Dil Chahta Hai (दिल चाहता है)

“Life is all memory except for the one present moment that goes by so quick you can hardly catch it going” said Tennesse Williams. Dil Chahta Hai (दिल चाहता है) was released 10 years ago in 2001 when me and my friends were (finally!) at the end of our college days and our futures looked bright and happy. Colored by that lens, Dil Chahta Hai, or DCH as we came to call it, became the definitive movie for a lot of us. I watched DCH again recently and it was quite a different experience, though I could clearly see why DCH had felt like our movie in the past.

Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Akshaye Khanna play three rich kids caught in that carerfree twilight zone between college and real life. Aaamir is a prankster who is aloof of love. Saif is innocent and confused about love. Akshaye is the serious type and has fallen in love with an older woman. After a memorable Goa trip, the trio have a spat and Aamir moves away to Australia. Real life catches up with him and he discovers love in Preity Zinta, but is not able to express it. Predictably, his friends return to help him in the act.

Dil Chahta Hai was the debut for director (and now actor) Farhan Akhtar. Though dealing with a standard story, it is told remarkably well with flashbacks. Acting and cinematography are good, but the best memories from this movie are its music. Songs by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, spun around the poignant poetry of Javed Akhtar. Though Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe gets all the airplay, I personally love the depth of the lyrics in Dil Chahta Hai and Tanhayee. I only need to listen to the title track to open the dam of memories of carefree college days. Chamkeele Din indeed! 😐 In the 10 years since DCH, what has not really aged well is the length of the movie. At 3 hours, it now seems tortuously slow and unnecessarily long drawn out. Farhan should probably create a shorter director’s cut edition sometime. In the year of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, a quarter-life-crisis-movie by Farhan’s sister, Dil Chahta Hai still remains a good movie to recollect those times! 😀


Jeux d’enfants (Love Me If You Dare)

Jeux d’enfants (Love Me If You Dare) is a 2003 French movie directed by Yann Samuell. The entire movie revolves around a game of dare that a boy and girl play on each other. Sophie is being harassed by her classmates when Julien offers his toy box to console her. She dares him to do something crazy for her, which he does by setting off the school bus down a hill. This game of daring each other by offering the toy box continues all their life. Their dares wreck the lives of their parents, their partners and finally the love they have for each other. Or does it really?

Guillaume Canet and Marion Cotillard play the main characters with great aplomb, effortlessly pulling in the viewer into their maniacal world. The plot is surreal and nutty, but engaging. Two alternate endings are shown for the movie, one of which is the real one. I so wished the director had chosen the other ending. Jeux d’enfants is a dreamy romantic tragedy that can be watched once.