So, everyone must have listened/watched the song Chaiyan Chaiyan, a song visualized on the running train, if not, well you are not a true Bollywood Fan.
The film 'Dil Se' is based on 7 shades of love from the Arabic Literature, namely, Attraction (Hub), Infatuation (Uns), Love (Ishq), Reverence (Aquidat), Worship (Ibaadat), Obsession (Junoon), Death (Maut). The genre of the film is Drama/ Romance. The film was released in the year 1998 and was directed by Mani Ratnam.
It has Shahrukh Khan and Manisha Koirala in the lead roles while Preity Zinta plays a supporting role in the film.
So, apart from fantastic story and melodious songs, the film has a social context attached to it. It works to bring the thought process in the minds of the audience to bring the social change in the country and be concerned about the plight of north-eastern states that they go through.
Also, the film has blended the culture of various places as it has been shot in different locations of India which has their own culture, for e.g.; Ladakh, New Delhi, Kerala, Bhutan and so on.
Historically, the film deals with the thought of north- eastern states who believe that the Indian Government had promised many things which aren't fulfilled and they also think, the only focus that government of India has on, is the capital city of India, i.e. New Delhi. It deals with criticizing the Indian Government and the military rule who persecute/rape the women, burn their houses and kill them too, So, the only concern of those victims is that they want their state to be separated under no rule of Indian Government. For that matter, they do not fear to suicide killings because they think:
ज़रूरी नहीं तुम अच्छे समाज में जन्म लो,
ज़रूरी ये है के दूसरों को एक बेहतर समाज देके विदा लो|
The film has Shahrukh Khan as Amar Kant Verma as the protagonist, who is a passionate lover. His character goes through all the 7 shades of love in the entire movie and is transformed from a funny and dedicated person to passionate to a desperate lover and finally reaches to death. Also, he works in All India Radio. He interviews terrorists as a part of his job. He takes up a challenge to complete his task and he is dedicated towards his profession.
The film also has a female character, Meghna/ Moina, played by Manisha Koirala as the antagonist. The character of Manisha has been portrayed as a beautiful and innocent woman. Manisha Koirala, being one of the talented dramatic actress of film industry of India, has done a good justice to the role as an antagonist. In the film, she wears simple clothes with solid colors.
She is a kind of a character who has to focus on her mission of suicide attack but fails to express her love/desire towards Amar, the protagonist of the film.
Other actors played their best roles including Preity Zinta, Piyush Mishra, Raghubir Yadav, Aditya Srivastava and so on.
The dialogues of the film are written by Tigmanshu Dhulia ( who also has a small appearance at the counter in a scene). He wrote memorable dialogues keeping in mind, the love story and the terrorism factor and its perspective to the story line. For e.g.
सिगरेट मत फेको, हिंदुस्तान किसी भी किस्म की बर्बादी को बर्दाश्त नहीं कर सकता|
कुछ लोग रेत पर लिखे नामों की तरह होते हैं, हवा का एक झोंका जिन्हें उड़ा देता है|
Talking about lyrics of the film, its written by legendary Gulzar Sahab. In every song of the film, his words works like a magic to the audience. Songs in this film are lovely compositions, like, E- Ajnabi, which has been used mostly in the background. It sets the mood while watching the film of such genre. The song, Satrangi Re has been able to depict the rawness and passion in its characters.
The background tunes are kept in such a way that it matches with the situation in the story line, Sukhwinder's (the singer) voice in the background works perfectly in various scenes in the film.
The costumes which are used in the entire film are casual but vary according to the weather conditions and the song sequences. For e.g. In Ladakh, the costumes are of winter season while in New Delhi, they are of summer season.
The film has been shot in various beautiful locations like in Ladakh, New Delhi, Kerala, Bhutan and so on.
The color 'BLUE', is the recurring element that I have observed in the entire film, be it a night scene or the paint in the room or AIR's office. Look below:
If we talk about lighting, then both the kinds of lighting have been used in the entire film, high key and low key; wherever necessary. It gives more dramatic effect to the film. The scene of opening and closing of the door (look above) has been well composed and shot with the blue tint of low key lighting with the blend of high key lighting in it.
Editing in this film is much appreciable. For e.g.; When Meghna is narrating the story to Amar in the end, the blend of her face and the visuals behind it, it adds the variety to the film. The narration is well- maintained where Amar is injured and in the other scene, his marriage preparations has been depicted.
Artistic use of camera work has been done in the film. The shots used in the entire film are mind blowing. Different kinds of shots have been used from wide angle to close up shots. Close up shots are used for expressions of the subject. The cinematography by Santosh Sivan is well- applauded. The shots are taken in Ladakh, depict the beauty and peace with color contrast in it. The visualization of the song Chaiyan Chaiyan on train has been shot fantastically which was something new and creative level of thinking. The movements of the camera has been wonderfully handled at various scenes, especially when Amar catches Meghna and brings her to a fort in the end, the conversation between both of them has been shot through a track so as to move the camera round. Overall, Santosh Sivan has worked great and performed at his best shot.
Talking about symbolism aspect of the film, Green Patta on the terrorist group's forehead symbolizes the terrorism to the country but a sign of patriotism in their perspective.
The title of this film 'Dil Se...' is so apt that it actually do justice to the theme or story line of the film. The male lead has been depicted as a character who do/ think from his heart, whatever he do, be it love or hatred.
Dil Se... is a thought provoking film in the history of Indian Cinema. However, the film couldn't do well at the box office during those times but it is still considered as one of the best film to its audience. The film becomes poetic as this film was the first Bollywood film to depict the 7 shades of love.
Please, Please watch it!