Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)

Genres - Comedy, Musical, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Comedy, Romantic Comedy  |   Run Time - 192 min.  |   Countries - India   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Tom Vick

The phenomenally popular Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (it played in Indian theaters for five years straight) is, in many ways, a perfect introduction to Bollywood. With a perfectly executed classic Hollywood boy-meets-girl plot, charismatic stars and great songs, it overflows with the specific kind of joy that only great Bollywood movies can produce. The film is dominated by Shah Rukh Khan, who careens through it like a hyperactive Cary Grant, charming everyone in his path and generally showing why he's been one of the most popular Bollywood stars of the past decade. Khan can be hard to take seriously in dramatic efforts like Dil Se and Asoka, but he excels at comedy. His interactions with Amrish Puri as Simran's stern, glowering father, are particularly hilarious. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge is also a very picturesque film. In keeping with recent tradition in major Bollywood productions, large chunks of it were shot in the European countryside, against the backdrop of majestic Swiss mountains and quaint villages. Its beauty doesn't end when the action moves to Punjab for the second half, where several scenes take place in a gorgeous field of yellow flowers stretching to the horizon. The many musical numbers, set to irresistibly catchy songs by Jatin Pandit and Lalit Pandit, are inventively staged. An immensely likeable movie, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge performs the rarely-achieved feat of stretching a predictable plot over three hours and making every minute enjoyable.