Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dil Chahta Hai, directed by Farhan Akhtar

Source: Wikipedia
Dil Chahta Hai
India (Hindi), 2001
183 minutes, drama/ romantic comedy
Director: Farhan Akhtar

Dil Chahta Hai (2001) on IMDb

Three friends graduate college, go on a trip together, find girlfriends, have fights, but come back together at the end. Friendship is awesome!

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Dil Chahta Hai
Dil Chahta Hai is one of my favorite movies. It was my first introduction to Bollywood, courtesy my husband Tintin. Disclaimer: I am an Amir Khan fan (Bollywood fans will understand the significance of this)! This movie is half a romantic comedy, half a story about friendship.

The unconventional pairing

Siddharth's love story pairs him with an unconventional partner - an alcoholic, divorced artist who is twice his age. He falls in love naturally, after talking to her and engaging with her on an intellectual and emotional level. He never asks her to reciprocate. He just wants to make her happy, and ends up supporting her during a very difficult part of her life. And for this, Akash, one of his best friends abandons him! But eventually friendship takes precedence, and his friend returns when Sid is in need.

Anxiety and assumptions

My favorite part of this movie is the emotional depth that is conveyed by many of the characters. Apart from Sid and Tara's complicated relationship, Shalini's anxiety and desire to please her adoptive parents provides another opportunity to explore the psychological complexity of the characters. She makes assumptions about what is expected of her and forces herself to go through with it despite being terribly unhappy. Akash cannot understand what is wrong, why she does not decide to be with him even when she's in love. Unfortunately, many people (including me) do the same thing - make assumptions about what is expected of them, and then force themselves to carry out those expectations. As Dil Chahta Hai demonstrates, sometimes all that is needed is to talk over the expectations others have. Maybe you have it all wrong, as Shalini did. Maybe you're forcing yourself to do something that will make no one happy and you miserable. In that case it's better to let it go and be happy.

Falling in and out of love

 Oh, and Sameer. Can't forget Sameer. Sameer demonstrates a different attitude toward love, one that is no less realistic and interesting than the other two. His story shows that you can make mistakes, fall in and out of love with the wrong people, and still have it turn out alright at the end. Highly recommended if you have 3 hours in which to explore love and friendship in a beautiful movie. What was your favorite part of the movie? Leave a comment below.

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