Movie - DIL CHAHTA HAI (Hindi)
Director - Farhan Akhtar
Producer - Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar
Cast - Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Preity Zinta, Sonali Kulkarni, Ayub Khan Samantha Tremayne, Suhasini Mulay, Rajat Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia.
Music & Background Score- Shankar/Ehsaan/Loy
Cinematography - Ravi K Chandran
Editing - A Sreekar Prasad
Production Design - Suzanne Caplan Merwanji
Art Direction - Yunus Pathan
Casting & First Assistant Director - Zoya Akhtar
Sound Design - Nakul Kamte
Choreography - Farah Khan
Story - Farhan Akhtar, Kassim Jagmagia
Screenplay, Dialogue - Farhan Akhtar
Lyrics - Javed Akhtar
Release Date - 24 July 2001Warning - This is going to be a fairly long post, as I am writing about one of my all time favourite movies and I'm bound to get over-indulgent. So read, only if you are extremely patient. :P
Dil Chahta Hai, in all ways is a movie which revolutionized Hindi, or maybe Indian Cinema. This coming-of-age movie of 3 young guys, made by the son of India's most prolific writer, completely changed the way Hindi movies were made. It was fresh, urban, cool, witty, emotional, energetic and realistic at the same time. Filmmakers began to ape the style with which this movie was made and a whole new genre of movies for the urban young crowd was born in the country. The movie boasts of a cult status now and was a trendsetter of sorts, when it released in 2001. The whole look, the cinematography, the production design, sound design, hair styles, costumes, characters, dialogues, etc. were all so real and extremely unique, and was completely new to our kind of cinema, at that point of time. I would count this movie among the most influential movies made in Indian Cinema just by considering the amount of freshness it brought in all the departments of filmmaking.
Dil Chahta Hai, is the story of three individuals - Akash, Sameer and Sid. Quoting from the movie's synopsis, even though each and every one of us know the story already - '
The choreography by Farah Khan was another highlight of the movie. The funky dance in 'Koi Kahe' where the 3 guys are just having loads of fun, the wonderfully simplistic picturisation of 'Jaane Kyun', the laid-back, fun atmosphere in 'Dil Chahta Hai' and the ethereal world in 'Kaisi Hai Yeh Rut' are all done brilliantly. But the best of the lot is of course, 'Woh Ladki Hai Kahaan' where Farah Khan started her habit of paying tribute to Bollywood, for the first time. She spoofs the 60s, 70s and 80s of Hindi Cinema in a completely unique and funny way through the immensely peppy song, which went on to become a chartbuster. The famous flying step of that song, is still very famous. The song fetched Farah Khan almost all the awards for Best Choreography that year. The picturisation of 'Tanhayee' also deserves special mention. The frames where Aamir stands still and the rest of the crowd moves rapidly, was a completely new thing for the Indian screen. People are still curious about how those particular shots were taken.
The cinematography, again, was completely fresh. (I'm getting tired using the term 'fresh' in this post umpteen number of times. Each and every department of this movie was so fresh, that you cant help but use the word again and again.) Cinematography was done by Ravi K Chandran who is now one of the most prolific cinematographers in the country. Back then, Dil Chahta Hai was his major break in Hindi cinema. (He had already won a Filmfare award for his work in Virasat and done impressive work in the Tamil film Kandukondain Kandukondain). He has given us a frame which would be remembered for a long long time in this movie, the one which was shot on the old fort in Goa. It is such a spectacular frame and its the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Dil Chahta Hai. He has given a complete cool look for the movie by going in for more blues and greens. The lighting patterns and the angles were all totally in sync with the whole look and the design of the movie.
Editing by veteran Sreekar Prasad also contributed a lot to the film. The movie went on smoothly and felt as if we are right there in between the characters. There was no lag anywhere, even though the movie is around 3 hours long. The jump cuts in the title song was a completely innovative touch. Another key aspect in the success of the movie is its production design and art direction by Suzanne Caplan Merwanji and Yunus Pathan respectively. The spaces where each character lived- be it Akash's room with a big sketch of himself on the wall, Sameer's dark blue room or Sid's art room, each of these things added more value to the film.
The look of the characters was also an important factor in the success of the movie. The make up was done by one person for all the members of the cast, unlike other movies where each star has his/her own make up person, and that reflected on the way they looked. The actors looked very stylized, urban and trendy. Aamir's spiked hair and goatee became a nation-wide rage. Preity's curly hair was the most 'in' and trendy hairstyle then. The costumes and hair styling too were done by the same individuals for all the stars.
This was one of the very first movies in India to be done in sync sound, that is live sound recording, instead of dubbing the dialogues. And that, has helped in giving the scenes a much more real and spontaneous impact rather than actors recreating the same mood later on when they come for dubbing. And the sound designer Nakul Kamte has done a tremendous job in capturing the little nuances in dialogue delivery by the actors while recording it on the spot.