Dil Se.. Movie Review

Welcome to Shruti's Movie Review of...

'Dil Se..' has hit the TOP TEN BRITISH FILMS list, the first ever Indian film to do so! It earned over a quarter of a million pounds in it's First Week!!!

Producer: Mani Ratnam, Ram Gopal Verma, Shekhar Kapoor
Director: Mani Ratnam
Starring: Manisha Koirala, Preity Zinta, Shahrukh Khan
Music Director: A. R. Rehman
Lyricist: Gulzar
Rating: 7.5 out of 10

The Movie:

HUB - Their eyes meet, it's like a touch, a spark... Attraction
UNS - The touch of the eyes was as if, it was Infatuation
ISHQ - The flame of her body is felt, his breath starts igniting... Love
AQIDAT - She touches him like a whisper, as if silence is mixed in her eyes... Reverence. He prays, knelt down on the floor, a little consciously and a little unconsciously.
IBADAAT - He is entangled on her path, entangled in her arms... Love turns to Worship.
JUNOON - His living is an Obsession, his dying is an obsession... Apart from this there is no peace.
MAUT - Let him rest in the lap of Death. Let him drown his body in her soul.

Dil Se.. a journey through these seven shades....

Amar (Shahrukh Khan) is on a terrorist interview assignment for All-India Radio somewhere in a northern territory, where he keeps bumping into Meghna (Manisha Koirala), which she says is not even her real name. Despite repeated attempts to get close to Meghna, all Amar really finds himself in is trouble, and after being ditched by Meghna, Amar quickly returns to his family in Delhi, to be engaged to the frank and outspoken Preity (Preity Zinta). The audience then learns that Meghna is a terrorist.
Manisha's character waxes and wanes between acting human and acting for her terrorist cause, but with no real pattern or logic to her actions. One minute she will feel guilty about using Shahrukh in order that she may be incognito in Delhi, while the next minute she doesn't bat an eyelid when he's arrested or in danger. Her breakdown scenes seem extremely forced into the script, and the only reason why these scenes prove even somewhat effective is because Manisha is and remains a phenomenal actress. The sequence where she tries to cry but the tears won't come out is mind-blowing, and no other actress could have portrayed this scene as well. Her action at the very end (one that supposedly proves her love for him) seems to come out of the blue. One moment Meghna is telling her group leader how confident she feels about their terrorist plan, and the next moment she gives up the whole terrorist thing by making her final "act of love" to be with Amar.
Shahrukh's character talks forever about how much he loves Manisha, but his "love" really has no reason to be anything more than infatuation and intrigue. Not once do you have reason to suspect otherwise. Again, Shahrukh does the best one can do with his role, but the redundancy and ignorant nature of the part work against him. The chase sequence towards the end shows a new, diversely intense side to Mr. Khan's acting.
Preity Zinta, too, acts really well for a new-comer, and gives an excellent performance. One may say that she even resembles the late actress, Divya Bharti. She is one of those new-comers who not only has the looks, but talent too.
It seems to be that the only reason why this film should be a hit is due to the formidable acting of Shahrukh Khan and Manisha Koirala. One very sadly has to face disappointment, as this is not what can be expected from a director like Mani Ratnam, who has given hit films like Bombay.

The Music:

The music of Dil Se.. is given by A. R. Rahman, who is known as one of today's best music directors of India. One may rate "Chal Chhaiyya Chhaiyya" as the best song in this movie, making it the album's piece de resistance. The techno-heavy percussive beats and amazing ethnic singing by Sukhwinder Singh (last noticeably heard in Saudagar's wonderful "Deewane Tere Naam Ke") and Sapna Awasthi, is very dance worthy.
Like Rahman's previous musical landmarks, the songs of Dil Se.. flow out of the soundtrack in epic proportions. In parts, typically Rahmanesque and in parts, typically (for Rahman) innovative. Gulzar supports with simple, none too complex lyrics.
Lata Mangeshkar sings for the first time for Rahman in "Jiya Jale, Jaan Chale" and does an impressive job of it, backed by M.G. Sreekumar and a bevy of chorus singers singing in Malayalam. Lata Mangeshkar evocatively expresses her angst and restlessness. (Rahman also does us a service by keeping Lata out of the higher scale of notes which her aging voice has been having difficulty with of late.)
The film's title song "Dil Se Re" is rendered by A.R. Rahman himself, with harmonic support from Anuradha (not Paudwal) and Anupama. Rahman interestingly sounds like Kumar Sanu in parts of the song which informs of all the internal turmoil a human visits when something/someone touches the heart.
"E Ajnabi" and "Satrangi Re" are songs which may grow on you slowly. As intentionally desired by the lyrics of the song, the former is beginning to endear itself to me. Udit Narayan sweetly asks a female stranger (Mahalakshmi) to give him a chance. Slowly and steadily she will probably agree, just as you will also slowly begin to enjoy the beauty of the song.
On the other hand, "Satrangi Re" appears to be too similar to the tunes of the mediocre Jeans for me to enjoy. Sonu Nigam and a haunting Kavita Krishnamurthy try hard to appeal but it is hard to get into the mood of this song. Hopefully it will be more appealling in the context of the movie.
On the whole, Dil Se.. the album is not an experience to be missed. Let us take the opportunity to officially welcome Mani Ratnam (and the impressive board of the India Talkies production house) to Bollywood film-making. As we eagerly anticipate the release of this movie, enjoy the album. The experience can be likened to the invitation of the film's best song; "Come bask in the shadow of love".

Chal Chhaiyya Chhaiyya Sapna Awasthi, Sukhwinder Singh
Dil Se Re A. R. Rahman, Anupama, Anuradha
Eh Ajnabi Mahalakshmi, Udit Narayan
Jiye Jale, Jaan Chale Lata Mangeshkar, M. G. Sreekumar
Satrangi Re Kavitha Krishnamoorthy, Sonu Nigam
Thaiyya Thaiyya ?

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