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This review is from: Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DVD)
That Indian romance could be so good? Winner of 11 film awards and a classic of Bollywood, I had never heard of this film(translated, The Brave Heart will Take the Bride) and stumbled across it by accident on Netflix, getting it on a whim. What a joyous discovery. While prevented from overlong song sequences and a more than a small dose of sheer goofiness from being another Romeo and Juliet or Pride and Prejudice, this is an intensely romantic, delightful, and well-made concoction, starring in what was to become their most famous role a couple who are apparently famous in Bollywood film, Shahrukh Khan and Kajol, known informally as Srk-Kajol. The two have almost painfully intense chemistry at times, and this, along with Shahrukh's character, the bafflingly annoying and yet intensely charismatic Raj, lights up the film. The first half is taken up by their initial meeting, which leads Simran, Kajol's character, to instantly hate him, and by a series of circumstances that throws them together. What I particularly liked about this film is it's so wildly unpredictable, not merely for the colorful Indian melodrama and singing/dancing scenes the characters were likely to spring into at any moment but also because rather than taking the traditional route of romantic comedies the producers instead trace a delicately nuanced, hilarious, and often painfully realistic path for the passion that springs up between the two, and for the fact that it is not during those initial scenes of being thrown together(so requisite for any romance) that they really fall in love but later on, when they part. An odd mix of wit, comedy, melodrama, and genuine feeling in the first half, I was already in love with it, but the turn to utterly convincing passion in the second, as the lovers struggle with her family and tradition, completely took my breath away. I give only one example - Raj finally comes to find Simran at her family's home, and finds her in a field of golden wheat outside her family's home, where she has been drawn by the haunting music of his banjo, which she thinks is yet another dream. The moment when she sees him and runs to him is one of the single most classic scenes I have ever seen onscreen. And not only women will enjoy this romance - Raj, as a womanizing, shameless, overconfident, ever-witty and tricky(even, and most especially, to Simran) wealthy Indian expatriate, is someone that every man can identify with and in fact envy(as I learned to my cost while watching it). The two main flaws this movie does possess - which keep it from being a true romantic classic - is, as I said before, over-the-top music sequences and its healthy splurge of goofiness. But with the longest-running initial release in Indian history, this movie had to have something good. And indeed it does. It glows.