25 Years Of Dil To Pagal Hai: Six reasons why Yash Chopra’s epic blockbuster starring Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Karisma Kapoor is one of Bollywood’s biggest trendsetters

The film boasts of melodious music, stellar performances and excellent choreography

Noorulain SayedUpdated: Sunday, October 30, 2022, 02:10 AM IST
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Pic: www.yashrajfilms.com

On October 30, 1997, Yash Chopra’s 20th directorial venture Dil To Pagal Hai hit screens. Starring Shah Rukh Khan as Rahul, Madhuri Dixit as Pooja and Karisma Kapoor as Nisha, this romantic musical was the biggest blockbuster of that year. As it turns 25 today, The Free Press Journal sheds light on why the film was and still is an evergreen trailblazer.

Biggest triangle casting coup

While Shah Rukh and Madhuri were already superstars by then and had shared screen space previously, it was the casting of Karisma Kapoor in the film that elevated the film’s star cast. Firstly because Karisma hadn’t acted with either of them and secondly because she was the number one heroine of Bollywood at that time fresh out of the mega success of Raja Hindustani. Interestingly, majority of the Bollywood actresses had turned down the role which went on to fetch Lolo her first and only National Award till date.

Akshay Kumar’s extended cameo

The Khiladi was at an all-time low career wise as he had given a slew of flop films just before the release of Dil To Pagal Hai. Hence the fact that his cameo was extended set tongues wagging. However, his casting as Pooja’s friend Ajay, who proposes marriage to her at the airport and returns only to sacrifice his love for her happiness won millions of hearts and changed the trajectory of his career.

A musical ahead of its time

What do you get when Uttam Singh, Anand Bakshi, Lata Mangeshkar, Udit Narayan, Asha Bhosle and Hariharan come together for a music album? The ultimate melody and for Yash Chopra as per reports 12.5 million soundtrack album sales in 1997! And is it possible that we are talking about romantic music and Kumar Sanu doesn’t make an appearance? In 2008, Yash Chopra treated fans of the film to an unreleased song from the film called Chanda Ki Chandni crooned by Sanu and Mangeshkar, which can easily be found on YouTube.

Shiamak Davar’s groundbreaking choreography

Right from Le Gayi, the opening shot of the film, Karisma Kapoor and countless background dancers (including a then teenage Shahid Kapoor) shimmied to choreography that was modern, refreshing, and unlike what the Hindi film industry or audiences had seen before. The man behind it, Shiamak Davar, revolutionised the way songs were choreographed in Bollywood forever. Thanks to his epic dance moves, he won the prestigious President’s National Award. The film’s most memorable moment is the Dance of Envy, an epic dance-off between Madhuri and Karsima!

Raked in the moolah and major awards

When the film released, it not only won the hearts of audiences across the globe but also became one of the most awarded Bollywood films that year. In most major awards, out of 49 nominations, it went on to bag 23 wins including three National Awards. As per reports in 1997, Dil To Pagal Hai was the highest grossing Indian film abroad. Such was the craze for it, that people stood in lines for hours to book its tickets in advance.

Kickstarted Valentine’s Day craze in India

Pooja is a die-hard romantic who believes that Valentine’s Day is special as it wasn’t any ‘aam’ Valentine’s Day, it was one which happened on a ‘Puranmasi ki raat’ and that she would actually see the face of her beloved before the night ended! Thanks to this plus a Valentine’s Day party featured in the film where Nisha finally realises her one-sided love for Rahul amid hundreds of red heart balloons, Indians are celebrating this special day of love till date.

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