Who could aspire to beat Yash Chopra at making exotic, lush love stories? His
son, who else! To say that Aditya Chopra made a dream debut with this film would
be an understatement. He literally took the tinsel world by storm. The film
itself was greeted with high expectations for obvious reasons: Yash Chopra's
banner, the phenomenal success of Karan
preceding it and a great sound track. The movie ended up delivering
everything that it promised.
The entire feel of DDLJ was different. With beautiful locales, well-coordinated
choreography and no unnecessary parallel tracks to diffuse focus, the film enthused
audiences across the country, and several times over. The names Raj and Simran
are now legendary. The story launched a whole new genre of movies with similar
stories and even similar names.
The story itself is as old as... you know what. Boy meets girl, they fall in love
and the rest of the film tracks the couple's journey towards an unlikely marriage.
But it's a little more than that. First the boy and girl live in England with
their families. They meet on a trip of Europe, and only when the tour ends do
they realize that they are in love.
The trouble here is that the girl is already engaged to marry a certain Kuljit
(Parmeet Sethi) in Punjab, and her dad (Amrish Puri), upon knowing of Simran's
love, immediately takes the family back to India. And so does Raj.
He manages to manoever his way into the household that she is staying in, and
the two decide to bide their time till Raj manages to win over the rest of the
family. He does just that, but finds Amrish Puri a hard nut to crack. To make
things more difficult, Preeti (Mandira Bedi), the groom's sister, falls in love
with Raj. The confusion deepens when Raj's father (Anupam Kher) lands in India
and agrees to the marraige between Preeti and Raj.
The lush locales of Europe and the rich vegetation of Punjab provide an ideal
backdrop for the romance. The scenes are excellently crafted to convey the delicate
dilemma of the main characters. It's only the ending that could perhaps have
been a little more credible. Amrish Puri's sudden change of heart isn't convincing.
The songs, too, are suitably placed and composed. Jatin-Lalit's post DDLJ work
hasn't been able to live up to the expectations generated by this score.
The performances are brilliant. Shah Rukh manages to time his bursts of energy
very well. His tendency to get carried away is well curtailed here. Kajol is
all subtlety and grace. The best part is that the support cast too makes its
presence felt - especially Amrish Puri and Farida Jalal, who play Kajol's parents.
All this makes this movie a not-to-be-missed one and I would be surprised if
many of you have. Never mind the number of times you have watched it, you can
still do with another visit to the theater.