, including more than 1 million prior to the film's release. It was listed by Planet Bollywood as number 6 on their list of 100 Greatest Bollywood Soundtracks, and in 2005 was judged the top Hindi soundtrack of all time by on-line voters on the BBC Asian Network. Anand Bakshi won his third Filmfare Best Lyricist award after 14 years, having two nominations for this film. The wedding song "Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna" from the film became an all-time hit, and is played in weddings across the South Asian diaspora to this day.
|1.||"Ghar Aaja Pardesi"||Manpreet Kaur, Pamela Chopra||7:29|
|2.||"Ho Gaya Hai Tujhko"||Lata Mangeshkar, Udit Narayan||5:49|
|3.||"Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna"||Lata Mangeshkar, Udit Narayan||4:50|
|4.||"Mere Khwabon Mein"||Lata Mangeshkar||4:30|
|5.||"Tujhe Dekha To"||Lata Mangeshkar, Kumar Sanu||6:41|
|6.||"Ruk Ja O Dil Deewane"||Udit Narayan||5:14|
|7.||"Zara Sa Jhoom Loon Main"||Asha Bhosle, Abhijeet Bhattacharya||5:51|
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge opened to sold out shows and favourable reviews all over the world. Every show in every theatre in Mumbai save one was completely full for the first week. The film was popular among both resident Indians and NRIs. San Francisco's 720-seat Naz theatre saw 1000 people arrive for the first showing, and were forced to run another show late that night. In the UK, the film ran for over a year.
Earning over 1.06 billion (US$17 million) in India and 160 million (US$2.5 million) overseas, the film became the biggest Bollywood hit of the year, and second highest grossing of the 1990s behind Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!. It was the second Bollywood film to gross over 1 billion (US$16 million) worldwide, and one of the biggest Bollywood hits of all time. Adjusted for inflation, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge is believed to be among the top five highest grossing Hindi films; its adjusted gross is approximately 2.93 billion (US$46 million). As of 2009, the film had generated over 60 million (US$940,000) in revenues for the Maratha Mandir theatre, where it had been running since its initial release. In later years the theatre ran one matinee show per day (at lower than normal ticket prices) which averaged over 50% occupancy. Theatre owners pulled the film after 1009 weeks on 19 February 2015 due to low attendance; the last show was witnessed by an audience of 210. However, after an outpouring of support from fans, they decided to reinstate the film for the foreseeable future.
An initial review by weekly magazine Screen said of Aditya Chopra, "A young master arrives." Tom Vick reviewed the film for Allmovie and said, "An immensely likeable movie, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge performs the rarely achieved feat of stretching a predictable plot over three hours and making every minute enjoyable." When Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge toured the United States in 2004 as part of the Cinema India showcase, "The Changing Face of Indian Cinema", Charles Taylor reviewed the film for Salon.com and said: "It's a flawed, contradictory movie—aggressive and tender, stiff and graceful, clichéd and fresh, sophisticated and naive, traditional and modern. It's also, I think, a classic." Avinash Ramchandani of Planet Bollywood gave the film a 9/10 rating and stated, "Comedy and story, this movie has both, following in the Yash Raj lineage of delivering memorable films." He remarked, "Aditya Chopra has balanced his film well and delivered a memorable film that will probably be watched for years to come.
Anupama Chopra said, "Perhaps the innocence of Raj and Simran’s romance in which they can spend the night together without sex because Raj, the bratish NRI understands the importance of an Indian woman’s honor. Perhaps it’s the way in which the film artfully reaffirms the patriarchal status quo and works for all constituencies—the NRI and the local viewer. Or perhaps it’s the magic of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol who created a template for modern love, which was hip and cool but resolutely Indian." She also called the film a milestone that shaped Hindi cinema through the 1990s, and one of her personal favourites. In 2004, Meor Shariman of The Malay Mail called the film a "must watch" for Bollywood fans, and also for those seeking an introduction to Bollywood.
Raja Sen gave a reflective review for Rediff.com in 2005, calling the film one of the best Hindi films made in the previous 20 years. He said "Shah Rukh Khan gives a fabulous performance, redefining the Lover for the 1990s with great panache", and called Kajol a "real-as-life actress bringing warmth and credulity" to her role. He called the film well balanced and noted that only the fight scene and some mother-daughter dialogue can wear after multiple viewings. Omer M. Mozaffar, writing for Roger Ebert's website in 2012, likened the film to a Disney princess story, stating, "the young princess feeling trapped by the traditional patriarchy, seeking freedom through discovering the world, but finally finding it through silent, but inappropriate love. The Little Mermaid. Beauty (of the Beast). Jasmine (friends with Aladdin). Pocahontas. Aurora (Sleeping Beauty). And here, Simran". Scott Jordan Harris, also writing for Roger Ebert in 2014, called it "one of the world’s favorite films", while saying that it plays as a masterful soap opera, with one of the best screen couples ever seen.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge was ranked amongst Indiatimes Movies list of the 25 Must See Bollywood Films. It was one of the three Hindi films in the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list (the others being Mother India from 1957 and Deewaar from 1975). It was placed twelfth on the British Film Institute's list of top Indian films of all time. It is one of the films on Box Office India's list of "Biggest Blockbusters Ever in Hindi Cinema". Anupama Chopra included the film in her list of "The 20 Best Hindi Films Ever Made".
The film set the record at the time for the most Filmfare awards won by a single film with ten. It was also the second film to win the four major awards (Best Film, Director, Actor and Actress), after Guide in 1966.
|National Film Awards||National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment||Yash Chopra||Won|
|Filmfare Awards||Best Film||Yash Chopra||Won|
|Best Director||Aditya Chopra|
|Best Actor||Shah Rukh Khan|
|Best Supporting Actress||Farida Jalal|
|Best Performance in a Comic Role||Anupam Kher|
|Best Lyricist||Anand Bakshi ("Tujhe Dekha To")|
|Best Screenplay||Aditya Chopra|
|Best Dialogue||Aditya Chopra, Javed Siddiqui|
|Best Male Playback Singer||Udit Narayan ("Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna")|
|Best Supporting Actor||Amrish Puri||Nominated|
|Best Music Director||Jatin Lalit|
|Best Male Playback Singer||Kumar Sanu ("Tujhe Dekha To")|
|Best Lyricist||Anand Bakshi ("Ho Gaya Hai Tujhko To Pyar Sajna")|
|Screen Awards||Best Film||Yash Chopra||Won|
|Best Director||Aditya Chopra|
|Best Actor||Shah Rukh Khan|
In 2001, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge overtook Sholay (1975), which had run for over five years at the Minerva theatre, as the longest-running film in Indian cinema history. It has been showing at the Maratha Mandir theatre, which was famous for having shown Mughal-e-Azam (1960) for three years, since its original release in 1995. People keep coming back not just to see the film, but also to be a part of an experience. There are often people in the audience that have seen the film 50 times or more, but still clap, cheer, mouth the dialogues, and sing along with the songs, raising comparisons with the longest running American film The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). In early 2011, a theatre strike threatened the film's uninterrupted showing streak. Producer Yash Chopra contacted theatre owners to try and ensure that the film would continue. He hoped that the film would continue to run for at least 1000 weeks, which it did achieve in December 2014. To commemorate the event, cast members including Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Anupam Kher, Farida Jalal, Mandira Bedi and Pooja Ruparel appeared on the television show Comedy Nights with Kapil. Khan, Kajol and director Aditya Chopra also attended a live chat with fans and a black tie event at the theatre on 12 December. The same day, they unveiled a coffee table book about the making of the film, written by Aditya Chopra. Also in December, Yash Raj Film announced the availability of a collection of 1000 weeks commemorative licensed merchandise from various suppliers.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge spawned many imitators of its story and style, especially throughout the 1990s. According to the Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema, it and a handful of other films and young directors at this time started the trend of "designer" films. They were said to be "a carefully packaged and branded product in which every little visual and physical detail [...] is of utmost importance". Yash Raj Films was previously known for using foreign (non-Indian) locations for item numbers in their films. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge started the trend for films designed to appeal to the Indian diaspora, which have foreign locations as integral parts of the story. The characters are themselves diaspora, and tend to be able to move around with ease between India and the West. Some films that later followed this trend include Pardes (1997), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (2001), Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), Salaam Namaste (2005) and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006); the diaspora market is seen as a safer financial investment than the desi market. The film became the first Hindi film blockbuster to feature NRIs as main characters. It helped to establish the diaspora market as a vital source of revenue for the industry.
Several later films have paid homage to Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. The Karan Johar produced Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (2014) was directly inspired by it. The films Jab We Met (2007), Bodyguard (2011), Chalo Dilli (2011), Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013), and Chennai Express (2013) each include scenes similar to the climactic train sequence, wherein a girl is running to catch a moving train and is helped aboard by a boy with his outstretched arm. The British film Slumdog Millionaire (2008) contained a similar train scene, and the dance scene was partially shot at the same train station as the Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge finale scene.
Audiences appreciated the screen chemistry of the duo of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, who went on to work together in several other successful films including Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (2001), and My Name Is Khan (2010), and are often referred to as Indian cinema's most loved on-screen couple. Khan himself credits this film with making him a star, and says that the film "changed the entire scene for romantic movies of the 90s". Actress Farida Jalal claimed that the film gave her career a boost, saying that she got many offers and "could quote any price". In 2006, members of the film team were honoured at a dinner event on the occasion of the film's 500 week anniversary. It was hosted by the Consulate General of Switzerland in Mumbai and by Switzerland Tourism. In 2010, Yash Raj Films signed an agreement with Indian and Swiss tour companies to provide a tour package called "YRF Enchanted Journey", to allow people visiting Switzerland to view sites and filming locations from famous Yash Raj films including Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.
The British Film Institute (BFI) commissioned a book about Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. It was the first Hindi film chosen for a series of studies on international films, called "BFI Modern Classics". The author was Anupama Chopra, and the book was released in 2002. It was re-issued as Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.: The Making of a Blockbuster by Harper-Collins in paperback in 2004. In 2014, Yash Raj Films released Aditya Chopra Relives... Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (As Told to Nasreen Munni Kabir), an attractive but expensive book about the making of the film. After an unexpectedly long delay, the film was released on DVD by Yash Raj Films in 2002. The release included The Making and 300 Weeks Celebration documentaries, Success Story (highlights from the film's premiere), clips from the 41st Filmfare Awards ceremony, and other interviews. During his visit to India in January 2015, U.S. President Barack Obama in his speech at the Sirifort Auditorium quoted a line from the film, "Senorita..bade bade desho mein" to an applause by the pleasantly surprised audience.
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Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge are 'must watch' for every Bollywood fan. In fact, viewers seeking an introduction to Bollywood should also check them out.– via Highbeam (subscription required)
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- Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge at the TCM Movie Database
- Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge at AllMovie
- Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge at Bollywood Hungama