Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
Director: Aditya Chopra; Writer: Aditya Chopra; Producer: Yash Chopra; Cinematographer: Manmohan Singh; Editor: Keshav Naidu; Cast: Kajol, Shah Rukh Khan, Farida Jalal, Amrish Puri, Anupam Kher, Satish Shah, Parmeet Sethi, Achla Sachdev, Himani Shivpuri, Mandira Bedi
Duration: 03:09:25; Aspect Ratio: 2.353:1; Hue: 38.538; Saturation: 0.140; Lightness: 0.337; Volume: 0.153; Cuts per Minute: 8.980; Words per Minute: 48.848
1995’s top-grossing Hindi film following on from
the successful Hum Aapke Hain Koun ... !
(1994). Choudhury Baldev Singh (Puri) is a
London-based newsagent pining for his native
Punjab. He wants to return to his roots by
forcing his daughter Simran (Kajol) to marry
the son of his old friend (Shah), whom neither
has met for 20 years. Simran goes on a
European tour before going to India, but there
she meets and falls for Raj (Khan). This causes
her tyrannical father to uproot his family
overnight and return to Punjab, where he is
received by dancing peasants in waving paddy
fields. However, Raj turns up there and
promises to rescue Simran from her intended
marriage, but only with the approval of their
respective parents. To achieve this, he inveigles
himself into the household under a range of
masquerades and false promises, until, having
made the scheduled marriage impossible, he
wins the girl from her reluctant father. As with
HAHK, this film also allows for a limited space
within the terms of a feudal patriarchy where
young people may aspire to a kind of watereddown
version of modern subjectivity,
represented in consumerist terms, before
‘returning to the fold’. An alternative reading of
the film could see it as chronicling the hero’s
passage from British-Asian diaspora into
traditional Indian patriarchy, with the love story
(despite the film’s slogan, ‘Come, fall in love!’)
simply sugar-coating the prescription. A
remarkable feature of the film is the elimination
of e.g. the staple Bachchan formula of the
State as a contested site, being replaced here by
an unproblematic subsumption of feudal
patriarchy into ‘postmodern’ globalisation and
the selling of ‘authentic’ identity as something
that can only be achieved via consumerism.Minimal Bollywood Art for Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
Opening scene; voiceover Baldev Singh; identity in question; compare with Salim Langda opening VO; place & unbelonging
Transition into memory; Punjab as an idealized place tinged in nostalgia; pardesi motif continues - Baldev as a both a wanderer and a foreigner.
Baldev's reverie broken by aural cue - clock tower chimes him back into his European location; acoustic construction of place
Cross-cutting between Simran's wish for a handsome stranger & intro Raj; destiny
closing rain section of "Mere khwabon mein jo aaye"
Ajit's letter arrives, announcing main narrative conflict.
Mother-daughter scene 2: i don't have the right to dream
Raj performs Indian solidarity with Baldev #1. Beer purchase scene.
Women perform the Indianness Baldev demands: switching the music cassette
After a series of ott macho assertions, once again Raj's character faces a comic deflation. This time its the tyre.
Simran performs sanskari daughter & makes a request. #2
The morning after scene. Just kidding.
Raj prays for Simran - church scene; intertextuality.
Simran vocalizes her experience of falling in love to mom. Father overhears.
Mother-daughter talk of female sacrifice. Simran is ready to marry Kuljit. Bizarre logic.
First mutual declaration of love; editing with music; interiority.
Raj will not steal a bride. Sarson ke khet.
Ae meri zohrajabeen. Intertextuality.
Mother exhorts them to elope. Raj makes a grand speech about the moral high ground.
British pigeons vs. Indian pigeons
silent shots with 1st person VO: Simran & Raj on eve of wedding.
Raj decides to leave Simran to her fate
Flying photograph. Baldev feels duped, yet again.
Ja jee le apni zindagi