On October 20, 2020, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (lovingly also called DDLJ) will complete 25 years. Written and directed by debutant Aditya Chopra, the film 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! As DDLJ turns 25, its lead pair Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol spoke exclusively to Marie Claire USA which has paid homage to the film calling the Aditya Chopra directorial ‘Bollywood’s Best Love Story!’.
SRK says, “What worked for Raj and Simran on screen was basically the pure friendship that Kajol and I shared off screen. It was all so organic that there were moments in front of the camera that we didn’t feel like we were acting at all. We didn’t really plan scenes. We just let them flow, and if we didn’t like something, we could just blurt it out to each other without any formality.” Kajol adds, “I loved the script, from beginning to end. There was no part that I heard that I did not feel completely there, and present, and completely part of the film.”
The duo credits Aditya Chopra’s brilliant story that struck a chord in the hearts of Indians worldwide. Shah Rukh Khan says, “It was a set of friends just having fun with the material. Adi had a much clearer vision [of] where he was going with it and what he wanted to say in it. So the voices belong to us, but the words and feelings are all his, to be honest.” Kajol adds, “I think when Adi wrote the film, he meant it to show that families are the way they are everywhere. That’s what the film was about: embracing what the world has ahead of you, but don’t forget your roots.”
SRK dissects the film’s astounding success by saying, “This film came at a time when the audiences were getting more receptive to a story like DDLJ and a pairing like mine and Kajol’s. A lot of external factors worked for the film: the novelty of a modern rom-com, for example, and liberalization.”
DDLJ is the winner of a record-breaking (at the time) 10 Filmfare Awards and the film literally changed the face of Bollywood globally. The film was made at a budget of 4 crore and the blockbuster, in 1995, collected 89 crore in India, 13.50 crore in overseas markets. Thus, total collections stood at 102.50 crore worldwide! In today’s inflation adjusted value, DDLJ’s collection stands at a staggering 455 crore in India and 69 crore in overseas territories, taking the total worldwide collections to a phenomenal 524 crore!