Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge at 25: Still glossy, still romantic but out of sync with times

By: PTI | New Delhi |

Updated: October 17, 2020 12:48:37 pm

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge put Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol proper up there as amongst Bollywood’s hottest onscreen pairs down the a long time. (Photo: Yash Raj Films)

Packaging soft-focus romance inside a inflexible body of patriarchy, the Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge love story unfolded in grassy Swiss meadows and Punjab’s mustard fields 25 years in the past and went on to turn into a cult basic that mixed desi sensibilities with NRI sensitivities.

The movie, one of India’s most profitable, put Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol proper up there as amongst Bollywood’s hottest onscreen pairs down the a long time. It has withstood the take a look at of time, with many viewers going again to rewatch it, and its love story is still contemporary but additionally anachronistic and out of sync with up to date realities, say some.

The Raj-Simran romance drama – not about lovers who dare all but extra about conformists who love one another desperately and can get married solely with their dad and mom’ concurrence – launched on October 20, 1995.

And India woke as much as romance DDLJ type, the place the boy and woman, each London bred but ‘Indian’ at coronary heart, barely maintain arms, fairly not like the bolder, franker portrayal of relationships in Hindi cinema in the present day.

The movie centres round Raj, the carefree, wealthy boy who falls in love with Simran, the dutiful daughter on the point of marry a person she has by no means met, in Europe. They stay out the teenager dream of holidaying within the continent but Simran returns residence to London after which to a village in Punjab the place her father has organized a match for her. Lovelorn Raj follows her there but resolves to not marry her until her strict father approves.

“DDLJ” is all about large-hearted non-resident Indian desis and their Indianness, shot in breathtaking places with a soundtrack by Jatin-Lalit and Anand Bakshi to swimsuit each temper and dialogues that went on to turn into much more widespread within the digital age.

Twenty-five years later, audiences still watch the movie at Mumbai’s Maratha Mandir – until COVID-19 struck in March this 12 months – but the views are as various as the primary half of the movie in London and Alpine locales from the second in a rambunctious household in a Punjab village.

According to senior movie critic Saibal Chatterjee, the film inaugurated “the era of the designer film made for NRIs”.

DDLJ marked the directorial debut of Aditya Chopra, son of veteran filmmaker Yash Chopra, often known as the King of Romance in Hindi cinema. The 1995 movie, additionally starring the late Amrish Puri, Farida Jalal and Anupam Kher, launched at a time when India had opened as much as liberalisation.

Chatterjee stated the movie seemed contemporary then but packaged outdated methods of dwelling in a brand new sheen.

“It was about an NRI couple who live by their own rules, but at heart are completely Indian,” he instructed PTI.

According to Chatterjee, DDLJ comes solely after the 1975 hit Sholay for the affect it exercised on Hindi cinema.

“It is one of Hindi cinema’s biggest commercial hits. So much has changed with the arrival of streamers, but Maratha Mandir theatre was still running it until COVID-19 happened.”

An complete technology of viewers has grown up within the final 20 years but for some, the relevance of the movie is predicated on that one vivid reminiscence of once they first watched the movie.

Prema Maharishi, 84, remembers going to see the movie in a Mathura corridor and remembers the dialogues verbatim. Her explicit favorite is the strict father letting go off Simran’s hand within the climax with these phrases, “Ja Simran Ja. Jee le apni zindagi. (Go Simran, go live your life).” And the younger girl, having lastly acquired her father’s permission, runs in the direction of the prepare choosing up tempo because it pulls out of the platform to carry Raj’s prolonged hand.

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, ddlj, srk, kajol DDLJ centres round Raj, the carefree, wealthy boy who falls in love with Simran, the dutiful daughter on the point of marry a person she has by no means met, in Europe. (Photo: Yash Raj Films)

“One thing that seemed off to me even then was why Shah Rukh didn’t pull the chain to stop the train. What would have happened had the train left the station without Kajol? Kajol had to run too much,” the Mathura-based former college principal stated concerning the much-debated climax sequence.

The movie is an ideal mix of fairy story fantasy and actual life, in keeping with authorities officer Rohit Sagar

“I was a young cadet in the National Defence Academy when it released. My earliest memory of watching it in a Pune theatre on a Sunday out pass. I instantly fell in love with the movie,” he stated.

Kolkata-based Sagar stated he associated to DDLJ as a 20-year-old in 1995 and as a 45-year-old in the present day.

“The new generation might find it a bit old-fashioned. However, a few ideas relate even to current times – to respect the one you love, to go all out to win your love without stooping low, to strike a balance between fun and commitment.”

The movie has projected each Western and Indian cultures in a optimistic means, Sagar famous.

“Even a Westernised man can display chivalry, respect for women and parents. Despite the mischief typical of the age, when the time comes, he is ready to shoulder responsibility with equal zest,” he stated.

Saipriya, a 17-year-old in Bengaluru, has little endurance for the movie and in addition finds the title problematic as she believes it objectifies girls.

“Even at the end of the film Simran’s father says “Ja Simran. Jee le apni zindagi”. A lady doesn’t want anybody else’s permission to stay her personal life! This means she will probably be managed by her father earlier than marriage and by her husband after marriage. It’s patriarchal and regressive,” the younger girl stated.

Referring to a scene when Simran wakes up after a drunken night in Raj’s mattress, Saipriya stated the hero tries to trick her into believing they’d intercourse.

“When she starts crying, he says “Main ek Hindustani hoon aur main jaanta hoon ki ek Hindustani ladki ki izzat kya hoti hai”. Is retaining your hymen intact until marriage the best advantage of an Indian girl? Sex, marriage and the honour of the girl are unrelated. Also Raj clearly slut-shamed different girls who’ve premarital intercourse.”

Jaipur-based Zubin Mehta echoes Saipriya’s sentiment concerning the film’s patriarchal gaze but argues that DDLJ is still an entertaining watch.

“It wasn’t made to be a perfect romantic movie,” the 30-year-old lawyer stated.

Mehta added that the movie put 1990s Hindi cinema on the world map in an period the place the data know-how sector was still in its preliminary stage within the nation.

“DDLJ’ was a stepping stone for Bollywood internationally. It was also then that we Indians peered into the lifestyle of “gora log”, which was fascinating. Their type of dwelling, clothes and tradition,” he stated.

What occurred to Raj and Simran after the prepare left the station is unknown, but an ambiguous ending is what makes “ever after” completely happy, Chatterjee famous.

“There is romance and hope in not knowing it. The woman has been set free and maybe she will have a brighter future. That’s what Hindi cinema is about, it’s about hope, not reality.”

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