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Dil Se..
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Dil Se.. More at IMDbPro »

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59 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

I was blown away...

7/10
Author: (tarynblake)
18 January 2005

This was the first actual Bollywood film I've ever seen. I knew nothing about it going in, other than that it was considered a classic and featured "that Indian guy" (Khan) who shows up in every other film. Needless to say, after I became accustomed to the singing and dancing, I was able to dig in to the film a bit. It got slow at times but I was intensely interested in figuring out what the heck was going on. In the final moments of the film, my friend and I just sat frozen. I've never seen a movie that had singing, dancing, and ended with a bang. Needless to say, I'm hooked on Bollywood and determined to make everyone I know watch this film.

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53 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

A gem amongst the commercially-hyped bollywood "hits"

Author: dil_diya from Hungary
6 January 2008

Even though this movie came out in 1998, the 1st time I saw it, was a few years back. This was because, at that time, it had received so much criticism that anybody who thinking of watching this movie, thought otherwise. But, while I was surfing the IMDb site, I had noticed that this particular movie had a high rating (considering the fact that it was considered a flop back then). So, I decided to see for myself how this movie was like, and boy, was I stunned..

Why was Dil Se a 'flop' in India? A gem amongst the commercially-hyped bollywood "hits"..

SRK's acting (as Amar) in this film was superb; at once we see a mix of his endearing boyish vulnerability, tenderness, and wild explosive impulsiveness that characterize the intelligence of this great actor. The transformation that his character went through was amazing to watch- from carefree arrogant pup, to an obsessed lover, to a desperate man, and finally to a dead man walking. It was a welcomed relief to all his other "bubble-gum" characters like "Rahul" in KKHH, K3G (I am not saying that he didn't act well in those movies. Its just that he remained the same, & at same time was boring compared to "Amar")...

Manisha Koirala's acting (as Meghna) was flawless. One minute she felt guilty about using "Amar" (by using the AIR {All India Radio} tag in order to get close to the President), while the next minute she didn't bat an eyelid when he was arrested. Her breakdown scenes seem extremely forced into the script, and the only reason why these scenes proved effective is because Manisha is an amazing actress. The sequence where she tries to cry but the tears won't come out is mind-blowing, and no other actress could have portrayed this scene so well. (Even though "Meghna" was portrayed as someone who was damaged emotionally with no recovery, the last scene when "Amar" asked her to say 'I love you', she just looked deeply into him and with the least possible motion, nodded lovingly – her eyes shinning with love for such a brief moment... Simply amazing)...

Santosh Sivan's cinematography was stunning. He flexes the visual muscle as the movie veers from the world's coldest lake to the inside of a monastery, and he's helped considerably by the eternal, undeniable beauty of this leading lady (sans makeup). As "Meghna" washes her face casually, we can see why "Amar" has fallen hard for her. For those of us who will probably never visit Ladakh, Sivan's images will forever remain in our minds....

Farah Khan definitely deserved the Filmfare Award for best choreography for Dil Se. Who can forget the dance in SATRANGI RE (incredibly erotic piece of footage - the two of them squirming in that red fabric.... Hollywood could learn some lessons here in how to be amorously sexy without being cheap or porno) or SRK's contagious energy on top of that train in CHAIYYA CHAIYYA or him tenderly protecting Manisha in the DIL SE RE?....

Music by AR Rahman is the soul of the film .The songs doesn't feel or look out of place at all. Dil Se is hauntingly done both musically and visually as well. This is all because of Mani Ratnam's direction. He told the story in the most human way possible- it is essentially a love story told against the backdrop of terrorism (also showed us the birth of the terrorist -- simplified to a great extent but neatly executed). Ratnam uses 'passion' as his keyword, exploring it on various (occasionally obvious) levels...

Overall, I think this movie will always be a classic and is way ahead of it's time. I am sure if this movie was released after 2002, it would have been a huge hit….

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56 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

Unbelievable

10/10
Author: Reini Urban (rurban@x-ray.at) from Graz, Austria
4 August 2001

The problem with Hindi cinema is its very strong formalistic framework where it has to fit in. It must pass the censors, must be made for a billion of mostly analphabets and must contain a great number of song and dance scenes. Mani Ratnam is one (and only?) director who constantly extents this genre to embrace the producers, the popular audience and the critical and political aware intellectuals with his strong political claims ("Roja", "Bombay"). This one now beats it all and everybody (in India) talked about it. Such an end was not seen before in Hindi cinema, and all fits perfectly well (despite to what some other critics said). And it works even if you know the end before (which most do).

It's my current favorite. Technically superb, very sophisticated content, big fun and emotions. An american version would have been a typical political thriller about an unlucky love to a female terrorist, but Mani Ratnam gives us 300%. Not just the Indian Spielberg or Tsui Hark, this is more. Go for it.

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43 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

Visually and emotionally stunning

10/10
Author: Gracy from USA
26 January 2004

"Dil Se" is poetry. Although it is a Mani Ratnam film, the hand of Santosh Sivan is all over it, especially in the music videos. Sivan's artistry and Ratnam's genius, when combined with the sizeable dramatic talent of Shahrukh Khan and an amazing soundtrack by A. R. Rehman, is almost perfect. Even Manisha Koirala is good! Preity Zinta also stands out in a smaller role as SRK's reluctant fiancee. This is not your typical Bollywood film, and this showed at the box office, but that's not a bad thing. This film shows more artistry, more integrity, and more "dil" (heart) than most recent offerings from both the east and the west. "Dil Se" is a really great film.

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39 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

powerful film

Author: caprafan from Glen Cove, NY
6 July 1999

This is a haunting film. Everyone raves about the music and cinematography (which of course are excellent), but I wanted to write about the often maligned plot. After seeing Dil Se for the second time, it was easier to see how the seemingly irrational actions of the characters were a result of their life circumstances. I understood much better why Amar was compelled to pursue Meghna; if you've ever been in love with the wrong person, you'll understand too. Meghna is like many other damaged people I've known: capricious, confused, sometimes cruel to others, but in the end her own worst enemy. Both know that their paths are not supposed to join (and pay lip service to that fact), but find themselves irresistibly drawn to each other. This is evident by Amar's reaction to seeing Meghna at his engagement, and again in Meghna's attempts to convince herself to feel nothing but fiery patriotism. It is this relentless attraction that forces the shattering scene at the end of the movie--there is no other way for them to be together. This is a very thought-provoking movie, but it does require you to think--not the sort of thing to watch mindlessly while munching on popcorn. It will move you to your core, if you let it.

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29 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful piece of art, larger than life yet thoroughly realistic...

9/10
Author: Peter Young from Earth
5 July 2009

This is one of the greatest and most crafted works of the incredible Mani Ratnam. I was stunned by every moment of it and the very first scene was enough for me to get completely hooked. Mr Ratnam's ability to make a grandiose love story and yet keep it starkly realistic is just unbelievable. It makes the viewer believe that true, intense love does not exist only in fairy tales, but in real-life too, with simple and ordinary people. Dil Se is a rare gem of its times - authentic, hard-hitting, gripping, and deeply involving. Some people have deemed it a bit slow and tedious, but according to me the film moves at a steady pace and is totally focused, engaging and captivating.

The film's concept: a young, hard-working radio broadcaster falls in love with a mysterious, strangely apathetic woman who is actually a terrorist may have been tackled before by filmmakers around the world, but none has done it the way Mr Ratnam did. He directs this feature with heart and soul and intensifies it with complete mastery, so much that you cannot leave the screen even for one moment (even if you are one of those who prefer skipping the songs). The script is grounded in tension and mystery, and it thankfully avoids sentimentality. And then we also have some genuinely real yet exceptional dialogues, which bring forth a poetic quality that eases the serious proceedings.

Every artist involved in this film gives one of their best. A.R Rahman, for one, creates one of the most crafted and beautiful movie soundtracks of his career, giving so much life and essence to the film. The songs flow incredibly well with the film, they never feel unnecessary, they fit the situations, and ultimately enhance the narrative and contribute to the film's mystery and intense atmosphere. "Dil Se Re", "Jiya Jale", "Chaiyya Chaiyya" and "Satrangi Re" - each track is a gem and showcases the greatness of Rahman and Ratnam, who visualises them exceedingly well on-screen. This of course could have been done without Santosh Sivan's brilliant cinematography.

The performances are top notch. This is one of Shahrukh Khan's most accomplished and realistic performances. He is intense, witty, vulnerable, believable and convincing as Amar. He portrays a suffering man who would go to any strengths for a woman he hardly knows, and though his character's unconditional love may seem peculiar, he manages to keep it real and balanced. He conveys his feelings, whether it's sorrow, love, pain or anger, in his own inimitable style, using his troubling intensity and nervous mannerisms. One can really feel for the pain in his eyes, which is evident every time he meets this woman who keeps rejecting him. A superb act.

Manisha Koirala, one of the most talented dramatic actresses India has seen, is flawless as Meghna. She smiles barely once in the entire film but her expressive eyes and silence speak volumes and always do the job. It's a natural and ambiguous portrayal of a woman who has lost belief in life and love, or at least of someone who compels herself to think so. She brilliantly displays the little nuances which let us sense her constant fights with herself and her struggle to not submit to her feelings every time she faces the bright side of the world, forcefully and firmly fossilising herself for the sake of a mission which must be completed.

Preity Zinta, the star herself in her debut film, does something very few actors have been capable of doing: she makes a great impact despite having a very small role. It's a great achievement for any actor to excel and make a lasting impression with a role of such minimal importance and screen time. She is natural, vibrant and very likable, commanding the audience's attention with her strong screen presence and lively persona. She's always been known for her ability to add happiness and positivity to films which are overly serious and dark, and this one is no exception. Her full of life, frank and direct Preeti is one of the most unforgettable characters in recent years.

Dil Se is a socially relevant movie but it is a love story at heart and there it scores the most. It may not appeal to all kinds of audiences (in fact, it was a box office failure in India, though a success overseas), more because of its brutally honest depiction of terror and national battle, yet it remains thoroughly fascinating. The film is atmospheric, dark and deep. The only aspects that abstract the viewer from these features may be the energetic music and Preity Zinta's light character. In anyway, it is a picture of great artistic excellence, and I would recommend anyone to see it. The ending is also most unpredictable, only making it more beautiful and memorable.

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28 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Best Love story in troubled times ever

10/10
Author: hemant singh from United States
7 August 2005

The main highlight of the movie was no doubt the sound of the movie, if you watch this movie in digital dolby, you wont find a better sounding Hindi movie ever.

The characters are very real, with the background of the sets very real, nothing filmy about it. The movie has a distinct aura, since the love story is running in background, with the viewer glued to unfolding mystery about the heroine(manisha koirala). She exude vulnerability, revengeful, and the docile of the commoner. She fits the role to the T. So can be said about shahrukh khan(best movie ever, after Kabhi Haa Kabhi naa). Shahrukh walks effortlessly through the role, being very real in the depiction. So are all other characters in the movie.

Choreography cannot be even better. All songs have certain magic, new, innovative, very impressive and music mind boggling.

Highly recommended by me, see and listen in digital dolby sound system, this is the best sounding movie ever.

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23 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant Love Story-cum-Social Drama

Author: akbarnali from United States
13 May 2004

"Dil Se" is easily the most cerebral film churned out by commercial Indian cinema in the last decade. It is not presented as a separatist polemic, nor should it be considered as such (as a lot of myopic viewers have done). Nor is it a film about terrorism. It is essentially a love story told against the backdrop of terrorism. Mani Ratnam is at his best, producing what can only be called surreal realism. Many of you may have forgotten, but once upon a time Shah Rukh Khan was a good actor, and this is easily one of his best performances. Preity Zinta is the only glimmer of relief in this heavy handed tale of darkness and despair. This was also her first film. Rahman's songs are his career best, each of the six tracks more replendent than the last. Above all, however, Dil Se belongs to the luminously gifted Manisha Koirala, who delivers a crushing and skinless portrayal of a reluctant avenger. In a role of almost no dialogue, she speaks volumes through her reticent glances and a body language that is burdened by sorrow. It is a sin that such dramatically gifted actresses like Manisha, Tabu, Juhi, Nandita Das, etc. are relegated to competing for potboiler non-roles that crown glamorous dance queens like Aishwariya, Amisha, Madhuri and ilk the top of the heap. India has great actors- the film industry just doesn't know how to utilize them.

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23 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Thoughtful thriller/love story

9/10
Author: Sachin (raamjaane) from London, England
1 June 2000

This film was not a hit in India. This is not surprising as it was not a typical Bollywood film. This is not to say that it is a bad film. It has a good story, good performances, mind blowing music and very good ending. Unlike most Hindi films, "Dil Se..." is not loaded with dialogues. Most of the "talking" is done through expressions. Leaving the audience to think for themselves. Perhaps this is why Indian audiences did not embrace this film and Indians living abroad did. ManiRathnam proves with this film that like Shekur Kapoor he would not be out of place in Hollywood making big budget films that captivate the audience. A must see!

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18 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

love it with all my heart....

10/10
Author: angus_4_u from Germany
10 March 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Who would have thought, that love, singing and terrorism can credibly be combined? But the characters of Manisha Koirala and Shah Rukh Khan are so convincingly and urgently represented, that one can comprehend his deep, unconditional love the same way one can comprehend her fear of him getting closer to her. Because after all the atrocities she has experienced and her role in the suicide command and terrorism, she still in her quiet, reserved ways clings to life, as she develops relationships with other people again and again, for the reason of friendliness and humanity and not for her inhuman cause of terrorism. In the same extent he wants to save her, she develops a fear of this rescue. No matter how she rejects him, his love grows and he does not want to give up, even if it could cost his own life.

This story is so fascinatingly told, that one has hardly time to breathe. In addition to that the film language is so enormous and the use of light in some scenes is so space and timeless beautiful, that it is hard to find a comparison to DIL SE. One of those scenes is set at a campfire somewhere in a desert. In the unique Mani Ratnam style there is bright light in the background, intimate whisperings between Meghna and Amar about the three dearest things in the world, close up shots on their faces. The closer Meghna and Amar are getting, the fewer light beams radiates between the two heads and less the observer can see of this intimate moment, the farther away they are from each other, the more one can see of what they are doing, but less is happening. Light means life. Although in Indian Cinema rarely real kisses can be watched, this almost kiss belongs to the Top Ten of best film kisses ever. One could almost feel and taste the tension in this scene.

Whoever particularly watches Bollywood Cinema because of the music and the dance scenes will also enjoy this movie. The scene on top of the train became film history and meanwhile it is already quoted in advertisement. In this regard the film is also unusual, the music smoothly adjusts itself into the story and continues to carry it on a bit. As the characters wonder what could have happened if they would have met in another life under different circumstances. The music is made so beautifully.

I think that Western or European spectators could find an easy introduction to Indian Cinema with DIL SE , the story telling reminds of the European Cinema Style in a way. It gives enough room to read between the lines and in the faces of the brilliant actors. Words are not needed to explain their actions it is simply there to see it and experience it.

Dil SE is absolutely no film which one can easily forget. As far as I'm concern the question that still employs me after having seen it a few times is whether there could have been another end for the two characters or whether the end shown in this film remains the only possible ending to their story. Well, the end of this movie is really the only thing which does not please me. I don't think there has to be a happy ending after all but still the end shown is missing the strength and love of the rest of the story, it just ends it, period.

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