Dil Chahta Hai
Critic's Rating: 17/5
Saturday 18 August 2001
Dil Chahta Hai
Aamir, Akshaye, Saif
Oh to be young!! Farhan Akhtar`s directorial debut is a young, fresh film, with a look good, feel good air to it. A trifle long, at three and a half hours, the film is a contemporary story about three young boys and the paths their lives take over a few youthful summers. The film tends to go slow at some points, but is on the whole fairly pacy. An urban film which will be a big hit with city bred youngsters.
Akash (Aamir), Sameer (Saif) and Siddharth or Sid (Akshaye, in the best performance of his life) have grown up together and graduated from college. The three are as different from each other as one can imagine but there is a bond of friendship that holds them together that is really the strongest anchor in their lives.
Akash is wild and wicked and whacky, a little on the cynical side and doesn`t believe in love. His girlfriends last an outer limit of two weeks. Sameer is perennially in love and generally flows with the personality of the current girl he is dating. Sid is the young man who is in a state of emotional equilibrium and has a lot of thehrav. He`s the sage amongst the three. He`s a painter and reveals very little of his inner soul as his paintings reveal. The friendship brings wistful longings as you watch the threesome sitting on the walls of a fort, looking out at the horizon and contemplating their future.
Their lives obviously lead them along different paths. Sameer falls in love with Pooja (Sonali Kulkarni), a girl his parents `arrange` for him to meet with the intention of marriage. Akash meets Shalini (Preity) and a strange and indefinable relationship develops which they later discover is love. And Sid, the wise one, who looks so much like the Little Buddha, falls in love with Tara Jaiswal (Dimple Kapadia), an interior designer. The only problem is that she is years older to him, is a divorcee, has a child she isn`t allowed to meet, and an alcohol problem that surfaces when she is vulnerable. A fight over this issue and Akash and Sid part company- Sameer still invisibly holds them together though. Akash moves to Sydney, where Shalini has also come to be with her uncle (Rajat Kapoor in a gentle, understated cameo) and it is there that they fall in love. Her jealous fiancee Rohit, (Ayub Khan) follows her there when he hears that Akash is there too.
Saif is undoubtedly the best received as his comic timing, (unintentional as far as the character of Sameer is concerned) is brilliant. Shy, hesitant almost and yet eager to speak his mind, his bravado, his sotto-voiced narrative of an outing with his Pooja`s boyfriend, were done excellently. Dimple is tremendous as Tara and brings a lot of character to the narrative. Aamir looks like a wicked elf, and behaves so too. Akshaye`s performance was tres tres poignant. He is really an extremely talented performer. Preity looks very good with a new curly wurly hair style, but her performance is subdued. Sonali Kulkarni is wasted in a role that demands nothing from an actress of her mettle. Suhasini Mulay as Akshaye`s mother did wonderfully too. She also looks stunningly beautiful. Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy have given a fabulous music score- racy, peppy and melodious as well, and the music adds a lot to the film. Technically, it`s been well shot and Farhan has really arrived as a director. He`s a young man to watch out for. No high flying action and stunts, no villains, and no unnecessary baggage in the film- the guy must be really evolved to create a film like this and that too at the first attempt. Way to go, baby!