This October 20, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge completes 1 / 4 century. DDLJ, because the movie is referred to, holds the document for the longest operating movie within the historical past of Indian cinema—its 1,274-week run at Mumbai’s Maratha Mandir cinema corridor was solely damaged (quickly) due to the nationwide lockdown, necessitated by the pandemic.
Whereas this distinctive ‘silver jubilee’ could should be marked with out a bodily screening (in Maharashtra, cinemas proceed to stay closed), the DDLJ juggernaut isn’t performed but. “It can run once more as soon as theatres re-open,” confirms a senior official with Yash Raj Movies, which produced DDLJ. “[Director] Aditya Chopra has an amazing understanding of the medium of filmmaking. The style and characters, appears to be like, performing, plot improvement, every part was absolutely realised,” says Manish Malhotra, famous designer and movie stylist, “The characters had been fantastically written. They had been younger and contemporary. The movie certainly had one thing new to supply.”
DDLJ has accrued many extra illustrious feathers to that cap it flaunts on its title (that Shah Rukh Khan’s character Raj sports activities whereas tagging alongside Kajol’s Simran throughout Switzerland).
An on the spot smash upon launch on the eve of Diwali 1995, its 0524 crore field workplace gross is without doubt one of the highest within the historical past of Bollywood. When it swept 10 Filmfare awards that season (apart from a Nationwide Award for the ‘Finest In style Movie’), it was a document on the time. It firmed up the careers of the largely beginner crew, proper from debutant director Aditya Chopra to musicians Jatin-Lalit and designer Manish Malhotra. Future film mogul Karan Johar was assistant director, even showing in some scenes as SRK’s buddy.
DDLJ’s phenomenal success rocketed Shah Rukh Khan’s already flourishing profession past the stratosphere.
The magic of DDLJ goes past sheer numbers and milestones. The love saga of Raj and Simran, who meet on a prepare whereas on a European trip, was without delay a cocktail of contradictions, because it was sublimely palatable—Raj’s carefree streak completely balancing with the standard upbringing and reticent longings of Simran, even because the storyline sang paeans equally to each conventional household values as a lot as individualism and following one’s coronary heart—thus well placating all sections of the viewers. The movie turned Indian cinema’s ‘sanskari-Indian vs wayward-firangi’ trope on its head—London boy Raj, for all his beer-stealing and flamboyant flirting, respects Indian tradition and can await parental approval, whereas the homegrown respectable groom Kuljeet comes by way of because the dangerous man. However, is that sufficient for a movie to be remembered, cherished and feted a rating and extra years later?
Shah Rukh Khan, who didn’t reply to THE WEEK’s request for an interview, was quoted not too long ago saying he by no means adjustments radio stations when a DDLJ tune comes on. Mumbai journey information and influencer Priya Pathiyan recollects her outing with a gal-pal to catch the movie at Maratha Mandir a while in the past. “The viewers was largely male, so we had been a bit uncomfortable at first, however then the film began and everybody obtained collectively for the love of the film,” she recounts.
“It has nice repeat worth,” analyses Jatin Pandit, one half of the Jatin-Lalit duo who composed the soundtrack of the movie. “I nonetheless watch the movie every time it comes on TV. The script, music, images, every part concerning the movie was top-of-the-line and gelled effectively.”
Because it occurs with any cult cultural phenomenon, every part concerning the movie went viral, from the songs, the outfits, dialogues and even the areas it was shot in Switzerland, with devoted DDLJ trails and Yash Chopra itineraries changing into widespread with Indian honeymooners. One significantly epic line from the movie, “Bade bade deshon mein…” was even mouthed by former US president Barack Obama throughout his India go to, to wild ovation.
The movie does have its fair proportion of detractors. Whereas the climactic closing line within the movie, Ja Simran ja… jeele apne zindagi (Go Simran, go… stay your life!) is far acclaimed, ladies’s rights activists have held it up as symbolic of the patriarchy prevalent by way of the movie. “It strengthened lots of stereotypes,” writes Jayesh Sharma in a weblog put up, “Irrespective of how charming although, the film was dragging us backwards into elder worship, even when they’re improper.”
Whereas the central theme of star-crossed lovers striving for the acceptance of elders could have been new for Indian cinema on the time, it could seem out-of-step and uncool in a model new century. “I’ve watched it numerous time, it’s incredible, nevertheless it’s not one thing I’ll focus on with my buddies,” reveals school pupil Taaha Motorwala. “DDLJ is a bit excessive than what right now’s youngsters are used to.” Whereas it could not outline ‘cool’ for right now’s youth, new applied sciences like streaming platforms make sure that DDLJ finds new, and youthful, audiences day by day.
“DDLJ isn’t outdated,” mentioned Kajol, in an unique interview to THE WEEK. “I feel most youngsters once they take the large determination of their life, [would] need the approval of the individuals they love. They usually strive desperately to persuade them that that is the correct factor for them to do.”
“Children establish with this movie even now,” says Mahen Vakil, who was the manager producer of DDLJ, “Romance is identical. It’s a matter of the guts, and that doesn’t change. And this movie encapsulates that timelessness of romance.”
Lalit Pandit, the opposite half of the Jatin-Lalit music duo, recounts a dialog he had with the movie’s lyricist Anand Bakshi, proper after the script was narrated to them by director Aditya Chopra. “Bakshi saab mentioned, ‘if this boy [Aditya Chopra] makes the movie half nearly as good as he narrated it, it would by no means go away the cinema halls’. And see, it turned out to be prophetic—it’s nonetheless taking part in in cinemas 25 years later!”