Monday, December 15, 2014

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1000 Week Celebrations) ~ by : Niilesh A Raje

Last week Friday (12th December 2014) the movie "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" completed 1000 weeks of successful running at Mumbai's Maratha Mandir theatre. The single screen that came into the limelight after it ran 'Mughal-e-Azam' for eight years and today it has broken its own record by running “Dilwale” for nineteen years continuously. A story that redefined love.

To commemorate 1000 weeks of romance a book was released on this occasion titled, “Aditya Chopra Relives . . . Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” published by Yash Raj Films Pvt. Ltd. Director Aditya Chopra was just 24 years of age when “Dilwale” was released on Diwali 20th October 1995. One can only realize the creativity exhibited by this young boy then.

There are many interesting anecdotes that are given in his book and I take this opportunity to share some of them in my piece.

“Dilwale” or “DDLJ”

Well, whenever Director Aditya Chopra speaks of the movie he calls it as “Dilwale” and not “DDLJ”. Title being too long with passage of time “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” became “DDLJ” amongst the masses. Not that Aditya has any objection or gets offended with this but for him it’s like a nickname someone else has given to your child. It’s just that he has always referred to the film as “Dilwale” and continues to do so. It was Kirron Kher who suggested the movie’s title.

Come Fall In Love

Love is a singular experience being plurally felt witnessing delicate merger of two souls. Love is something one always aspires for and for some these aspirations do come true while for other’s they end up coming out of the woods of a broken heart.

It could be possible that in real life your love is forbidden to you or one may not be able to express it openly in the public or otherwise to that someone special. But on the silver screen one can experience it all. Romance in Cinema provides that dream space.

With “Dilwale” Director Aditya Chopra wanted Raj and Simran to be seen as lovers that many people would always aspire to be. Hey, I want to be like this man Shahrukh in my love or otherwise. Post watching the movie that thought has to be registered that every guy would love to have Simran in his life while every girl would aspire to have her Raj in her life. Aditya Chopra admired Raj Kapoor for his work so much that Shahrukh (Raj Malhotra) was called as Raj throughout the movie.

If we observe this romantic movie not even once did Raj or Simran said “I Love You” to each other. On the contrary it was pretty evident they both have fallen in love with each other. In the scene where Simran invites Raj for her wedding Shahrukh says, “Main Nahin Aaunga” (I won’t come for your wedding). When a girl invites you for her wedding it’s very unlikely a guy would refuse the invitation. It was in fact Raj’s style to convey it to Simran “I Love You” hence I won’t come to be part of your vibrant wedding celebration.

Palat Palat Palat

The dialogue where we see Shahrukh saying Palat Palat Palat was something Director Aditya admits to have copied the same from Clint Eastwood 1993 thriller titled In the Line of Fire. There is a scene where in Eastwood sees his love walk away and then says to himself “turn”. The idea was there in Aditya’s mind for long and while writing the scene it came back to him. He liked the idea and decided to use it in his script.

The shooting for this was scheduled at King’s Cross Station in the evening and weather was cold in there in London. So Aditya Chopra who was wearing the brown jacket lent the same to Shahrukh which can be seen in this movie in the “Palat” scene.

The Facts Remain  

The entire screenplay was written in twelve days. The filming of DDLJ took place over sixty-seven non consecutive days. The whole movie was made in a budget of three crore rupees. For many years Dilwale was the most successful Indian film abroad. With the profits earned with Dilwale it allowed the Chopra’s to buy land in Andheri West where the Yash Raj Films studios stand today.

For the Director of Photography (DOP) the choice decided was Manmohan Singh (Manji). He shared close association with Yash Ji and had shot most of his films. Not even once he made Aditya Chopra the young boy of 24 years feel that he was inexperienced. Today, Manji has stopped photographing films in Mumbai and is now a leading film director in Punjabi Cinema.

The musical hit “Dilwale” was the good work from the duo Jatin Lalit who gave most unforgettable scores. The mahurat shot in this movie was Simran’s introduction. While for Amrish Puri (Baldev Singh’s) shop they wanted to do the shoot at Southhall. However, on the day of the shooting there was massive crowd gathered who had come to see the shooting making it impossible to complete the shoot. The scene was later filmed in a petrol pump station shop on some motorway. And I still remember while I first saw the movie in theatre with my dear friend people screaming Shahrukh with his entry in Dilwale.

The song "Tujhe Dekha To" fetched lyrics writer Anand Bakshi his Filmfare Award. The movie “Dilwale” set the record at its time for the most Filmfare awards won by a single film with ten in all. Aditya knew that Bakshi Saab’s words have power and was very important person out here. However, post ten days had passed and at least fifty of Bakshi Saab’s mukhdas were already rejected.

Bakshi Saab said, “Adi, I’m not able to meet your expectations. I’m not sure if I would be the right person for you. You better replace me with someone else. However, Aditya knew it was Bakshi Saab only who could get the work done here and to the final projections. There was nothing wrong with the mukhdas but they were just not apt for the girl Simran is what Aditya felt. The day Bakshi Saab came up with this line, “Ussse Kaho Jaaye Chaand Leke Aaye, Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye” the things took a different turn for both Bakshi Saab as well as Aditya.

Not that I have covered all the anecdotes in my piece but I am positive for all the fans of “Dilwale” reading this Aditya Chopra’s book full of interesting anecdotes would be indeed enlightening. Reading the anecdote and then watching the movie again would be a different experience all together. Come Fall In Love. When Raj(e) met Simran Love Was Never The Same . . .

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