Indian Movie Review: Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge


How do I give you a quick summary of what this movie is about?  I’ll try my very best.

Simran Singh (Kajol) is a very homely* and tradition bound girl.  While still dreaming of falling in love, her father receives a letter from his friend in India requesting that their promise to marry their children be fulfilled now that they have come of age. Now that her wedding is imminent Simran asks to go on a month long tour of Europe with her friends; as a last hurrah before marriage.  Knowing that she will be with all girls, and after she promises that she will be a good girl, her father agrees.

At the same time we are introduced to Raj Malhotra, a college flunkee who’s main goal in life seems to be experiencing all he can and enjoying it along the way.  After his father; Dharamvir Malhotra (Anupam Kher) praises him for keeping up the family tradition of failure, he agrees to let Raj take  a train tour of Europe.

So, our hero and heroine meet while rushing to catch the train.  After a few weeks together traveling and experiencing a taste of true freedom, Raj and Simran part, only to realize they are in love with one another.

Immediately Simran tells her mother (Farida Jalal) that she is in love, while her father; Chaudrey Baldev Singh (Amrish Puri) overhears and in his rage hustles the entire family off to India to complete Simran’s marriage to Kuljeet.  Raj realizes his love for her and is encouraged by his father to chase her off and not return until she is his bride.  Raj is too late, and must travel to India in search for his love and win over a stubborn father.

One of many train-chasing moments in DDLJ

One of many train-chasing moments in DDLJ

I try not to go into movies with too many expectations; that way they can’t let me down, and there is always the chance to blow me away.  This one pretty much blew me away.  I knew to expect something good when a few of the reviews I had read said that this was a “classic” and that it “redefined romance for young Indians.” (Thanks to Neflix for that last one.)  While the average viewer on Netflix gave this one a “3.9”  I had to give it a full 5.  Follow along for my reasons.

1) Zara Sa Jhoom Loom Main

Swimming Time!

Swimming Time!


I LOVE this picturization.  It was fun to see the girl as the one who loses control and then manage to scare the guy a little with her drunken escapades.  Raj just looked dumb-founded when Simran started to shimmy and shake.

WatchOutRaj

I think that the chemistry between Shahrukh Khan and Kajol is undeniable and astounding. The way that Kajol kicks her feet whenever she’s picked up and dances away only to be picked up again is pure entertainment.

NoTouchy

And Again..

And Again..

This picturization has become one of my favorites, climbing up there with Chaiyya Chaiyya and Dhoom Taana.  They’ll all be ones I’m sure to watch over and over again.

2) Raj

I adore this character.  (Apparently so do a lot of other people because I constantly read about Shahrukh playing or not playing “the Raj character” in most of his movies and different reviews)  I love the fact that despite his playboy exterior he is a gentleman at heart and would never really do anything uncouth.  Case in point:

ddlj-imnotscum-im-hindustani

)

How amazing. 🙂

Add all that he goes through for Simran in the second half of the film and you pretty much have the perfect man.  (Hunting, cooing at pigeons with his future in-law, dancing at the engagement, getting in to fist-fights and more!)

Also, the fact that you can pin-point the moment he falls in love with her:

Wah!

Wah!

3) Anupam Kher

This uncle-ji is my favorite.  I thought he was amazing here.  He always touches my heart in every role I’ve seen him take on, I can perfectly imagine what he would be like as a father in real life.

Beanie!

Beanie!

4)This scene/line:

Pathways.

Pathways.

Son, at every turn in life, you’ll find two roads.  One right, one wrong.  The wrong route will be easy, it will draw you.  But the right path with be hard, with lots of hazards, a lot many troubles.  On the wrong road, initially, you might find success, happiness, but in the end, you will lose.  Upon the right path, initially you may trip at every step, you may face hazards, difficulties, but…in the end you will always win.

This line struck a major chord in my and applied very aptly to a decision I’m making in my personal life.  It was like karma or a sign from above when he said this and it just made sense.

Not to mention the squishy dil moment afterwards.

D'aww!

D'aww!

In all, this movie was very touching.  I could really feel what the film-makers were trying to convey throughout the movie and I empathized with the characters along the way.  If, for some reason you have not already seen this one, I would highly recommend it.  5 of 5!


*I’m strictly using the non-US version of this word here.  Homely in many countries comes to mind people (aka: women) who are down to earth, follow traditions, take care of the household and are generally quite complacent.  Not the definition of homely where it just means ugly.


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