The results are in. Movie lovers have voted Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge as their most favourite feature film from the past 100 years of Indian cinema in a poll conducted by Sanona, the UK’s largest online Pay Per View (PPV) Indian movie streaming service.
The hit romantic comedy that made super stars of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol won by a landslide, taking 47% of the votes in the online poll conducted across social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, email and via the movie portal itself to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Indian film industry.
Written and directed by Aditya Chopra, son of the legendary Bollywood filmmaker Yash Chopra, also known as the King of Romance, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge beat a selection of ten all-time greats which included classics such as Raj Kapoor’s vagabond story, Awaara (1951), Mehboob Khan’s melodrama, Mother India (1957), and Ramesh Sippy’s iconic curry western, Sholay (1975).
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, or DDLJ as it is also commonly known, was among the first Indian films to be produced with the large and rich South Asian diaspora in the West as its target audience. The film introduced the Non-Resident Indian into modern Hindi cinema, making overseas desis and scenic foreign locations the heart and soul of storytelling.
The trans-continental romance filmed in the UK, Switzerland and India was declared an all-time blockbuster and remains the longest-running film in the history of Indian cinema, completing 900 weeks at the Maratha Mandir theatre in Mumbai on 11 January 2013.
The film tells the story of a young couple (Raj and Simran) who fall in love on a European vacation, and relates how the boy tries to win over the girl's parents so that she can marry him rather than the groom that her father has chosen for her.
When it released on July 25, 1995, DDLJ received rave reviews from critics worldwide and became the second highest grossing film of Bollywood in 1990s after Salman Khan's Hum Aapke Hai Koun. It was also the second film to surpass the ?100 crore mark worldwide.
In 1996, DDLJ film won 10 Filmfare Awards including four major awards in the Best Movie, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress categories. It also won National Film Awards for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.
Watch the film at: https://www.sanona.com/movie/Dilwale-Dulhania-Le-Jayenge
Sanona’s CMO, Shazia Nizam, is not surprised that an evergreen musical such as DDLJ won the poll by a wide majority. “With Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol’s continuing popularity and Bollywood’s expanding fan base in the UK, Europe and further afield, it comes as no surprise that Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge would be voted the public’s most favourite film. At a time when the Indian film industry is delving into new technologies like 3D and IMAX and genres such as sci-fi adventures and supernatural thrillers, it is heartening to know that the good old-fashioned Bollywood love story remains just as popular 100 years on from its birth.”
The biggest surprise in the list of Top 10 favourite films was Kahaani (2012), Sujoy Ghosh’s low budget suspense thriller about a pregnant woman’s search for her missing husband. Starring Vidya Balan, the sleeper hit’s unique twist helped fuel great interest and reaffirmed the importance of the screenplay over style.
While King Khan, Shah Rukh, took the top spot, two other Bollywood Khans were not to be outdone. Both Aamir and Salman featured twice in the top ten, proving modern commercial blockbusters also have a place amongst timeless dramas.
Aamir impressed voters as the chic geek in Rajkumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots (2009) and Empire bashing cricketer in Ashutosh Gowariker’s Academy Award nominated period piece, Lagaan (2001), whereas Salman’s bold as brass cop Chulbul Pandey from Dabangg (2010) and archetypal lover boy in Sooraj Barjatya’s Hum Aapke Hain Koun (1993) won hearts.
Top 10 Favourite Indian Films
- Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
- Sholay (1975)
- 3 Idiots (2009)
- Mughal-e-Azam (1960)
- Dabangg (2010)
- Hum Aapke Hai Koun (1984)
- Lagaan (2001)
- Mother India (1957)
- Kahaani (2012)
- Awaara (1951)
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Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge images courtesy of Yash Raj Films.