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Dil Chahta Hai
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73 out of 81 people found the following review useful:

Never seen a Bollywood film? then DCH is the best place to start.

Author: tj_director from North Wales, UK
19 September 2001

DCH is like a breath of fresh air. It shows how bringing youth into an industry is always a good thing. Just compare this film with Yaadein, from Bollywood veteran Subash Ghai.

Where as Yaadein is probably one of the worst things to come out of a camera, DCH is one the best. It's just one of those films you'll find hard not to like, basically because it's exactly how the medium of Indian films should be used.

Rather than just cut and paste a song into the film, the filmmakers have done very well to make each song feel wanted, visually interesting, and they never drag. The result is a near 3hr film that just flies by. Comedy, Drama, Great Songs, love stories that work, and some truly excellent casting. Everyone carries the film, and the 3 guys, Safi, Akshay and Aamir are too good together!

Hopefully this film is a wake up call to the rest of Bollywood, who seem to be obsessed with unoriginality. Technically DCH can easily stand up against anything from the West. Editing, Directing, Cinematography, lighting, set design -- everything just works so well.

Sometimes Bollywood can produce some truly great films, and this is most definately one of them!! You must watch it.

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58 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

Bollywood 2.0

10/10
Author: keynesrules from Australia
1 August 2005

Less is more in Farhan Akhtar's 'Dil Chahta Hai'. Strip away melodramatic plots which always drag on longer than they are supposed to. Get rid of unbelievable protagonists who have all the answers and can fight off a horde of villains. Have no 'villains' to speak of, with the exception of the dude engaged to the girl you fancy, who acts like a bit of a prick.

Build a story about the people you spend most of the time with - your friends, your dawgs, your posse, and ponder how you guys are going to sort out the really important things in your life. Like falling in love. Cracking on your friend who seems to fall for every girl he sees. Or your sensitive friend Sid who is in love with a much older woman - is he crazy? Wince as two of your best friends get into a very heated argument which splits them up and wonder what you will do now that you're caught in the middle. Hope for love and friendship to find a way through to reconciliation.

Make a smart movie, without elaborate dance pieces set to a sweet soundtrack that remains in the top 10 a year after the film's release. In fact have a song that parodies the 'running around trees' segment that every other Hindi film since the 1950s has had and that the guys at school used to kid about. I mean, guys don't express their love for girls that way! Keep out guns, drugs, politics, strife, and family melodrama. Lace up your script with generous doses of humor which brings to light the hereunto underused Saif Ali Khan. Finally make sure the 'heroes' have shown some growth at the end of it. Of course it's been done to death in LA. That it could have been done so well in Mumbai is the astonishing thing.

Finally, make reality cool again. Whatever your heroes wear, however they cut their hair, right down to the way they interact has to be believable. Make short hair and a goatee beard the national craze amongst guys. Put some real thought into color coding and matching outfits and give a laid-back style to the proceedings.

Welcome "Dil Chahta Hai". The film that has had the largest influence of the look and hopefully the story of the biggest Bollywood films to follow it. A film that many people have been able to relate to. It seemed so obvious until Farhan Akhtar did it. Now watch how his ideas permeate through Bollywood.

Here's looking forward to "Don" in 2006.

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42 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

Dil Chata Hai - What the Heart Desires

9/10
Author: golem3
10 September 2005

I am not a fan on Hindi movies at all, but since I decided to study in India, learn a little Hindi and whatever else, I have expanded my Hindi film repertoire from just Lagaan and Amar Prem to include Dil Chata Hai.

The story is simple – at first, and is largely interspersed with a lot of English. Even I could understand the story without any subtitles. (Although you might turn it on for intense moments of extreme speed Hindi) Three spoilt rich best friends grow up, and in doing so, learn that their relationships between themselves, women and their families becomes tense as they mature and travel.

"What the Heart Wants" is a sort of theme that persists throughout the film. One friend is stuck to a girl he cannot get, another to an older woman, and the last one is just struggling with many girls he cannot choose between. For a Hindi film, the dance-music numbers are not terrible (but of course not great) and the music without the dance is quite nice, with a lot of meaning attached to it. So after a major fallout they realize many things separately, and learn about their own relationship in turn.

I recommend this film to anyone as a primer to Bollywood films – I know I used it as one. High marks for this film since it beat the Bollywood standard of being completely incoherent and inane, although still sticking to the three plus hours.

"Can what the Heart Want be controlled?" RATING: 9/10

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38 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

the most realistic depiction of Indian youth in Bollywood

10/10
Author: Kunal Mirchandani from Australia
24 November 2001

After a string of Bollywood stinkers, this film was a breath of fresh air! Upon first glance, it might seem like the story has been rehashed from the plotlines of several other Indian films. But the presentation blew me away! Yes, I agree that Dil Chahta Hai has been heavily influenced by the Hollywood style of filmmaking. But it still retains the same passion and romanticism that has become a Bollywood staple ever since the beginning, thus making DCH a thousand times better than other "Hollywood-wannabees".

Another thing that you might notice while watching the film is that there is not much of a plot. It just... floats along. But that's what makes it great; you never know where the next scene might lead you. What ties the story together is the bond of friendship shared by the three main leads. All the performances were terrific, especially Aamir Khan, who is probably the most respected actor of his generation.

Ultimately, what's great about the film is that it connects to the youth. The depiction of youth is so dead-on and realistic that you would be disgusted at the way youth is treated in other Bollywood films, where every college student aside from the hero/heroine are party-going idiots or jittery nerds! In DCH, however, the people talk like how they're supposed to talk, and nothing seems unrealistic about their personality. While watching the film, it becomes quite evident that Farhan Akhtar belongs to a breed of young, talented directors. What they lack in experience, they make up with an ambitious vision and raw talent.

If you haven't seen the film yet, go watch it. You'll be surprised at how much hope is still left in Bollywood.

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38 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Dil Chahta Hai - most appropriate title

9/10
Author: Naresh Kanyal from India
25 November 2005

This movie was released in the year 2001, the time when bollywood seemed to be in doldrums, producing one trash after another, the same year when another masterpiece "Lagaan" was released from bollywood and the year I finished my college and entered my first job and wow what an experience - it was just like a fresh breath of air.

The first movie by an unknown young guy Farhan Akhtar (may be known earlier because of his famous parents Javed Akhtar - lyricist in this movie - and Honey Irani) and what a fantastic job he did both in direction and script writing. For me, he did a great job by experimenting with a novel idea, moving away from the well established norms of the bollywood industry and not presenting yet again melodramatic bollywood plot.

The story revolves around three friends (supposedy born to very rich parents) - their relationship and their personal lifes - the guys with totally different natures and with their different meaning of life. However, the only thing that keeps them ever together is their never ending friendship.

The story is not so great, doesn't convey any specific message but it keeps you glued and is refreshing as many times you watch it. In fact, many of the college going Indian youth (and even from other countries) would be able to relate themselves with the three main movie protagonists.

All the actors have given very good performance. Aamir Khan simply reaffirmed his talent. He plays a prankster, who has knack of turning every thing into funny and the one who doesn't believe in the institution of love, but ultimately falls for it. For Saif Ali Khan this movie may even be called his re-birth. He plays a character who falls for every other girl, but is unable to express it when he really starts loving the one. Akhshay Khanna playing a bit mature and serious character may have seemed slightly weaker than the other two, but he played his character very well. This guy has a very different meaning for love and falls for an older woman. Preity Zinta looks amazing (as always) with an all different hair style. Sonali Kulkarni didn't seem so much at ease with the commercial cinema, but then too gave pretty good performance.

Music by Shankar-Eshaan-Loy combination was also refreshing and different from all that mushy mushy Hindi film music. The great thing about songs that they didn't break the movie rhythm and seemed more to be part of the movie's story.

In all, a must watch movie.

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42 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic fun and full of surprises

10/10
Author: bob_bear from Germany
27 November 2005

I stumbled over this film on late night TV and immediately ordered the DVD. It's a corker! Fresh, invigorating, romantic, bizarre even!

They don't make films like this in the West - and more's the pity but hence the freshness. The three lead actors are gorgeous - so it hardly matters that they must be the oldest students in town. The cinematography is beautiful - especially in the Australian sequences. The song and dance routines are as welcome as they are surprising.

As with all Hindi films, it is pure melodrama of course. The ability to suspend one's disbelief is a necessity. But that aside, it has all the attributes of a good old fashioned Hollywood romance. Boy meets girl, boy loses girl... etc., times three.

The core theme of friendship is a delight - as are the subtle homo-erotic overtones of Akash and Sid's relationship. Intended or not, I wouldn't have minded if they'd ended up together - but this is Bollywood remember!

All in all, fantastic fun which I plan to watch again and again. Highly recommended.

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38 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

An Excellent movie with real life situations!!!

9/10
Author: (asifsear) from Canada
25 August 2001

Dil Chahta Hai Starring: Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Preity Zinta, Sonali Kulkarni, Dimple Kapadia and Ayub Khan Director: Farhan Akhtar Music: Shankar-Eshan-Loy Released. Debutant director Farhan Akhtar's (son of Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani) Dil Chahta Hai is the story of three friends and their respective thinking of love. It has a new, trendy and youthful look, completely different from the standards norms of the Bollywood film.

Akash (Aamir Khan), Sameer (Saif Ali Khan) and Siddharth aka Sid (Akshaye Khanna), three close friends, have completed their education and are on the threshold of life. Akash does not believe in love. He is a flirt and his love affairs do not last for more than a month. Sameer believes in love. He is always carrying his heart on his palm and falling in love every time. But he still has not found that special girl. Sid, a painter, is the most sensitive and mature among the three. He knows the true meaning of love. He finds love in everything, everywhere and everytime.

All three are enjoying life. Then comes the twist when Sid falls in love with older woman Tara Jaiswal (Dimple Kapadia), an interior designer, who is a divorcee. Akash is not able to understand the depth of Sid's love and hurts his sentiments for which Sid slaps Akash, thus creating a rfit between the two friends. Sameer tries to bridge the gap but is unsuccessful.

Sid leaves for a painting workshop at Kaushali. Akash leaves for Australia for his dad's business. On the flight, he meets Shalini (Preity Zinta), who he had briefly known earlier. Their friendship slowly blossoms into love. Meanwhile Sameer also finds his special girl in Pooja (Sonali Kulkarni), whom he wants to marry. Time has passed. All three friends are again in the same town -- but things are different for them now.

Full marks to director Farhan Akhtar for giving a completely new and fresh look to the film in his debut film. The storyline is different from the run-of-the-mill fares which we are used to seeing for such a long time. Farhan is a welcomed entry in the list of talented and young directors. He has also dared to be different. He has taken care of the minutest details in the film. Technically, the film is no way behind some of the best Hollywood movies.

Now the performances -- all the three leads are fabulous. They all fit their roles to a T. Aamir Khan as expected is the best. He is too good in the comic scenes and is excellent in the emotional scenes also -- especially in the scene when he breaks down on the phone while talking to his father. He definitely is the best among the current lot who does his work with precision and utmost dedication. Saif Ali Khan is a wonderful surprise in this film. This is his career-best role and one cannot imagine anyone else playing Sameer's role. His sense of timing and facial expressions are very natural and makes Sameer a very adorable character in the film.The least significant role was of Sameer but Saif made it very important. Now comes the final winner -- Akshaye Khanna. An actor-par excellence and very natural in front of the camera, Akshaye has played the role of Sid to perfection. His emotions and expressive face say a lot. He has given a spell-binding performance. Preity looks great in her new look and has acted well. Sonali Kulkarni is wasted and Dimple Kapadia still looks gorgeous and plays her role well.

Music and the picturisation of the songs flow with the mood of the film. The locales of Sydney and Goa have been brilliantly shot. The first half of the film has some of the light good moments. The second half is filled with emotion though the Aamir-Preity affair has been stretched a lot thus making the film a bit lengthy. But one thing is sure -- Bollywood has got one more talented director in Farhan Akhtar.

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39 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

Well worth the time it takes to watch

Author: Peter Brooks (pgqbrooks@gmail.com) from Los Angeles, California
23 October 2004

Indian movies tend to have a reputation for (a) being musicals and (b) having overmodulated, distorted sound tracks, as if everyone was singing and playing through a guitar fuzzbox. Fuzz is fine in its place (heavy metal rock music, for example) but a surfeit of it can readily wear down the listener.

Dil Chahta Hai is a welcome breath of fresh air in the genre. It does have musical numbers but they're very pleasant on the ear, as is the sound track in general - modern musical styles, in some cases mixed with more traditional musical instruments (even a didgeridoo, the presence of which is explained below).

I have an absolute hatred of musicals so for me to find this movie likable it really has to be something special. The awards it has already won demonstrate that it IS something special.

The storyline is a little convoluted (which may explain why it takes 3 hours to run its course - around twice as long as its western counterparts, although Indian audiences may prefer the much longer format) but the acting is excellent throughout and the viewer is kept interested as the multiple interwoven plots twist and turn.

This movie demands concentration though, to get the whole picture. There is a good deal of spoken English mixed with Hindi, so the subtitles are a must for those who don't understand Hindi, but the English speech is not often mirrored in the subtitles, so one must both listen carefully and watch carefully in order not to miss a beat.

The subtitles themselves are not perfect, using unusual punctuation at times to emphasize a point (a word bracketed by a plus or minus symbol on one side and a two thirds fraction on the other takes a little time to absorb, for example).

But these are only minor niggles. This movie is richly textured and provides a visual a feast throughout, especially if, like me, you are not familiar with the sights and sounds of places like Bombay and Goa. A good part of the movie is also set in Sydney, Australia, providing plenty of material to keep the interest going (and hence the presence of the aboriginal instrument noted earlier).

This is very much a westernised production, with characters and behaviours that are possibly harder for traditional Indian audiences to identify with; I had no difficulty though with identifying with the three main male characters - three guys who are firm friends and have been for some years, and who may separate but somehow always manage to come back together when circumstances demand it. This kind of theme is pretty universal - the British TV series "Last of the Summer Wine" operates along pretty much the same lines, albeit fifty years on.

One of the themes is the conflict between traditionalist parents and modernist offspring (in particular the arranged marriage) and the author leaves the audience to make up their own mind about which is "right", but maybe with a slight nudge in the direction of the traditionalists.

The only gripe I have is with the choice of the anglicised title "Do Your Thing" for the US market. I think that totally misses the point of the movie. From the subtitles, Dil Chahta Hai translates as "The heart wants...", which would be more accurately and pertinently translated as "What The Heart Wants...".

In other words, the storyline is more about following your heart in love than it is about leading a self-indulgent life (which, obviously, these characters do most of the time - courtesy of being very well off and generally able to please themselves what they do; not quite the little rich kids, but verging on it).

This movie is that rare beast, a guy flick that is also a chick flick. Guys will enjoy watching it for the macho moments, girls will enjoy it for the soulful scenes (and the fact that the women generally behave with more maturity than the guys) and the weepy bits.

All in all a very enjoyable, watchable movie. If this is a new direction for the so-called Bollywood cinema, then it is very welcome and I would like to see more of the same.

As a professional writer I'd even be interested in contributing to that new direction...

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28 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Beginning of a new generation of Bollywood films

10/10
Author: Abhishek (moviebuff81) from Sydney Australia
29 August 2001

Before getting into the details, I must admit that this is certainly one of the best and most entertaining films I have ever seen!

RATING: ****1/2 out of *****

Plot ---- The story is about three very good friends and their relationships with each other. Aamir Khan plays a sociable and mischievous Akash, Saif Ali Khan plays a confused, often 'love-struck' Sameer and Akshaye Khanna plays a mature, confident Siddharth or Sid. Preity Zinta plays Shalini - Akash's love interest, though throughout the film Akash claims that he does not believe in love. Sonali Kulkarni plays Pooja with whom Sameer finally (really) falls in love and Dimple Kapadia is Tara Jaiswal, a divorced middle-aged alcholic. Thats all one needs to know about the film because right from the first reel the viewer is absorbed into the story and learns about each character.

Review ------ Full credit must go to the director Farhan Akhtar who has broken many of the Bollywood production norms in order to make a technically perfect and enjoyable film. It would be unfair to call Aamir Khan the life of the DCH though his popularity in India and abroad would have drawn a substantial part of the film's audience. He gives a brilliant performance as usual as Akash. His scenes with Akshaye Khanna and some scenes shot in Australia (Opera, phone call to Sid, etc) are mind-blowing! SAif Ali Khan is the surprise packet of Dil Chahta Hai and there is a lot of untapped talent in him especially where comedy roles are concerned. But I felt that the best performance came from Akshaye Khanna who plays the character of Sid to perfection. His mannerisms, thinking, behaviour is very authentic and makes us all identify with his character closely. Preity Zinta looks gorgeous and is her usual chirpy self. Sonali Kulkarni could have certainly looked better without all that makeup. Dimple Kapadia shows how a good role can bring out an elegant performance from a seasoned actress.

The best aspect of Dil Chahta Hai other than the actors' performances was the music. This is hopefully the start of more non-run of the mill compositions in Bollywood. Ofcourse, I hope for a lot more compositions like these from the music directors Shankar-Eshaan-Loy. The title song was the best and gels really well with this trndy film. Other good songs are 'Jaane Kyon', 'Kaise HAi yeh Rut' and 'Tanhayee'. 'Woh ladki hai kahan' - a parody of old Hindi songs is simply hillarious. The lyrics provided by the director's father, veteran Javed Akhtar are simply amazing and complement the story of the film to perfection!

Overall, a very entertaining feature and I hope to see more films like these in the near future. Three cheers to Farhan Akhtar and his team!!!

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25 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

A lovely episode of three lives

7/10
Author: shu-fen from Hong Kong, China
5 December 2003

Just pitifully, we have lots and lots Hindi speaking people in town and they have been here for a very long time, still the local Chinese don't really care to know their culture, let alone watch good Indian movies. Perhaps there are more viewers in Tibet, Yunnan of China.

There are tons of "come of age" movies and this is a wonderful one, it's like a fresh air enters into a stuffy room when I was watching it. Unlike the Hollywood or Euro films, the difficulties that the three young men encounter are not presented in a realistic and sometimes brutal way but highly musical and artistic way. Besides the stunning length, this is another feature of Indian movies.

The boys are from middle class families, obviously, or even higher society. They have time and money to go to Goa to spend their holiday, go to chic places to spend their past time, have nothing to worry. Just like any well-to-do Asian families, (I mean those in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan....) the old man of the family would send their children to their own overseas company to receive "wilderness training" so that later they can take over the family business. Akash just cannot escape this and stays in Sydney.

Once again, the songs, the dances, the plot and the script are all marvellously put together. Who is able to resist pretty and young faces, right? Who wants to see the real McCoy of the true India? Movie is always a dream. Let's continue it

Bollywood is ushering itself into the world stage but it is still not a strong counterpart to Hollywood. There are many good Indian people people behind the scene of many big movies, directors, editors, script writers.... Yet, I am just wondering it would take how many years for the mainstream (like Hollywood) center to "digest" Indians after taking in Chinese like Jacky Chan, Jet Li, Chow Yun-fat, Tony Leung. Through Hollywood, the Indians actors would be more widely known because it is a place to rocket people's name over one night.

The 1994 Miss World Aishwarya Rai caused a frenzy in Cannes in 2002. I hope some male "Khan" would do so somewhere in Oscar or Cannes again because they do deserve it.

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