Synopsis by Gönül Dönmez-Colin
Mani Rathnam, who has proven with films like Bombay (1995) and Iruvar (1998) that it was possible in India to make quality films that could also be box-office hits, chose the 50th anniversary celebrations of Indian Independence as the backdrop for this film about the clash between love and ideology. Amar Kant Varma is the son of a deceased army officer and he lives with his family in Delhi. As a program executive for All India Radio, he travels all over the country to interview common people to mark the anniversary. On one of these trips, he meets a mysterious girl named Meghna at a train station, but loses sight of her before he can get to know her. He sees her again in another town and reminds her of their meeting. Meghna doesn't seem to recognize him. Although she doesn't really want him, he follows her all the way to Ladakh. After two days together, she leaves him to join a group of insurgents on a mission. Amar is heart-broken and marries a girl of his mother's choice. In the meantime, Meghna is chosen to be the main person on a suicide mission targeting the Republic Day Parade. She finds Amar and their destinies entwine. Director Ratnam uses the two characters as symbols for two distinct parts of India at odds with each other -- the big states on the one hand, and the border areas with minority populations on the other. The latter are angry at the central government for having neglected them, which have resulted in a recession. Dil Se, a good example of the energy and imagination of the "Bollywood" movies (referring to Bombay, the "Hollywood of India") from one of the masters of the genre was screened as part of the International Forum of Young Cinema at the 49th International Berlin Film Festival, 1999.
executive, network, parade, radio, station