One of the most iconic films of Indian cinema is now twenty-years old. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge aka DDLJ was released on 19 October, 1995. It’s one of my favourites, it’s one of every Bollywood fan’s favourite, and it’s probably one of the ideal date movies EVER. If Hollywood has Titanic and When Harry Met Sally, we’ve DDLJ – the perfect blend of love, crushes, first-time romanticism, family values, etc.
Shot largely in India, London, and Switzerland, this movie was the biggest blockbuster of 1995 sweeping away ten Filmfare Awards. The movie ran for more than a thousand weeks nonstop at the Maratha Mandir theatre in Mumbai and still continues to dominate TV whenever it’s played. On its 20th anniversary we’ve round up some interesting facts related to the movie.
- The film was initially about a romantic relationship between an Indian girl and American boy. Aditya Chopra, the film’s director, wanted to cast Tom Cruise in it but the idea was dissuaded by his producer dad, late Yash Chopra.
- Actor Shah Rukh Khan was reluctant to play the lead but eventually agreed only for his friend Aditya Chopra.
- Saif Ali Khan was the second choice for the role of Raj Malhotra though he refused the part.
- The fight scene at the end was done only at Shah Rukh Khan’s insistence.
- Kajol found the film tough to shoot as her character Simran is shy while she’s outspoken, and candid in real life.
- Choreographer Saroj Khan had frequent spats with the director. They haven’t worked together after this film.
- Uday Chopra and Karan Johar were the assistant directors on the film. Later Karan Johar went on to direct his first film – Kuch Kuch Hota Hai – that starred Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in main roles.
- The title of the film was suggested by actress Kirron Kher.
- The White skirt that Kajol wears in the song ‘Mere Khwabon Mein’ was initially a little more longer but Aditya Chopra decided to cut the extra length.
- Lata Mangeshkar sang ‘Mere Khwabon Mein’ only because of the actors in it and also because it was a Yash Raj Film.
Now, imagine this famous movie with Saif Ali Khan as Raj….. The señorita dialogue wouldn’t have turned out that well. Or maybe he would have added his own charm there (Wow, that Saif accent). Maybe SRK wouldn’t have become the SRK we all know today. Maybe Saif would have become the Badshaah of Bollywood. Shah Rukh Khan wouldn’t have become the crush of countless girls; or his career might have been washed off by now.
SO, thank goodness, he was closer to the Chopras. Thank goodness, Aditya Chopra picked up Kajol to play Simran. We can’t imagine Madhuri Dixit, Karishma Kapoor, Juhi Chawla or any other actress, however good they are, as Raj’s señorita.
Twenty years, and still loving it. Twenty years, and still watching it. Two decades, and still listening to its songs. 2-0 years, and I’m not over it. And neither is anyone else.