Friday Classics: Dil To Pagal Hai, Let’s Put on a Show!!!!

Happy Friday!  Somehow I am just in an SRK-Madhuri mood after Anjaam.  And it’s Valentine’s week, and this is a really really Valentine’s heavy film. So, why not?

Before I found Indian film, I watched essentially every musical made in Hollywood between 1929 and 1964.  Well, everyone that is still available.  No really, in high school I went through the public library index and special requested every single film in the entire state library system with the word “musical” in the description.  And one thing that, eventually, started to seem really odd to me is that they were all about putting on a show.  A stage show.  All these people working in the film industry making movies, but nostalgic for the experience of being on stage.

A large part of that, I think, was how the American film musical developed and what the American stage musical was like at the time.  In the early 30s when the movie musical began in Hollywood, the stage musicals were not what we think of as “Broadway” today.  They were more like reviews.  Which is the stage version of a song video, original songs presented with a little mini-story and interesting images, and then on to the next song.  Stuff like the infamous first performance of “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” with Mary Martin in a fur coat surrounded by eskimos.  If there was a plot, it was just the loosest series of comic turns from set characters and a few lines of romantic dialogue to set up a love song.

 

This would not fly in Hollywood films.  For one thing, films were a lot shorter than stage shows.  For another, the ability of a film to convey the excitement of a stage show was limited, Hollywood director’s weren’t as skilled as Indian ones in making the song performances really pop off the screen.  At least, not at first.  So as I see it the plots that were barely there in the stage version got twisted and turned and pulled and molded into something useful for a movie.  And the very best most popular songs were plucked out to be used.  And often, in order to give some sort of vague connection to it all, the plot that was invented was that they were actually putting on a show, an excuse for all these songs, and a stage show, because that’s what most of these writers and performers were used to thinking like.  And the audience too, many of the audience members for these early musicals would have grown up seeing traveling shows and vaudeville and could relate to that more easily than this new world of film.

Over the years these tendencies lessened.  New Hollywood directors came up who knew how to work with film, the audience got more used to these new kind of musical, and plots started broadening out, not just backstage plots, but traveling band stories (Orchestra Wives, Romance on the High Seas), or behind the scenes movie stories (Something to Sing About), but overall it was still the backstage musical that was triumphant (Broadway Melody of Whatever Year).  What didn’t become common until much later was the idea of songs for no reason at all.  Not because you are singing with the band, or on stage, or anything, but just for the beauty and emotion of a dance on film.  It wasn’t unheard of, but something like a Fred and Ginger love duet would be thrown in the middle of plenty of stage performances, and even explained by them being at a nightclub and getting swept away by the music.

(Orchestra Wives is so amazing, I don’t know why people don’t talk about it more.  Check out the moment at 3:47 when Ann Rutherford is caught in the music and visually caught in the frame)

Okay, moving on, India!  In India, the Parsi theater and the religious plays and various other artistic traditions relied on complex narratives partially expressed through song.  The idea of a song being explained as a performance, as a moment removed from the narrative emotionally, that was rare.  Songs were woven into the narrative.

Until Dil To Pagal Hai.  Yash Chopra wanted to try something different, something fresh and youthful.  Not the same old love songs dancing around trees.  But something that was “real” while still fun.  And so he wrote a “musical”, the songs were explained by the script, they were rehearsed and choreographed and part of a stage show.  And the love was expressed through song not because of some emotional high fantasy experience, but because it was felt between two musical artists.

Image result for dil to pagal hai poster

 

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

 

 

 

 

The plot, in it’s bare bones, just doesn’t have much to it.  And is also terrible unoriginal.  Shahrukh’s best friend Karisma is in love with him, and a little fragile and emotional.  Madhuri’s foster brother Akshay is in love with her, and she feels she owes it to him and his family to love him back.  Then Shahrukh and Madhuri meet and, in spite of themselves, fall in love.  There’s a moment of guilty avoidance, but then Karisma and Akshay give their blessing, and it all works out.  All of these elements had been done to death before.  And there weren’t any interesting twists or complications added to it.  The only change was in the presentation.

First, there was the decision to keep the hero and heroine separated for the first hour of the film.  As they both struggle and wonder if there is true love out there or if they should settle for what makes sense, we the audience know that there is someone right there waiting for them!  Shahrukh claims to be a cynic, but describes a beautiful perfect woman when explaining his concept for the heroine of his next show.  Madhuri is the romantic, sure that she will find her true love if she just waits for it.  And it is fate and true love and all of that, we see how they almost meet over and over again.

Sidenote: I wonder if this was partly influenced by Yashji’s romance with Pam Aunty?  I didn’t think about it until just now, but they had a similar series of near miss meetings.  Meetings that Pam Aunty remembered because Yash was semi-famous and powerful, but which Yash remembered just because that particular pretty young woman at the Cricket ground stuck in his head until he recognized her again years later and remembered that one particular moment when she smiled at him.

The other thing that made it a little different was the way their love story was a mixture of fighting and working together and moments of magic.  That’s what made it feel really “backstage”.  That sense of everyone passionately pulling together to make magic happen onscreen.  Shahrukh might yell at Madhuri and she might complain about him, but he also dropped her back home every night because he was her boss and responsible for her, and she respected him in her own way, and when they danced together, it was magic.

Something else that felt distinctly “backstage” about this plot is the isolated little world that built up around the show.  Madhuri and Shahrukh were able to make a connection very quickly and without her family or his friend Karisma realizing it.  Because of the unique bubble of rehearsals.  They were in love, fully totally in love, before anyone outside of the bubble even knew they liked each other.

And so it is right that everything comes to a head on the final night, the opening night.  This is the moment that their bubble bursts, their private world is presented to the public.  And this is when their private love affair becomes public as well.  Through another theme of the film, the new connections and possibilities that technology brings.

Madhuri is able to take a one day flight with Akshay in the middle of her regular life.  Shahrukh and Madhuri are able to speak on Valentine’s Day thanks to an accidental crossed wire on the telephone.  And finally, Madhuri’s cassette tape that she recorded and never sent to Akshay is able to speak from the past and tell her and Shahrukh how much she loved him.

This film is an odd combination of old-fashioned and modern.  The concept of dance, and music, the spiritual practice that it can be, is very old-fashioned.  Madhuri’s relationship to her dance teacher is the Guru-student kind of relationship that calls back to an ancient tradition.  But at the same time, Shahrukh is talking about massive stage shows with lighting effects and spandex and on and on.

In the same way, we have young people of 90s India, buying candy on Valentine’s Day, going to night clubs, interacting without chaperones, joking and working and laughing, but combined with this very old-fashioned love triangle, the dutiful foster daughter planning to marry her brother, the young man feeling responsible for the girl who fell in love with him, and so on.  And on top of that a backstage plot that is both old-fashioned and new-fashioned, a plot that is old in America but new to India, the star (Karisma) hurts her ankle and the young unknown (Madhuri) is brought in to take her place, falling in love with the producer in the meantime.

But the biggest conflict between old-fashioned and modern are in our hero and heroine.  Both in their characters, Madhuri established as this sweet old-fashioned girl and Shahrukh as this modern cool dude type, but also in their performance styles.  Madhuri is a kind of old-fashioned type of performer.  Not an old-fashioned person, or even playing old-fashioned characters, but her style relies on sparkle and smile and posturing and set movements.  Whereas Shahrukh is raw and rough.  It’s not a good fit.  And, feel free to disagree with me, but I think it makes the love scenes between them hard to take and a little unbelievable.  Yes, even “Aur Paas”.

But the stage performances!  That is where the film shines.  Any time the film stops for us to enjoy the pure spectacle of the dance, it all comes alive.

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45 thoughts on “Friday Classics: Dil To Pagal Hai, Let’s Put on a Show!!!!

  1. I mainly liked this movie because of the songs, and Karishma ( even though her performance was a little OTT, but it was the 90s). Madhuri’s chudidars were so pretty too! I always wanted to own some like that. And regarding the aur pass scene, I totally agree that it seemed so unnatural. But take every romantic movie from the 90s, it all feels unnatural to me. I was watching Rangeela the other day, and while I enjoyed all the songs and the lead performances, the romance angle between Aamir and Urmila was pretty tame. Atleast Jackie’s feelings for her were passionate.

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    • You’re right, we think of the 90s as the “age of romance”, but I think that might have been kind of a problem. A lot of romance films feel unnatural and forced, just because it is what is popular, instead of arising naturally from the script and the actors’ chemistry.

      On Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 6:21 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • And you are an Aamir-o-phile so I know you’re serious about it! Check out Chandni for another classic “wait, but the other guy is so much more mature and awesome!” feeling. Or, Aaina, for Jackie to actually get the girl and be happy.

        On Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 10:07 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. So many fond memories of the soundtrack. This was my dad’s favourite album and he always played it on a loop whenever we drove from our hometown to the place where dad worked. This was about 20 years ago and I think I still remember all the lyrics. I have a particular soft spot for “Le gayi”. Dad claims that song is what kept him awake during late night drives 🙂

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    • You got me curious, I just looked up the composer. Uttam Singh, who I had never consciously heard of before. But besides this movie, he did Gadar and Hero: Love Story of a Spy and Baghban, all 3 my favorite albums. He really hasn’t worked much though, not compared to other composers.

      On Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 10:57 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. It was Aditya Chopra who wrote the script for DTPH, not Yash.

    I agree with your take on the contrasting acting styles of SRK & Madhuri, but unlike you, I think that added to the characterizations, and emphasized how much this was an “opposites attract” kind of story, especially in the aur paas scene. If she wasn’t such a modest, old-fashioned kind of girl, the sense of her surrender to this tidal wave of a man, as expressed through her body language during the scene, just wouldn’t be there. Imagine Karisma and SRK in that scene (where Karisma isn’t playing NIsha in the movie), and it just wouldn’t have the same impact.

    The best part of the film for me were the dances. It was a kind of choreography that was very new.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You got me thinking about the casting. It looks like Madhuri’s role was always meant for Madhuri, but Karisma’s role bounced around between multiple actresses. Reading the list of possibilities, Manisha and Raveena Tandon and Juhi and Kajol, makes me think about this some more. I think if any of those actresses, who had an established and familiar chemistry with Shahrukh, would have been cast, the Madhuri and Shahrukh chemistry would have completely failed. You can see them as opposites attract versus his comfortable friendship vibe with Karisma, but I think if he and Karisma had been just slightly more than friends feeling, the Madhuri romance would have fallen apart and you would have wanted him to end up with the other girl. It worked with Karisma, but I don’t think it would have worked with another actress in that role.

      On Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 11:11 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Maybe that’s why Karisma won the National Award for this film. 🙂

        You’re right, looking at the other possibilities for Nisha, I don’t think anyone would have worked as well as Karisma. Juhi and Madhuri in the two roles is an interesting thought. Juhi herself had an onscreen image of “modest” and “old-fashioned”, plus she has great closeness and “friend” relationship with SRK, onscreen and off. It would have been really interesting to see whom the audience would have rooted for if it was SRK-Madhuri vs. SRK-Juhi. As you say, it would have completely changed the relationship dynamics, because there wouldn’t have been much contrast between Juhi and Madhuri. If Kajol were in the Nisha role (I never heard she was in the running), well, I think the entire story would have changed, with Nisha winning the day. 🙂 Interestingly, I remember reading once that Madhuri was initially offered the Nisha role, but she didn’t think she could pull off the modern style of dances, so chose to go for Pooja. (Or am I imagining this? So many cluttered memories in the Bollwood part of my brain.)

        Comparing DTPH to KKHH (which came the next year, if memory serves), we can see how the Akshay Kumar-SRK rivalry just didn’t hold up to the Salman-SRK rivalry. In KKHH the audience could legitimately root for Kajol to choose Salman, and there are still people who argue about this. Similarly, the story could maintain suspense till the end about whom Kajol would choose, since the casting did not give it away — i.e., since Salman and SRK had equal star status, the ending was not foreshadowed, the way it would have been if Saif was cast as Aman, as KJo originally planned. Here, in the same way, I don’t think there was ever any suspense that Madhuri might choose Akshay over SRK, just because of the difference in star power.

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        • It sounds like Karisma was an early pick, but didn’t want to play second fiddle to Madhuri (both in her character being smaller and Madhuri sucking up all the publicity). So then they went through a period of considering basically every working actress, none of whome wanted this part, before landing back on Karisma. Who managed to turn her character into less of a “Second fiddle” role, and more of a fascinating intriguing complicated person role. So totally deserved the National Award.

          I have the same vague memory of Madhuri possibly being offered both roles. But I wonder in that case if “Pooja” and “Nisha” would have had different positions in the plot. Maybe Nisha was always going to be the cool modern friend and Pooja the traditional one, but maybe if Juhi had been Pooja and Madhuri Nisha, the story would have gone a different way, more like Kuch Kuch perhaps.

          On Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 12:46 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I agree that it’s precisely because they are so different that it works. He has fantasised about someone like her as his imaginary perfect girl, a character quite outside his real life set, and she is slowly sucked in by the things outside her own real world, the energy, the mystique of the life he lives.

      It’s the same in DDLJ where the brash ‘modern’ young man and the modest traditional girl fall for each other.

      The part that I find excruciatingly artificial is the proposal scene at the airport. It’s set up so there is no opportunity to talk or think, but! seriously, who does that??

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      • 90s Akshay Kumar! He is so cocky and aware that all the girls want him, he just goes for it.

        And now I really want to see the sequel where the same fantasy-meeting of differences happens with Karisma and Akshay. Can you imagine? She is so used to guys treating her as a “friend” and “one of the boys” and all that, and then discovers that there is this guy out there who sees her as beautiful and wants to romance her instead of be her friend.

        On Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 3:26 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. I was TeamNisha all the way. She was just funnier and more fun. Pooja was in her own dreamland and just way too romantic for my taste. I guess Nisha was one of the first millennial heroines. I always felt KKHH was a subversion of this. Rahul doesn’t realize he loved the friend more all along.

    I liked that in DTPH, Rahul never felt the need to settle or apologize. He doesn’t love someone and doesn’t feel the need to justify himself. he loves whom he loves.

    I remember Urmila was also offered the role before Karishma took it up. Don’t think Juhi/Raveena could’ve danced as well as Karishma did. In fact, Karishma was offered Judai and Urmila was offered DTPH, strangely each took the other role

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    • That is strange, about them swapping. I’m sorry to have missed out on a second Urmila-Shahrukh picture, but in every other regard, Karisma was the better choice.

      I really like that about Rahul in DTPH too. What made it really wonderful to me is that he did “love” Karisma, as a friend. And so he was concerned and felt bad when he realized how she felt about him. So it wasn’t that he was overcome with guilt and tried to settle, but he also didn’t just laugh it off with a “not my problem” kind of feeling. It was a line of “I feel bad that you feel that way, but I’m not going to sacrifice myself.”

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        • You know what it kind of reminds me of? Kristin Scott Thomas in Four Weddings and a Funeral. She is so matter-of-fact about telling Hugh Grant that she is obviously in love with him, and somehow manages to get through the conversation without making it entirely about herself, or making it entirely about him either.

          On Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 2:05 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • That’s a great comparison. And Hugh is like, “Oh, I’m sorry, that really does suck for you.” Feeling for her as he would if anyone had broken her heart. Now I want to watch that. Wonder if my 13 year old would sit through it with me?

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          • 13 year old me LOVED that movie! So give it a try. Although maybe fastforward through the sex stuff, 13 year old me found that part just plain confusing because they were very British and didn’t say things straight out and I couldn’t figure out what they meant.

            On Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 2:18 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. This is one of those rare yash chopra movies I’m not fond of at all. It doesn’t even have a love angle sometimes separate from the main leads but with a morality that’s questioned by society. Like rishi and neetu in jthj.. Har ishq ka ek waqt hotha hai.. woh Humara waqt nahi tha. I had such high hopes after ddlj with adi writing the screenplay but I was just left confused by the story. I didn’t even enjoy the romantic scenes. It was the first time I liked karishma which came as a shock to me and I always side with best friends to lovers story so it left me bemused.
    On the bright side the dances are great, the songs still sound so great. Am I the only one who isn’t a fan of SrK and Madhuri together? The only time I appreciated their chemistry was as Devdas and Chandramukhi but that was one sided pining?!

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    • Yes you echo exactly what I feel. There is the love triangle, but little else happening in the film, no great social statement beyond it. And I always have a hard time with Shahrukh and Madhuri, like I said, I think they worked best in Anjaam where they were supposed to be opposing forces.

      On Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 12:13 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I can’t ever deal with Madhuri & Shah Rukh together because their looks don’t mesh. He is boyishly handsome while she is beautiful but in a matronly way that makes her look much older than she is (as in~what a beautiful older woman) and it always made her look like his mother. They just don’t fit. As for Karisma~I simply don’t get her at all. She’s like the unattractive best friend in Hollywokd movies. All that said~I really like this film~but can you even imagine how much hotter the Aur Pas Scene would have been with Kajol??? And, as a side note~does anyone else ever wonder how SRK managed not to touch MD’s breasts during that scene? They go practically from her shoulders to her waist~and he’s so shy & gentlemanly he must have been panicked the whole time!

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        • I agree about Madhuri seeming older. Or at the very least, her age. I think she is the same age as Shahrukh, but this movie and their other movies together (except Anjaam and Devdas) insist on making her the usual young innocent while he is the young professional type. I think that’s why their chemistry in real life works better than in film, they are playing as mature equals. I’d love to see them in a romance that builds on their real life chemistry, what about a love story between two long time friends? Something like, Madhuri was the divorced friend of Shahrukh’s wife, his wife died, and they slowly turn their long time acquintanceship/friendship into a romance.

          On Sun, Feb 18, 2018 at 10:36 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Not just you. One of my least liked movies of SRK ever. I wouldn’t even consider Pooja a real character. Just a cliche floating around in white who the audience is inexplicably supposed to root for to end up with the lead. Such a head scratcher because even in general SRK and Madhuri don’t work that well. What an absurd story with a ridiculous ending.

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      • I wanted to add that it’s so strange but I find Madhuri completely unsexy with SRK. Odd because she was supposed to be the dhak dhak queen and I can see it sometimes like in Anjaam when she does that dance in the yellow sari. However, most of the time with SRK she ends up looking matronly and frumpy. The chemistry just doesn’t work especially for something like DTPH where there is just nothing in the script to justify why these characters should be together.
        Yash Chopra should have just stopped with Darr. I have the same exact problems with JTHJ. SRK having to romance the stone-faced Katrina where there is no chemistry whatsoever, the script is nonsensical, and one where he has tons of chemistry with the 2nd lead instead. Makes the whole thing a flop in whatever they were trying to show.

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        • I agree, mostly with the “should have stopped with Darr” assessment. Yashji’s pre-Darr work is almost universally good (Parampara excepted) and often brilliant. After Darr, it felt like he had all the money and freedom, but had lost his bite. I’m a Shahrukh fan, but if I were given my choice of any Yash Chopra film to watch, it would be Deewar or Silsilar or Lamhe, back in his power days.

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  6. I wish I liked this movie better. I find Madhuri’s character in this annoying in the same way that Katrina’s is in JTHJ. God is both of their first love, but a horrendous, childish version of God. I just think both of them are male fantasy characters, nothing like actual women think and feel. I wasn’t really team Nisha either though, because she deserves someone who is head over heels with her–like hopefully Akshay will be when he takes her out to listen to her tale of heartbreak after the show. 🙂

    I also can’t stand the choreography in this. One great thing about the typical Bollywood styles of dancing is that one actually doesn’t have to be a great dancer to pull them off passably. As opposed to modern dance, where you really do have to be a top-level athlete and artist to do it well. In the same way much of the choreography in Dil Se ruins the story and the awesome music for me, because Shah Rukh, Preity, and Manisha just can’t do that kind of dancing. Also, I know next to nothing about dance, but it feels to me like the choreographers in DTPH were putting Bob Fosse and Martha Graham moves together awkwardly, not really creating something original. Hmmph.

    I like the rain song though, because who can possibly resist it? I also love the rude, proud, driven Shah Rukh being terrified of the dogs at the dance teacher’s house.

    Thinking some more about Shah Rukh and Madhuri’s chemistry–I do like the interval in Are Re Are where they are doing mundane things together while their love doubles, or whatever, are being all lovey dovey in the background. It reminds me of my favorite scenes with them from HTHS when they are first married and doing their little domestic things together. Maybe Madhuri losens up, and Shah Rukh cools down the furnace a bit, when they are focused on little fiddly tasks while interacting?

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    • You know what we really need? A movie about the dumped woman in a love triangle picking up her life and moving on. Karisma in this, Preity in Dil Se, any movie where there is the nice pleasant easy love with the solid straightforward girl, and then the hero falls passionately ridiculously magically in love with some magical fairy type.

      I don’t like the choreography as much in this one either. But for slightly different reasons than you I think. First, I don’t like the costumes! And that’s not a small thing, the kind of dance that looks best in spandex is not the same as dance that looks best in saris or other traditional clothing. I feel like the spandex costumes end up highlighting what you mention about the moves being more athletic and not looking quite right. That’s also why I like the rain song, Madhuri is dancing in a churidar and looks so much better than in the spandex. And second, it just feels repetitive to me. Within the dance, the same simple steps repeated again and again, and also that most of the dances look like each other, once I’ve seen one I feel like I’ve seen them all. With Dil Se, each song felt different to me, Chaiyya Chaiyya more folk dance influenced, Jiya Jale more Kerala style and about the visuals, and so on. While all generally fitting in a category of “modern dance”, they looked different from each other. If we had the opening dance number with the big stage and big dancers, and then everything else felt totally different, I wouldn’t have minded it that one time. But over and over again, I just got tired.

      I agree about your theory that Shahrukh and Madhuri are better together when they are kind of distracted. And again, Koyla!!!!! It was primarily an action movie, not a romance, and that gave them something else to do besides just staring into each other’s eyes.

      On Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 2:15 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • It’s true that the choreography is better and more varied in Dil Se than in DTPH.

        The movies about Karisma and Preity (she had it really rough in Dil Se!–who would want to marry her now? Fiance runs off [trying for no spoilers] with weird terrorist woman. Lord!) could form a trilogy with the one you’ve already written about Mandira after DDLJ!

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        • Come to think of it, that is sort of Tabu’s story in Kandukondain Kandukondain! We just come in after it is all over and she is having no luck finding a husband because everyone knows her first fiance ran off with another woman.

          On Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 2:44 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. This movie is so famous and yet I never found it appealing and never watched it. Now when I’m reading the comments I realize why I didn’t like it : strange dances, spandex costumes, and lack of chemistry. I often watch movies just because I like one song, or one scene or even one romantic gaze that made me think it will be worth watching, and I never found it in DTPH.

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    • I feel like it is a movie you SHOULD see, but you are right, not for the one song or one romantic gaze. But it is worth watching for the Karisma-Shahrukh relationship if nothing else, that is really unique.

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      • Do you think I will be able to finish it? Because I surrendered after only 7 minutes of 15 minutes long Dilwale. I have little tolerance to 90 movies lately.

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        • Definitely don’t try to finish it in one go. It’s a good movie to do in 40 minute chunks. Not just because it is soooooooooooo 90s, but because it is also made in a kind of episodic way, the sort of movie you can picture people wandering in and out of in the theater, arriving an hour late or leaving an hour early.

          On Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 4:10 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  11. I was really excited to watch this movie because I’ve grown up listening to the soundtrack and I like Shahrukh and Madhuri as individual performers so I thought I would really like this film. What happened was that I was incredibly disappointed. I felt that the love story was incredibly contrived. I didn’t like Pooja or Rahul and I found their romantic scenes to be really off putting and like you said unbelievable. I really really loved Nisha (pretty sure I fell in love with her character at the part where she called Rahul’s idea of “Maya” ridiculous) though which is ironic because I didn’t give a single thought about Karisma coming into this film. This was actually the first film I saw of hers and I was pleasantly surprised. By the end of it all I did not care at all for Pooja and Rahul but I had this intense love and appreciation for Nisha. I guess I could thank this film for properly introducing me to Karisma and exposing me to Nisha (even if it was a sad and painful experience at times). Still really love the soundtrack though so I guess there’s that.

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    • I have a new theory about Karisma! I think maybe she excels at making impossible characters wonderful (Raja Hindustani, this, Jaanwar, Judwaa, Biwi No.1), but when she is given a simple striaghtforward heroine kind of part, she is forgettable (Hum Saath Saath Hain, Jeet, and so on and so on).

      With any other actress, Nisha would make no sense. The peppy modern cool girl who is also hiding a traditional kind of broken heart, who is fine with her friend not loving her, but has random moments of jealousy. And who is ultimately supportive of his choice.

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      • Huh I actually really liked her in HSSH. I really felt like her and Saif were the driving force in that movie. But yeah I feel like Karisma did a fantastic job portraying Nisha and just made her work so well. She was honestly one of the most complex characters in the movie.

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