Friday, April 15, 2011

899. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge/The Brave-Hearted Will Take the Bride (1995)

Running Time: 192 minutes
Directed By: Aditya Chopra
Written By: Aditya Chopra, Javed Siddiqi
Main Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Amrish Puri, Farida Jalal, Anupam Kher


When I saw "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" on the Netflix instant queue, and more importantly saw that it had a running time of three hours in length, I certainly wasn't expecting it to be a romantic comedy. However, while my writing so far may resemble grumbling, this movie wasn't bad and I consider it a nice introduction to Bollywood cinema.

Simran Singh (Kajol) is of Indian descent, living in England, as is the boy who will soon win her heart, Raj Malhotra (Khan). Under different circumstances, Raj and Simran, who are total strangers, convince their parents to let them go away on a European holiday for one month. In Simran's case it will be her last month of freedom, before being married off as part of an arranged wedding. In Raj's case, he's just a young man, looking to sow some wild oats and then return home to join his father in the family business. Of course, as in any romantic comedy, the two paths of Simran and Raj cross and the immediately despise one another. When Raj causes Simran to miss her train and thus separating her from her friends and throwing her whole trip off course, she is forced to join Raj as they try to hunt down their parties. Raj is a consummate prankster and is rarely serious, causing Simran to dislike him more and more. Over the course of their journey, however, the two grow fond of one another and Raj falls in love with Simran. It isn't until Simran returns home and must face the prospect of her new, strange husband, that she realizes she too is in love with Raj. Once home, Raj is determined to find Simran and tell her how he feels and when he finally tracks her down it is just days before she is to be married to her new husband. Simran begs Raj to take her away and elope with her, but Raj refuses, stating that he must get Simran's father's permission.

Within the first half hour of this movie, I was almost convinced that I'd hate it, but that was just me being stubborn. When I finally realized that it was a comedy, I was thinking of all the nasty things I'd come here and write, complaining that no romantic comedy needs to be three hours in length...but again, I was being stubborn. When I relaxed and allowed myself to get taken in by the film, I realized that it actually wasn't bad at all. I had never seen a Bollywood film before and am glad that I finally have. Word is that Kajol and Shahrukh Khan are a screen couple in the world of Bollywood cinema and actually I'd love to see more of their films. The two had some amazing chemistry - the type of chemistry where you hope you'll go to the computer and find that they're actually married in real life. The songs were entertaining and fun and despite me not being able to sing them, they definitely have me going around the house and humming their tunes. The plot took some twists and turns and with a three hour running time, they actually had time to really pursue a well thought out comedy, that came off as clever, heartwarming and a whole lot of fun!

Now granted, I still stand beside the fact that this thing COULD HAVE been wrapped up inside of two hours and I still have a few minor gripes and groans. The characters (especially Raj) were a little too silly - in fact they were extremely silly and I had a hard time believing that a goofball like Raj would turn out to have such moral fiber. The same guy who conned an old shopkeeper into allowing him buy beer would also be the same man who would be moral enough to ask for Baldev's permission to marry his daughter? It just didn't seem accurate, but since when are comedies altogether always accurate? The important part is that I had fun. When I finally "chillaxed" and accepted the film for what it was, it was a really good. End of story.

RATING: 7.5/10 A little too long and a little too silly, but otherwise a great film and one that I'd recommend for anyone wanting to check out some Bollywood cinema.


April 14, 2011 10:20pm

1 comment:

  1. Now this is what a fan of Indian films wants to hear. Your review made me very happy, and it shows that many people just have stupid prejudice against Bollywood. I'd never thought that Dilwale would be called a good introduction to Bollywood, because it's quite old-fashioned, but wonderful!


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