Dil Se….’From the heart’ Review

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Is there any movie that you’ve disliked when you first saw and now you just can’t flip the channel when its’ being aired on Tv? For me it is the Shahrukh Khan, Manisha Koirala starrer ‘Dil Se’..meaning ‘From the heart’.  The other day I happened to watch this movie while it was being aired on a local channel and I just sat there watching it till the end. Like any other SRK fan I still hated the end as none of us like to see SRK die in a movie. Released in 1998, this movie was directed by Mani Ratnam and music given by A.R. Rahman. Those were also the times when SRK carried the image of the romantic lover.  I feel this movie was way ahead of the times it was released in. Usually Mani Ratnam movies are better than that of their contemporaries. The movie is based on the seven shades of love in Arabic literature, the seven shades being attraction, infatuation, love, worship, reverence, obsession and death. The character of Shahrukh Khan passes through all these phases. Understanding this theme made me take a look at the movie from a different perspective. It was the sheer genius of Mani Ratnam’s direction, Tigmanshu Dhulia and Sujatha’s writing and the character of Shahrukh that I now love this movie more than ever.

The movie has Shahrukh as Amar, a program executive with All India Radio who is so obsessed with a girl Meghana played by Manisha, who he thinks a simple girl having some mystery about her. The glint in Shahrukh’s eyes is hard to miss every time he notices Meghana. Meghana on the other hand is in fact a terrorist on a suicide mission. She belongs to a group which is out to avenge the atrocities inflicted upon them by the army on their people and followed by the ignorance of the government towards them. Manisha Koirala has aptly portrayed the role of a silent killer. The scene where she is reminded of the incident when she was raped as a 12 year old child is She is low profile, focused on the mission, ready to blow herself up for it. She keep on dissuading herself from falling in love with Amar but gives in towards the end of story.

From the mountain tops of Himachal to the sand dunes of Ladakh and then Delhi where it reaches the climax, the movie kept me tight in the seat. It starts off at a railway station in some remote area on a rainy windy night and ends again in an old desolate place in the city of Delhi. Both the times, its’ just the two of them.

He portrays the same obsessive lover like Darr but without the psychotic murderer part. He is more of a do gooder who, after discovering Meghana’s true identity, tries to dissuade her. The scenes where he helplessly tries to convince Meghana to abort the mission made my heart lacerate. The movie is made against the backdrop of the then contemporary India. As for the music, it is one of AR Rahman’s best projects. Chaiyya Chaiyya at the start of the movie, choreographed by Farah Khan atop a moving train sets off your mood followed by the title song in the later part of the movie. Its choreography is perhaps one of the best ever. The background score suits the movie in the best possible way and adds a different edge to every scene. The ending is perhaps one of the most shocking when you first watch it. Perhaps it was the first time that the protagonist and the girl he loves blow themselves up. SRK’s death was the first and last thing that I’d disliked the movie at first watch as mentioned before. But looking at the theme of the movie, there wouldn’t have been a better ending.  Something that would leave the audience in shock and disbelief. His last attempts at saving his love are all but something that would make you wish he doesn’t succeed or live. The ending dialgoue where he says “If you can’t come with me, then take me away with you” as they hug for one last time and the bomb goes off sums up the entire story and idea of obsession. One dialogue in the movie that is applicable to everyone who has loved and failed or loved and succeeded is this conversation btw Amar and Meghana while stuck in a lonely place on a moonlit night….

”You know what I dislike the most? These eyes of yours that I can’t understand anything despite me trying to read into’em; and you know what I like the most? It is these eyes, because I can’t  understand anything despite trying to read into them…and I like this distance between us, because if it wasn’t for this…there would be no reason for me to come closer to you.”

The film also marks the debut of Preity Zinta who suited the role almost perfectly. The film was an average hit in India but a major success overseas especially among the South Asian community winning a few Filmfare awards and the Netpac Award at The Berlin International Film Festival.

…….can just say that today I love this movie….Dil Se.

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