Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge turns 25 today. The timeless classic love story has raised the standard a bit too high for millennial age romance. The film has taught an entire country to fall in love. Needless to say, the shelf life of Aditya Chopra's Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge transcends memory.
On the 25th anniversary of the all-time blockbuster, we take you through some fascinating facts shared by Kajol and SRK as they reminisce what makes DDLJ the most loved romantic film in the history of Indian cinema.
SRK declined DDLJ
No one romances like Shah Rukh Khan. And the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge has put him on the map as the 'king of romance'. Did you know that he originally turned the film down because he was not keen on doing a film in the romance genre?
Film journalist Anupama Chopra in her book, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge: A Modern Classic, revealed how Shah Rukh came to be a part of the film.
Shah Rukh thought that romances were 'pansy', effete. He wasn't interested in singing songs in pretty locations and then eloping with the girl, as was the Bollywood norm. Besides, the other two Khan heroes – Aamir and Salman – were playing the lover boy roles with great success, and Shah Rukh was happy to be regarded as a hatke (different) actor. Aditya met Shah Rukh several times over three weeks to convince him to star in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. At one point, the filmmaker gave up hope and began considering other actors, including Saif Ali Khan, for the role of Raj. Shah Rukh was shooting for Karan Arjun when he made up his mind to do Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and said yes to Aditya.
Let's take a look at how SRK's perception changed towards romantic film after the success of SDDLJ and why he felt he is not made for mushy films.
Sit back and enjoy the trivia.
SRK felt he wasn't cut out to play a romantic hero
Raj was unlike anything I had done. Before DDLJ, there was Darr, Baazigar, Anjaam—films in which I had portrayed negative characters. Also, I always felt that I wasn't cut out to play any romantic type of character. So, when I was presented with the opportunity by Adi and Yash Ji of essaying the role, I was excited to work with him but had no idea how to go about it and also if I would be able to do it well. Actually, I always felt Adi's love for me made him cast me. I found the character endearing and sweet in the right way - the over the topness is my contribution. It was one of those roles that I realized can do with me using a version of my real self so you might see some quirks, habits and mannerisms that were true to my off-screen persona, especially the sense of humour part.
SRK admits that he doesn't like mushy romantic films
I have to admit, for someone who doesn't like mushy, romantic films, the scenes with Kajol and I did make me feel all fuzzy and warm. There, I said it! I don't change the radio channel when a DDLJ song comes on. I can never get sick of them. They bring back memories of a film that shaped my path forward in an unforgettable way.
SRK didn't expect the train sequence to become iconic when they were shooting it.
There could have been no other ending, but I did not think it would be as iconic as it eventually turned out to be.
SRK credits DDLJ for catapulting him to superstardom.
I think DDLJ helped me cement my place and brought me fame in a way that I didn't think it would. We were all living in the moment, trying to make the best film we could. There are so many reasons attributed to its success, but I don't think anyone specific thing can explain the phenomenon it has become.
On not being good looking enough to play a romantic character
I think all the success is to be credited to the pure heart with which Adi, Yashji made the film, and the entire cast and crew—and my non-existent 'good looks. As for perception, I always felt that I could play more unconventional roles because of my looks, but DDLJ has belied that. I still struggle to make that one macho unconventional kick-ass character which suits me, or so I thought, but it has been a struggle not to be considered romantic and sweet for the last 25 years — a struggle, I guess, I am happy to lose.
Shah Rukh didn't know how he would pull off romantic scenes in DDLJ!
I was told by many people that I looked unconventional - very different from what the perception of a leading man was. I did feel, maybe, not being handsome enough — or as they called it then 'chocolaty' would make me unsuitable for romantic roles. Also, I am very shy and awkward with ladies, and I didn't know how I would say all the loving, romantic bits.
SRK changes his social media display picture to iconic Raj from DDLJ
Shah Rukh Khan has shared a special video to celebrate the occasion and wrote, "25 years!!! Filled with gratitude towards you for loving Raj & Simran, with all your heart. This always feels special. #DDLJ25 @yrf." The video is a combination of several iconic scenes and songs from the film, including the iconic train scene in the climax.
Kajol felt that character of Simran is boring.
I thought Simran was a little boring, to be honest, but I recognized her. I realized there is a lot of Simran in almost everybody we know, and there is always that wanting to do the right thing in someone. A lot of people don't do the right thing, but we always want to do that. You want to get that approval, and you want to get that feeling of you are approved of and that you are doing something right in the world. So, yes, Simran was like that. I thought she was just cool, a little old-fashioned but cool.
Kajol lights up her Instagram with BTS videos from the film.
Kajol shared tonnes of videos on her Instagram page, which shows her talking about the film and much more. She shared a video about her experience of working with Shah Rukh. She said, "I think we were all younger, we were boys and girls. We were already friends when we did DDLJ, but it was a bonding point." She said she liked the script and found it to be absolutely perfect. "He (Aditya) narrated it to me, we said yes and made the film," that's how she described the entire journey.
Karan Johar who did a cameo in DDLJ, shared a heartfelt note.
Karan Johar, who also played Shah Rukh's friend in the film, also shared the video on his Instagram account. He wrote, "DDLJ is so so special to me and will always be....it was my training ground...I have indelible memories of our times on set....the film has achieved the status of being a legendary love story, and I am so proud that I was a tiny part of this beautiful film! Thank you, Adi, for all my learning's and all the memories ...#DDLJ25 @yrf."
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DDLJ is so so special to me and will always be....it was my training ground ....I have indelible memories of our times on set....the film has achieved the status of being a legendary love story and I am so proud that I was a tiny part of this beautiful film! Thank you Adi for all my learning’s and all the memories ... #DDLJ25 @yrf
Anupam Kher shared stills from the film and thanked the creators.
"Proud to be part of this iconic film which completes 25 years today. Yes, your love has been a constant!! A big thank you!! JAI HO!!" wrote the actor.
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“हम तो सब हिंदुस्तान में फ़ेल हुए, तूने लंदन में फ़ेल हो कर दिखा दिया....“मोहब्बत का नाम आज भी मोहब्बत है, ये ना कभी बदली है और न कभी बदलेगी...” दिलवाले दुल्हनिया ले जाएंगे !!! Proud to be part of this iconic film which completes 25 years today. Yes, your love has been a constant!! A big thank you!! JAI HO!! ?? DharamvirMalhotra #Pops #25YearsOfDDLJ #DDLJ25 @yrf
Mandira Bedi took the 25 years challenge and shared her then and now picture.
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#25yearchallenge !!! ??❣️ It’s wonderful to have been a part of a film that has made cinema history on many counts. ???I have changed a lot, life has changed a lot. But Red is still the color of LOVE ! #25yearsofddlj I want to see some Then & Nows from all of you.. @karanjohar @kajol @anaitashroffadajania @iamsrk @yrf
Aditya Chopra helmed DDLJ.
Written and directed by debutant Aditya Chopra, DDLJ shattered all box office records and is one of the biggest all-time blockbusters in the history of Hindi cinema. It also went on to become the longest-running Hindi film of all time! DDLJ is also the winner of a record-breaking (at the time) 10 Filmfare Awards and the film literally changed the face of Bollywood globally.
For the unversed, the film was made at a budget of 4 crores and the blockbuster, in 1995, collected 89 crores in India, 13.50 crore in overseas markets. Thus, total collections stood at 102.50 crores worldwide in 1995! In today's inflation-adjusted value, DDLJ's collection stands at a staggering 455 crore in India and 69 crores in overseas territories, taking the total worldwide collections to a phenomenal 524 crore!
Let's take a look at the trailer of DDLJ.