Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) to give it its well-known acronym marks 1,000 weeks this week at Maratha Mandir. The evergreen romance still has audiences cavorting in the cinema’s corridors years after it first graced the screen with the peppy Shah Rukh Khan and bespectacled Kajol taking centre stage.
So much has happened to cinema since DDLJ first hit our screens. The single screen cinema is almost out now; the few that are there are anachronisms in a multiplex world. Cinema tickets have zoomed through the roof, and going to the theatre is now a day-long experience. The black market tout is out and tickets are booked online, credit cards swiped and different seating experiences are on option for the viewer. Rates for snacks inside movie halls have soared too. Through all this, the DDLJ has played on, moving to a matinee show at Maratha Mandir. The low-priced tickets have continued to pull in people but the bigger picture is the lure of the movie itself.
In a cynical world, we still like to believe in girl-boy fairytale romances where the ultimate victor, is the one who never gives up on love. The music is memorable and the lyrics though not soulful are certainly better than some of the tripe we hear these days. DDLJ is not a perfect film, it is not even the film you cannot afford to miss and yet it is endearing in its own way. The girl and boy next door characters, the easy transition from London to India, where nostalgic NRIs can smell the wheat in the fields at home and the tug and pull of family mores are all themes that most young Indians can identify with.
Till today, so many Indians buy that huge Swiss bell that Kajol had hanging outside her door in the film, when they travel to Switzerland telling the Swiss that they want the DDLJ bell. It is time to celebrate that cheesy but still appealing emotion of the victory of love. In the age of the instant, where here today, forgotten tomorrow is the mantra… Romance is in the air, DDLJ is 1,000 weeks old and still going strong.