Dil Se

*spoiler alert*

Well, it took me 3 days to view this movie (darn all those interruptions), but as I watch the last scene, despite obvious editing flaws, I am left speechless.

SRK's acting in this film was superb, although I have a hard time with the overacting that follows him from movie to movie when he is portraying fear or crying (though one can overlook all of it just to catch a glimpse of what we were given during Jiya Jale's water dance!); at once we see a mix of his endearing boyish vulnerability, tenderness, and wild explosive impulsiveness that characterize the intelligence of this great actor. The transformation that his character went through was amazing to watch- from carefree arrogant pup, to an obsessed lover, to patriot, to a desperate man, and finally to a dead man walking.

Manisha Koirala's acting (as Meghna) was flawless. This is the first I've seen of Manisha and pleasantly surprised to see a heroine composed of such depth and emotion. One could sense the internal struggle she faced between the longing in her to connect with Amar (one which we are not sure about at first, but is clearly evident with the guilt she portrays after unwittingly involving Amar to the degree his life is in danger), while the next minute she didn't bat an eyelid when he begins to defend the Indian Army after hearing her background story. At first I thought her breakdown scenes seemed extremely forced, but the sequence where she tries to cry but the tears won't come out is mind-blowing (especially after discovering what had happened to her as a child. Even though Meghna was portrayed as someone who was damaged emotionally with no recovery, the last scene when Amar asked her to say 'I love you', she just looked deeply into him and with the least possible motion, nodded lovingly – her eyes shinning with love for such a brief moment... Simply amazing)...

I was pleasantely surprised to see such a young Priety Zinta, and found her character typical of the brassy but fun loving heriones I've become used to, but I have to admit I didn't really see a need to include the marriage proposal storyline amongst everything else and felt it served as simple filler.

The film is visually stunning - the train top song Chaiyya Chaiyya, the Ladakh locales including a snow covered lake and ruins among the dunes, the masterful use of light in the most intense emotional moments, the mundane streets of Delhi - the moments of visual beauty are too many to list. A R Rahman's music is astoundingly good. There is no mediocre number - Sonu's gritty Satrangi re, Udit's haunting Ae Ajnabi, AR Rahman's soulful Dil Se re, Lata's sensual Jiya Jale and my favorite: Sukhwinder's stunning Chaiyya Chaiyya, - every song is situationally perfect masterfully sung and worth going on the A-list on your iPod. The choreography, by Farah Khan (my favorite choreographer to date), was oustanding although I didn't fully understand the red fabric part.

Dil SE is absolutely no film which one can easily forget. As far as I'm concerned the question that still employs me is whether there could have been another end for the two characters or whether the end shown in this film remains the only possible ending to their story. I cannot deny that the ending was shocking in the way it presented itself. While on one hand it allowed for some closure to be achieved, I thought it was very extreme, but I guess that's how for some, that love does mean sacrifice of the highest order, that our hero gets the girl and saves the day, in a truly unconventional way.

5 Response to "Dil Se"

  1. Jules says:
    April 7, 2009 at 1:51 PM

    I still can't believe how this all panned out!! And I'm still recovering from the last scene where she refused to utter "I love you" and instead, they blow up!! BRUTAL!! Decent movie, for sure!

  2. shell says:
    April 7, 2009 at 6:55 PM

    horrific shock! And you did make a good point in the post that got deleted: tragic that they had to sacrifice themselves, which saved those people for just that one day, but left the rest of Megnah's posse still on the lose and who knows what they could still do.

  3. Anonymous Says:
    July 26, 2009 at 8:13 PM

    This is one of director Mani Ratnam's good movies. other enjoyable Manisha movies include 1942 Love Story with Anil Kapoor and Bombay (again a mani ratnam movie on a serious theme but with good story, direction, music and performances).

    Mani Ratnam has made a number of very good tamil films like Kannathil Mutham (A peck on the cheek), Mouna Ragam, Irruvar, Agnisnakshatram, Nayakan - to name a few

  4. Anonymous Says:
    July 26, 2009 at 8:15 PM

    sorry forgot to include one of his most famous movies "Roja" known for its story, direction, fantastic music by AR Rahman. This movie has been dubbed in hindi. However the original tamil is much better.

  5. shell says:
    July 27, 2009 at 1:46 PM

    Hi Anon,
    I have to admit I've yet to see a Tamil, Telugu, Kannada film, etc., and when I first started watching Hindi film I wasn't even aware that India had more to offer. I haven't been to my movie store in a long time, so I will have to look for some.

    I have heard good things about 1942 Love Story and Bombay. I'll definitely need to check out Roja. Thanks!