Time flies. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) is 25 now. Yash Raj Films, which made Shah Rukh Khan a superstar and Raj-Simran household names with this movie will be celebrating its silver jubilee year on October 20.
Ever since it was released in 1995, the peppy romance -- which captures the fascinating journey of its young lovers, played by SRK and Kajol, from the tulip gardens of Keukenhof to the mustard fields of Kapurthala -- has captivated audiences the world over.
The millennial audience has grown up watching the Raj-Simran romance and loved every moment of it over the years. Even American president (Barack Obama) once quoted one of its most famous dialogues (“Senorita, bade bade deshon mein aisi chhoti chhoti baatein…”) in his bid to cement Indo-US ties in his way.
Written and directed by Aditya Chopra, DDLJ took the box office by storm and ended up as 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. The film had been running in a morning show at Maratha Mandir ever since it was released until the lockdown interrupted its record run in March this year.
Apart from setting other records, DDLJ also has the distinction of being the first film in the history of Indian cinema to produce a short film on its making, which started the trend of making Behind The Scenes (BTS) promotions in Indian cinema.
Actor Uday Chopra, Aditya’s younger brother, reveals, “Aditya wanted to do something that no one had ever done before in India with DDLJ. He asked me to be in charge of directing the ‘making’ and since this had never been done before, I had to pretty much invent how to go about it,” he said.
“Having just returned from film school in California, I decided this would be a great opportunity to try my hand at another aspect of film-making. The first thing we needed was lots of footage on set.”
Uday, the youngest son of the legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra, says that apart from being an assistant on the set, he also became the videographer for the footage.
He adds, “I remember I would have a camera in one hand and the clap in the other, with a utility belt to keep all the batteries, charging cables, and spare parts; I was quite a sight on set. The advantage, which I later discovered was that all the artists were very comfortable with me being right in their faces and this made for some really interesting and intimate shots, which helped the footage tremendously. DDLJ was the first film that started a trend which is now popularly called BTS, though back then we just called it ’The Making’.”
DDLJ, the winner of 10 Filmfare Awards, changed the face of Bollywood globally. Made on a budget of Rs 4 crore, it collected Rs 89 crore in India, Rs 13.50 crore in overseas markets. Thus, total collections stood at Rs 2.50 crores worldwide in 1995. Trade experts believe that in today’s times, if adjusted against the current inflation, it stands at a staggering Rs 455 crore in India and Rs 69 crore in overseas territories, taking the total worldwide collections to a phenomenal Rs 524 crore.
Uday says, “For the first time, the behind-the-scenes footage was telecasted on Doordarshan. The channel made a special show out of the exclusive content shared with them. When it was aired, we got tons of wishes which was a huge validation for trying to do something new for audiences.”
He says that DDLJ’s BTS was an eye-opener for the industry to do the same and we are proud that our film contributed towards setting a new benchmark in India when it comes to marketing a film.”