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Dil Se..
Dil Se
Actors: Shahrukh Khan, Manisha Koirala, Preity Zinta, Raghuvir Yadav, Sabyasachi Chakravarthy
Genres: Indie & Art House
UR     2003     2hr 43min


Movie Details

Actors: Shahrukh Khan, Manisha Koirala, Preity Zinta, Raghuvir Yadav, Sabyasachi Chakravarthy
Genres: Indie & Art House
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House
Studio: EROS
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 02/25/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/1998
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1998
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 2hr 43min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Assamese, Hindi, Tamil

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Movie Reviews

Pure Magic!
S. Ferguson | 01/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Dil Se is a movie that captures you on so many levels. The actors are wonderful and it's a pity that Shahrukh Khan is not better known here in the USA, because he is pure magic. Maybe if you think of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro combined with someone with great moves, who can really dance, you just might come close to describing Shahrukh. As one of India's huge Bollywood stars, Shahrukh has one of those marvelous subtle faces that can simultaneously express multiple layers of feeling. In one moment he is handsome, seductive, and in the next he is vulnerable, awkward, and compellingly ordinary. His enigmatic, little boy, rascal smile will steal your heart. There are two famous actresses in Dil Se, but Manisha Koirala plays the heroine, a lovely mountain peasant girl. At age 12, she saw her family gunned down by soldiers who then raped her. She walks in a world warped from pain and frozen emotion most of us could never comprehend and, along with her fellow terrorists, has become a suicide bomber.Shahrukh meets her by accident and mistakes her aloof cold manner for siren mystery. As she shuns his advances at every turn, he - a rather spoiled radio journalist - is driven deeper into his desire for her. That desire becomes obsession - Dil Se. She cannot become whole again to return his love, and he cannot endure life without her. He begs her to take him with her, and so she does. What draws me to this film is not just profound spontaneous depth of the actors and their willingness to show a wide range of feelings, but Dil Se made it apparent to me how stiff and mechanical my own culture has become. Even the Bollywood musical numbers are somehow fun, fresh and captivating. The sheer beauty of the photography is stunning and Manisha has the power to be a rough desert girl, a sophisticated beauty, or the most classic odalisque of the French painter Ingres. On the back of the DVD it says: Ancient Arabic literature classifies love into seven different shades...HUB...their eyes meet, it is like a touch...a spark...Attraction. UNS...the touch of the eyes was as if, it was infatuation. ISHQ...the flame of the body is felt, his breath starts igniting...Love. AQIDAT...Reverence...she touches him like a whisper, as if silence is mixed in here eyes...he prays, knelt down on the floor, a little consciously & a little unconsciously...IBADAAT...he is entangled on her path...entangled in her arms...Love turns to worship. JUNOON...his living is an Obsession...his dying is an obsession...apart from this there is no peace...MAUT...let him rest in the lap of Death...let his drown his body in her soul... DIL SE...a journey through these seven shades. Perhaps it's only poetic illusion and sweet madness, but if so - play on! I love this movie, Dil Se."
Interesting story, great dance sequence.
David R. Krueger | Huntsville, AL United States | 09/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"While not much of a fan of Bollywood movies, I got this DVD after hearing the music in the opening credits of the Hollywood movie "Inside Man". The music is catchy, so I looked it up on the web and found that it was from this movie.

The song, "Chaiyya Chaiyya", has an excellent rhythm and wonderful sounding lyrics (although I don't understand the language). But the dance scene on the train is nothing short of incredible. The energy of Shahrukh Khan and his obvious enthusiasm along with an excellent job of filming and superb editing make the entire scene a joy to watch. While the video quality falls short of Hollywood standards, the the music sound quality is excellent (especially if you have a Dolby digital sound with a subwoofer).

As for the rest if the DVD, I found the story to be absorbing enough to maintain my interest through out the entire 2 hours and 40 minutes. There are four other songs besides "Chaiyya Chaiyya" which also add to the experience. I will probably investigate other Bollywood movies after seeing this. They have something to offer to even the most selective movie fan."
The Power to Haunt: The Breaking of Human Beings
A. Ali | Istanbul, Turkey | 07/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Dil Se was conceived as the finale in Ratnam's trilogy of films on the subject of Terrorism, following Roja and Bombay. But while the former films were constructed as social docu-dramas emphasizing liberal humanism and a multicultural utopia, Dil Se culminates this theme in an entirely separate genre. Ratnam's screenplay deftly sets up our expectations and then quickly proceeds to obliterate them. The film is, at first glance, simply a social drama. Many critics have tried to categorize Dil Se as a social film or as a film on Terrorism--some have even gone so far as to call it "separatist propaganda." To imply such an idea is to deny the central theme of the film: Love. Dil Se is essentially a film about the phenomenon of Love, executed in fiercely unconventional and unsentimental fashion.

If Lamhe ushered in a new genre of anti-social love stories, Dil Se substantiated the genre by epitomizing what had never been seen in a Hindi film: the anti-romantic Love Story. Lamhe was anti-social and anti-establishment in that it rejected outright the traditional sexual and moral status quo by merely inferring that it could ever be conceivable for a woman to love a man who was in love with her mother. Despite its rejection of traditional morality, Lamhe remains a deeply romantic movie. Dil Se is anything but. It is constructed not to convey the triumphant bliss of Love, but its devastating helplessness. It is a Love Story in its truest sense, where the traditional context and protagonists are equally subdued, told against the backdrop of terrorism wherein the central female figure is herself a humanized terrorist. Sadly, this many viewers have failed to recognize.

Long before Shah Rukh Khan reduced his career to a sad shadow if its former self, he was consistent at proving in film after film that he was willing to take artistic risks and broaden the definition of the Filmi Hero. Dil Se was and remains the great experiment of his career. Here he is a young lover, but one who must contend with Love, instead of reveling in it. His fondness for his fiancée, Preity, is buried under his passion for Meghna, his obsession. Clearly, he finds her both beautiful and enigmatic, and without much hesitation, he follows her throughout the war torn land of Ladakh. Smart move? Probably not. But never do we second guess his decision because we believe that he is so utterly bewildered by the shadowy creature that is Meghna.

Preity Zinta, in her debut role, is both refreshing and natural, giving a spontaneous performance that oddly never seems out of place in a morbid and pensive film. Her delivery is always natural, and never does she make the mistake of trying to 'act with emotion.' True, she has the most conventional role of the three leads, but she lends balance to the story which could have ended up being more esoteric and surreal than it already is. Irrespective of Khan and Zinta's effective performances, both the superstar and the debutante are given characters far less substantial than that of Meghna, played by Manisha Koirala.

In a role of almost no dialogue, Koirala conveys literally volumes. Through her stifled body language, her forbidding expressions disclosing an unnamed identity, and an unknowable language of sadness spoken through her eyes, she conjures a darkly beautiful portrait of the ghostly survival of suffocated humanity. She is the greatest example of human (and humane) artistry in a film burgeoning with the message of humanity. You will notice as you peruse through the various customer reviews of this film that Shah Rukh Khan gets mentioned quite a lot, Manisha less so. One cannot help but wonder why. Shah Rukh Khan may be the box-office draw that helped get the film made, but Dil Se is Manisha Koirala's film. Make no mistake about it.

Koirala's performance goes far beyond merely propping up the tender terrorist as a victim of circumstance: the actress digs into the character and pulls out the skeleton, bloodied and broken, and harangues the audience with a brilliantly lucid portrayal of a dark and disturbed avenger. Regardless of whether the claim that it was too vague or esoteric is indeed true, Dil Se remains an artistic benchmark for the triumph of Koirala's portrayal of Meghna in what can only be called a transcendent performance. Every element of Meghna's broken humanity is summoned by Koirala to conjure a portrayal that is breathtakingly skinless: the emptiness of the eyes, the somber visage swallowed in pain, the almost whispered dialogue, and a body language bespeaking a lifetime of defeat. There is no greater praise for an actor than to be told by a viewer that they had forgotten that the actor was acting. When a performance becomes so convincing, so emotionally naked, and so singularly manifest, the actor disappears--literally--and one forgets that they are watching a performer and not a character. This is the miracle of Koirala's Meghna. There is no Manisha Koirala on the screen. None whatsoever. What we see is the character, and only the character, so perfect is this performance. This is one of the greatest--if not the greatest--pieces of method acting ever accomplished in Hindi cinema. This is the kind of performance which, if Hindi Cinema were more cerebral and more conscious of artistic aims, dance queens like Madhuri Dixit and Aishwariya Rai would never pass muster as actresses. Alas. Part of the greatness of Koirala's performance is that she plays Meghna as a shadow, an almost ghost-like figure whose movements are untraceable and whose thoughts are impenetrable. She is a human being who rejects her humanity and has forgotten how simply 'to be', an existential quandary which Hindi Cinema almost boastfully ignores.

The beauty of the film lies not so much in the actual love story, but in the director's ability to put a human face on terrorism. The mood is somber, the cinematography astonishing, and the perfect performance of Koirala makes Dil Se a startling piece of cinematic poetry. The film stands in a class of its own as a modern masterpiece, and can be considered fodder for only those that are willing to incorporate sadness and starkness into their movie-going experience. Others will find it too harsh."
Regarding Quality of DVD
D. Trible | Planet Earth | 03/29/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The delay in the subtitles is maddening - by the end of the film you've learned the timing and can sort out who says what relatively well. I agree with the other reviewer that was dismayed with the lack of subtitles for the musical numbers - a great loss for those of us who aren't fluent in the spoken dialects.

Sadly, this is the worst transfer to video/dvd of a modern film I've ever seen - there were points where the sound cut out, and there were spots and lines on the film as though it had been reeled a thousand times. (This isn't a criticism typical of Indian/Bollywood films, as I've seen many others...)

Most of the dvd menus don't work (the main one does though, thankfully), but I was able to get around by using the return and menu buttons on my remote.

All that said, the film is captivating. The 'embedded music videos' are enthralling - the film is worth buying for them alone. Get the soundtrack, too!!

3 stars is for an average between the quality of the dvd and the quality of the film."