Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
March 24, 2019 2:20 PM - Subscribe

When Raj meets Simran in Europe, it isn't love at first sight but when Simran moves to India for an arranged marriage, love makes its presence felt.
posted by DirtyOldTown (8 comments total)
The friend who recommended this: Have you ever been to a Desi wedding? Okay, you've heard all of these songs. Total wedding playlist staples.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:21 PM on March 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

I am totally spending the rest of my evening trying to pick out that mandolin riff from the theme.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:15 PM on March 24, 2019

apparently it plays every day at 11:30am at the Maratha Mandir moviehouse in Mumbai.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 5:42 AM on March 25, 2019

This film is such a phenomena. So much so that for me I tend to think of India before DDLJ and after DDLJ. I lived and travelled in the Subcontinent in the early 90's and it felt like sometimes that Indian popular cinema was still hanging on to 80s well into the 90s. I know there were other things going on at the same time but it seemed that once DDLJ hit everything changed on a pop culture level in the Subcontinent.

And yeah you still hear the songs even 2 decades later. I think one of the more interesting aspects of this film for me was how much non-resident Indians seemed to connect so strongly with this film. So much so that you began to see an increasing number of films directly aimed at that market. By 1998 and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (with the same leads as DDLJ) I think that new style of film was firmly set.
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:33 AM on March 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

I can definitely tell it's a transitional film. The way that it acknowledges the diaspora and the generational shifts in attitude had to have represented a tide change. BUT... it's so retro in style sometimes that probably 90% of people who don't know the film who saw a screenshot would assume it was 1980 or earlier, just from the cinematography, the sets, even the quality of film stock and the way the color is rendered.

But there are clear elements of progress. Anupam Kher's supportive, progressive, and kinda loony dad character is a delight. (Check him out on New Amsterdam these days!)

This was probably the best argument I've seen yet for SRK as an icon. He really is charming as all hell here. Not so much in his irascible man-babyness in the first act, but once he tries to win over Simran's family, he becomes ridiculously charming. Like next-level charm.

Also: KAJOL. Huge fan. I think I'm going to have to watch her and AK in Fanaa soon.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:47 PM on March 25, 2019

Kajol is great in DDLJ and went on to do so much great work... We all had such a crush on her. And so many of those early 90s films feel like they are so much older. I recall when I discovered the Indian Jaws movie Aatank was made in 1996 I couldn't believe it (it was filmed over a period of years which is why but still I couldn't believe the newer parts were from the 90s). It feels like it was made in 1986.
posted by Ashwagandha at 5:59 PM on March 25, 2019

I will say though that this movie also serves as a terrific example of why Indian cinema needed to move to sync sound. The canned-sounding dialogue is weird enough, but in that final fight where Raj keeps punching Kuljit, the sound effect they use for each punch sounds like dynamite blowing up a granite cliff.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:49 AM on March 26, 2019

Yeah I can see how someone might feel that way but you know I like it. My love of it partly it comes from the era of Indian popular cinema that I started with - the mid 70's Angry Young Man cinema of Amitabh. The filmmakers are well aware that it isn't realistic. Those battles are the release of that intense emotional momentum building in the film and as such every battle of the hero is an echo of mythological battles, its never meant to be subtle. But yeah it is kind of goofy and I know it is out of style but I certainly miss it in contemporary films (along with the repetitive zooms used to convey intense emotional realisation). If you want to see it used to absolute excess check out Disco Dancer or Coolie.
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:05 AM on March 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

« Older Delhi Crime: Full series...   |  Star Trek: Enterprise: Singula... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments