Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (The Braveheart Will Take The Bride) is a movie directed by Aditya Chopra and released in the year 1995 that started the twin trends of Bollywood pandering to Non-Resident Indians and a romance that does not end with the couple in love running away from their parents (sort of). It starred the hit couple of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol with catchy songs.
The movie starts with demure Simran's (Kajol) dream to fall in love with the Prince of her dreams. Her father, Baldev Singh, is the owner of a convenience store in Britain and is always dreaming of Punjab. He receives word from his childhood friend Amit Singh in Punjab and decides to marry his daughter Simran to his son, Kuljit. Simran begs her father to let her on one last trip to see Europe with her friends, before she is married and confined to the four walls of a home forever. On the way, Simran meets Raj (Shah Rukh Khan) a wealthy, happy-go-lucky Jerk with a Heart of Gold during a tour of Europe and they get separated from their respective groups. They start out fighting like cats and fall in love during their time together.
After returning home, Simran confesses to her mother that she has fallen in love with someone else and she cannot go through with her arranged marriage. Her father Baldev overhears and promptly moves the entire family back to Punjab. Raj figures out that Simran was taken against her will to India and follows her there. He decides that not only will he take his love with him back to Britain, but that he will get the permission and approval of her strict father as well. And so the second half of the movie shows the misadventures of Raj as he attempts to hide his identity and charms Simran's father and her family in Punjab. Hilarity Ensues.
Fun fact: the Maratha Mandir Theatre in Mumbai is still showing the film weekly since it was first released back in 1995.note There are people who have seen the film dozens of times, but still clap, mouth the dialogues, and sing along, earning it comparisons with The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In 2001, it surpassed Sholay (which ran for five years straight at the Minerva Cinema, also in Mumbai) as the longest-running film in Indian cinema history.
- Aborted Declaration of Love: Right around the time that the trip is coming to an end, Raj gives Simran a heartfelt confession on a bridge, complete with Puppy-Dog Eyes...then bursts out laughing while Simran is speechless. He then reminds her that he's not really serious about anything, including love. However, by this point, he's completely head-over-heels for her.
- Almost Kiss: See Moment Killer below. The taboo around kissing onscreen hadn't quite been relaxed when this movie was made.
- Altar the Speed: The impending death of Simran's grandmother causes the wedding date to be moved up, as one of her wishes is to see Simran married before she dies of old age.
- Arranged Marriage: Obviously. Near the end of the film, one is being also considered between Raj and Kujit's sister, Preeti (Raj can't refuse outright because he's living at their house at the time).
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Raj and Simran. Raj keeps flirting with her (and everyone else, with Blatant Lies), and Simran has no patience for it. The belligerence decreases as the movie goes on.
- Betty and Veronica: Played with. When it comes to their relationship to her, Kuljit is the Betty, being the man Simran has been engaged to since she was a baby, while Raj is the handsome man she met while on holiday in Europe, making him the Veronica. However, looking at their respective personalities switches the dynamic, with Raj becoming a respectful and romantic Betty, while Kuljit is a callous and sexist Veronica.
- Blatant Lies: Used by Raj when flirting at the beginning of the movie. After he's fallen in love with Simran, he uses these to explain his various actions to Simran's and Kuljit's families, including why he's there in the first place.
- Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: After an initial night of drunken misadventure, Simran wakes up half clothed sharing a bed with Raj. Of course, nothing happened that night and this episode is done to illustrate Raj's good character. Again, this is a Shah Rukh Khan movie.
- The Charmer: Simran is one of the first women Raj meets that doesn't immediately fall for his charisma and charm. Later, their plan to get married with her parent's blessing is completely dependent on Raj's ability to be this.
- Cool Big Sis: Simran's (much) younger sister Chutki considers her to be one.
- Death Glare: Baldev. Oh my god, Baldev. Death glares in general are a specialty of Amrish Puri, who is portraying him, doing this in several scenes. During one particular scene towards the end, he. Does. Not. Blink. For a good five minutes mind you. With the additional ability to pop his eyeballs out to the point they look like they're about to fall out.
- Daddy's Girl: Simran is this at the beginning of the movie, acting as he believes an Indian girl should and generally listening to whatever he thinks is best. When she confesses that she's fallen in love with someone else and doesn't want to marry Kuljit, she falls out of this position fairly fast.
- Friend to All Living Things: Strangely enough, the cold and stoic Baldev is constantly feeding pigeons while Kuljit is shown to be quite a voracious hunter (implicitly shown as an indication of his bad character).
- Gratuitous English: As spoken by Amit Singh, Kuljit's father. This is mostly shown for laughs due to the fact that he spent his whole life in Punjab, in contrast to Baldev, who's lived in England for at least eighteen years and avoids speaking English whenever possible.Amit: "This is genius...no, this is INDI-genius" (Intended Meaning: An Indian Genius, Literal Meaning: Someone native to an area)
- Holding Hands: Although they don't do this very often, in one notable scene, Raj grabs Simran's hand behind his back while she's next to him at her home. She then gets up while his hand has moved away to be replaced by Preeti, and he grabs her hand instead. He then looks to see Simran sitting by her grandmother, grinning, prompting a rather epic Oh, Crap! face.
- Home Sweet Home: Baldev constantly looks forward to going back home to India and is only living in Britain due to financial reasons. Raj and Simran, in contrast, are perfectly comfortable living in London.
- "I Want" Song: The first song establishes Simran's idealism.
- Jerk Jock: Kuljit. He is shown to be a stupid brute who wants to marry Simran only for mercenary reasons and plans to cheat on her almost immediately after marriage.
- Lady Killer In Love: Raj originally flirts mercilessly with any pretty girl despite not particularly caring about love or romance, but as he spends more and more time with Simran on their road trip, he eventually falls like a ton of bricks for her. However, his main problem at the time isn't getting her to believe him about being serious, but that she's engaged to another man and since he hasn't confessed, he has no idea if she loves him back.
- Lap Pillow: Raj tries this on Simran when they first meet as part of a flirting attempt. It...doesn't work. Later, when they're actually in love, Simran doesn't mind doing this on a regular basis.
- Love Epiphany: The song "Ho Gaya Hai Tujkho to Pyar Sajna" acts as an official one for both Raj and Simran, which is a problem due to the fact that it happened immediately after they separated with the assumption that they would never see each other again.
- Meet Cute: Raj and Simran's first meeting is full of this. Simran is late and the train is about to set off. She runs to catch the moving train and Raj helps her on by clasping her hand. It does not hurt that the movie ends in exactly the same manner.
- Moment Killer: Raj wants a kiss while he's at her house and they're hiding behind a pillar. Their lips are less than a hair away...then her father calls.
- Nerds Are Sexy: When Raj sees Simran, she is wearing thick glasses and her hair covers half her face. He is smitten regardless.
- Nice Guys Finish Last: Subverted. Simran is extremely cold towards Raj until they both get stranded in Switzerland and he begins acting seriously and help her out during their journey.
- Over-the-Shoulder Carry: When singing together while stranded in Switzerland, Raj ends up throwing Simran over his shoulder before going home on carriage.
- The Power of Love: Plays out in the last scene of the movie when stern Baldev finally lets his daughter follow Raj back to Britain."Go, Simran, Go. Go Back to your Raj. No one can love you like he does."
- Rescue Romance: The whole film is built on this, albeit in a more metaphorical sense.
- Runaway Fiancé: Simran thinks that this is the best idea. Raj, on the other hand, refuses and decides to make her family like him enough to let him take her away with their blessings.
- Sexy Soaked Shirt: In "Mere Khwabon Mein", the first (sort of) song of the movie, Simran spends some time dancing around in the rain with a white mini-skirt and top in her backyard.
- Shipper on Deck: Raj's father is very supportive about his potential relationship with Simran. Simran's sister also really doesn't like Kuljit, but likes Raj for treating her respectfully. Later in the movie, Simran's mother sees them together and decides that Raj will respect Simran and make her happy. She even encourages them to run away together.
- Shout-Out: The movie's title is a shoutout to an old Hindi song, "Le Jayenge" from Chor Machaaye Shor.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Simran and Raj's relationship at the beginning. Simran is stubborn and Raj is a Loveable Rogue who repels Simran by acting sometimes like a jerk throughout the trip. When they actually get stranded by themselves in Europe, Raj begins to act much more considerate and Simran quits leaping down his throat for everything. They still have their moments after they recognize that they're in love, though.
- Spontaneous Choreography: Most of the songs in the movie happen during Imagine Spots, when the characters are by themselves, or at some kind of party, making the songs and dancing justified. This doesn't explain how people at the parties seem to know all the same steps, however.
- Tempting Fate:
- When Simran and Raj are stranded in Europe, he keeps declaring to Simran "Now nothing can go wrong. Nothing!". Needless to say, it does.
- Simran and Raj missed their train in Europe. Simran gets caught by the Swiss immigration police because she did not have a passport since she left it in the train that she missed. Raj rescues her then. Then his car breaks down. Then the nearest motel has only one room available so Simran stubbornly sleeps in the barn. The barn has a cracked roof and it begins to snow.
- Wedding Deadline: They have until Simran's wedding day to convince her family. The assumption is that the paperwork won't be filed until the (religious) wedding ceremonies have finished.
- What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Simran, despite dreaming of a fairy tale prince to fall in love with, has never actually fallen in love before and therefore takes a rather long time to figure out that she's very much in love with Raj. Raj also has some brief moments of this when saying that there are plenty of pretty women to like, but gets over it fairly quickly.
- Women Are Wiser: Almost all women are shown in a sympathetic light. Not hard to fathom since the Punjab is portrayed as very patriarchal.
- You Have Waited Long Enough: Simran's father is enraged when he finds out that she's fallen in love with someone else, and takes her and the rest of the family to India immediately. Raj, coming to her house, is temporarily discouraged, but finds Simran's cowbell. This proves to him that she hasn't forgotten him, and he proceeds to India with all haste.