Raj Malhotra (Shah Rukh Khan) and Simran Singh (Kajol) are non-resident Indians living in London. Simran was raised by her strict and conservative father, Baldev Singh (Amrish Puri), while Rajs father (Anupam Kher) was very liberal. Simran always dreams of meeting her ideal man. Her mother Lajjo (Farida Jalal) warns her against this, saying dreams are good but one should not blindly believe they come true. One day, Baldev receives a letter from his friend Ajit (Satish Shah), who lives in Punjab.
Ajit wants to keep a promise he and Baldev made to each other 20 years ago to have Simran marry his son Kuljeet (Parmeet Sethi). Simran is disappointed she does not want to marry someone whom she has never met.One evening, Raj enters Baldevs shop after closing time to buy beer. Baldev refuses and Raj grabs a case of beer, throws the money on the counter and runs away. Baldev, infuriated, calls Raj a disgrace to India.
Meanwhile, Rajs father has agreed to his request to go on a train trip across Europe with his friends, and Simrans friends have invited her to go on the same trip. Simran asks her father to let her see the world before her marriage, and he reluctantly agrees.On the trip, Raj and Simran meet. Raj constantly flirts with Simran, much to her irritation. The two miss their train to Zurich and are separated from their friends.
They start to travel with one another and become friends. Raj falls in love with Simran on the journey; when they part ways in London, Simran realises she is in love with him too. Simran tells her mother about the boy she met; Baldev overhears the conversation and becomes furious with Simran. He says the family will move to India the next day. Meanwhile, Raj tells his father about Simran and that she will soon be getting married.
When Raj says he believes Simran loves him too, his father encourages him to go after her.In India, Baldev is reunited with his relatives and his friend Ajit. Simran and her younger sister Chutki take an instant dislike to Simrans fiancÃ© Kuljeet because of his arrogance. Simran cannot forget Raj and is miserable about having to marry Kuljeet. Her mother tells her to forget Raj because she knows Baldev will never accept their relationship.
The next morning, Simran is reunited with Raj when he arrives outside of the house where she is staying. She begs him to run away with her. Raj refuses and says he will only marry Simran with her fathers consent. Raj befriends Kuljeet and is quickly accepted by both families. Later, Rajs father arrives in India and also becomes friends with Simrans and Kuljeetss families.
Eventually Lajjo and Chutki discover that Raj is the boy Simran fell in love with in Europe. Lajjo also tells Raj and Simran to run away, but he still refuses. Baldev recognises Raj from the beer incident, but eventually accepts him. However, after he discovers a photograph of Raj and Simran together in Europe, he insults and slaps Raj and tells him to leave.As Raj and his father are waiting at the railway station, Kuljeet, who is angry on hearing of Rajs love for Simran, arrives with his friends and attack them.
Eventually Baldev and Ajit arrive and stop the fight. Raj boards the departing train with his father. Simran then arrives with her mother and sister; she tries to join Raj on the train but Baldev stops her. Simran begs him to let her go, saying she cannot live without Raj. Baldev realises nobody can love his daughter more than Raj does.
He lets her go, and she runs and catches the train as it departs.Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge received many favourable reviews. An initial review by weekly magazine Screen said of Aditya Chopra, A young master arrives. Tom Vick, reviewing the film for Allmovie, said, An immensely likeable movie, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge performs the rarely achieved feat of stretching a predictable plot over three hours and making every minute enjoyable. When the film toured the U.
S. in 2004 as part of the Cinema India showcase, The Changing Face of Indian Cinema, Charles Taylor reviewed the film for Salon and said, Its a flawed, contradictory movie aggressive and tender, stiff and graceful, clichÃ©d and fresh, sophisticated and naive, traditional and modern. Its also, I think, a classic. Writing for NDTV, Anupama Chopra said, Perhaps the innocence of Raj and Simrans romance in which they can spend the night together without sex because Raj, the bratish NRI understands the importance of an Indian womans honor. Perhaps its the way in which the film artfully reaffirms the patriarchal status quo and works for all constituencies the NRI and the local viewer.
Or perhaps its the magic of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol who created a template for modern love, which was hip and cool but resolutely Indian. She also called the film a milestone that shaped Hindi cinema through the 1990s, and one of her personal favourites. In 2004, Meor Shariman of The Malay Mail called the film a must watch for Bollywood fans, and also for those seeking an introduction to Bollywood. Raja Sen gave a reflective review for Rediff.com in 2005, calling the film one of the best Hindi films made in the previous 20 years.
He said Shah Rukh Khan gives a fabulous performance, redefining the Lover for the 1990s with great panache, and called Kajol a real-as-life actress bringing warmth and credulity to her role. Sen called the film well balanced and said only the fight scene and some mother-daughter dialogue can wear after multiple viewings. Omer M. Mozaffar, writing for Roger Eberts website in 2012, likened the film to a Disney Princess story, saying, the young princess feeling trapped by the traditional patriarchy, seeking freedom through discovering the world, but finally finding it through silent, but inappropriate love. The Little Mermaid.
Beauty (of the Beast). Jasmine (friends with Aladdin). Pocahontas. Aurora (Sleeping Beauty). And here, Simran.
Scott Jordan Harris, also writing for Roger Ebert in 2014, called it one of the worlds favorite films, and said it plays as a masterful soap opera, with one of the best screen couples ever seen.
Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Amrish Puri, Farida Jalal
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