Exactly 17 years ago, Farhan Akhtar made his directorial debut with the Aamir Khan-Saif Ali Khan-Akshaye Khanna starrer Dil Chahta Hai. Before this drama about friendship and love, Hindi Cinema was all about brain-dead masala potboilers and over-the-top buffoonery. Apart from the likes of Vaastav and Sarfarosh and even Lagaan, which released just two months before Dil Chahta Hai, we never really made any film that could be savored for ages.
But Akhtar, assimilating all his personal experiences of his life, gave us a cinematic experience that we could cherish for years and eons! His debut wasn’t much about the plot as much about the journey of our three friends and protagonists- Aakash, Sameer and Siddharth. While the first half had the viewers slowly and gradually exploring their rigorous bond and ultimately drawn to their real-to-the-core friendship, the post intermission narrative showcased their personal love lives and how they undergo a major metamorphosis.
When you decide to hinge your entire film on just three characters, and want the viewers to sit in a darkened cinema for three hours, you need to have immensely powerful and phenomenal actors. Thankfully, Akhtar got the casting right. Aamir, Saif and Akshaye, all three had equally rousing performances. If Aamir and Saif were the comic reliefs, Akshaye took care of the more mature and fervent moments.
And the cherry on the cake was Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music that effortlessly blended with the theme and the mood of the film. You may dance a dozen times on Yo Yo Honey Singh or Badshah’s music in night clubs, don’t call yourself a party animal if you haven’t shaken a leg on Hum Hain Naye ever in your life!
All in all, Dil Chahta Hai is a film that could very well be made in 2018 and set the box-office on fire, but Farhan Akhtar narrated this story of love, loss and life in 2001, when Hindi Cinema hadn’t even discovered what real friendship seemed like!
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