Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (The Brave-hearted Will Take the Bride), universally known as DDLJ, opened to huge popular acclaim in India in 1995. Audiences flocked back to see it again and again. Directed by first-time filmmaker Aditya Chopra, it has since become the longest-running film in the history of Indian cinema – and changed the face of Bollywood.
DDLJ was the first contemporary Hindi film to focus on Indian residents abroad (specifically, in this case, London). It's a heady cocktail of European locations, flashy cars, gorgeous mansions – a feast for a newly liberalised nation – and the hearty, rustic traditions of Punjab. DDLJ has spawned numerous imitations and epitomises popular Indian cinema today. But, as Anupama Chopra points out, it's a paradoxical film which affirms old-fashioned values of pre-marital chastity and family authority, affirming the idea that westernisation need not affect an essential Indian identity.
DDLJ is a far cry from the work of an older generation of filmmakers who spoke often against the oppressions of tradition and sometime proposed radical solutions. Whereas the lovers of a bygone generation might attempt to flee from their interfering families, DDLJ's lovers want and must have the approval of their elders. Having conducted in-depth interviews with the filmmakers, Chopra gives the definitive account of a Bollywood phenomenon.
|Subtitle||The definitive account of a Bollywood phenomenon, which became the longest-running film in the history of Indian cinema.|
|Original publication date||09/01/2003|