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DDLJ: still a money spinner

V. GANGADHAR

`Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayange' completes 500th week at Mumbai's Maratha Mandir.

In late 1995, bank clerk Bipin Shah and his girlfriend Parul sneaked into Mumbai's Maratha Mandir cinema to watch Yash Chopra's `Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayange' (DDLJ).

Three years later, as a married couple, they watched the same film at the same theatre. In 2001, Bipin celebrated his promotion to an executive post by taking his wife and newly born son to `Dilwale... ' How did they celebrate the arrival of a daughter, whom they named Simran after the heroine of the movie, in 2005? Well, with yet another visit to Maratha Mandir.

People change as do their lifestyles, but not the freshness of `Dilwale...,' which at 500th week is still running at the Maratha Mandir as a daily morning show, raking in more money than the latest arrivals being screened at regular hours.

Many in the audience have watched the film 15 to 20 times and know the dialogue and songs by heart.

It has a radiant star pair (Shah Rukh and Kajol) who bring out the best in each other, memorable music, eye-catching locales in Europe and London and a love for the culture of India.

The first half is a pleasure ride appealing to the younger audiences as the lead pair, Raj amd Simran, romance all over Europe.

The second half is more serious, reminding audiences of their responsibilities and tackles issues such as respect for tradition and elders. Shah Rukh easily identifies himself with the character of Raj, with his naughty, devil-may-care attitude. But irresponsible Raj, will not elope with Simran and prefers to wait till the autocratic father has changed his mind.

The transformation is brought about after much melodrama. Ultimately, the father does change his mind and the ending is happy. One watches such films for entertainment.

Come October, the film will complete its 10th year at the Maratha Mandir and set a new record.

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