183 Min | Comedy – Drama | July 2001
IMDB Rating: 8.5
Director: Farhan Akhtar
Starring: Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna
Dil Chahta Hai Review: Less is more in Farhan Akhtar’s ‘Dil Chahta Hai’. Strip away melodramatic plots which always drag on longer than they are supposed to. Get rid of unbelievable protagonists who have all the answers and can fight off a horde of villains. Have no ‘villains’ to speak of, with the exception of the dude engaged to the girl you fancy, who acts like a bit of a prick. Build a story about the people you spend most of the time with – your friends, your dawgs, your posse, and ponder how you guys are going to sort out the really important things in your life. Like falling in love. Cracking on your friend who seems to fall for every girl he sees. Or your sensitive friend Sid who is in love with a much older woman – is he crazy? Wince as two of your best friends get into a very heated argument which splits them up and wonder what you will do now that you’re caught in the middle. Hope for love and friendship to find a way through to reconciliation.
Make a smart movie, without elaborate dance pieces set to a sweet soundtrack that remains in the top 10 a year after the film’s release. In fact have a song that parodies the ‘running around trees’ segment that every other hindi film since the 1950s has had and that the guys at school used to kid about. I mean, guys don’t express their love for girls that way. Keep out guns, drugs, politics, strife, and family melodrama. Lace up your script with generous doses of humor which brings to light the hereunto underused Saif Ali Khan. Finally make sure the ‘heroes’ have shown some growth at the end of it. Of course it’s been done to death in LA. That it could have been done so well in Mumbai is the astonishing thing.
Finally, make reality cool again. Whatever your heroes wear, however they cut their hair, right down to the way they interact has to be believable. Make short hair and a goatee beard the national craze amongst guys. Put some real thought into color coding and matching outfits and give a laid-back style to the proceedings. Welcome “Dil Chahta Hai”. The film that has had the largest influence of the look and hopefully the story of the biggest Bollywood films to follow it. A film that many people have been able to relate to. It seemed so obvious until Farhan Akhtar did it. Now watch how his ideas permeate through Bollywood.