I know, I know. I am attempting to ruin your favourite film; don’t kill me. I like it too. It’s every desi’s favourite film. And, well, why shouldn’t it be? It’s over three fucking hours long, and god knows how we love to make up for the short things in our lives with long ass movies.
I have decided to rewind Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.
DDLJ opens with a sad shot of fobby store owner London dad Baldev (Amrish Puri) feeding birds while reminiscing about India after having reached the stars in Vilayat.
Oh, and he’s totally trippin’ balls.
While uncle is busy seeing shapes in the sky, let me introduce you to his family.
Meet annoying smartass 12-year-old Chutki, who ideally should have been killed by Paresh Rawal in King Uncle, and max Punjabi mummy jee, Lajjo.
Of course, this family is uninteresting as shit without Simran, the teenage dreamy daughter whose hormones are through the fucking roof and who likes to read out sensual poetry about boys to her mother.
Next, Simran — whose lover has the same existential status as the Flying Spaghetti Monster — is seen getting out of the shower after unspecified activities which lead her to fantasise further about this lad she has been in love with.
Now we get to have a first look at dream boy Raj. In all honesty, brotha looks hella fucking violent.
However, daddy dearest has other plans. He decides to marry her off to a friend’s son, Kuljeet, in India. The family finds a very interesting way of breaking the news to Simran.
Soon Raj (who actually exists, by the way, and is very rich) enters the scene. He goes to Baldev’s store and cheats him into opening the store past closing time just to get some beer, managing to get mad permanent hate in Baldev’s eyes.
Simran, who is absolutely fucking chill with the idea of marrying a total stranger at this point, wants to live her life and seeks her dad’s permission to go to Europe.
But dad is not asshole enough to not let his daughter go on a trip. He’s ONLY asshole enough to raise her in the west and marry her off in India to a complete stranger. He grants her permission to tour Europe with her friends.
Simran and Raj are on the same train (duh, this is an Indian movie. The force is always with love). They finally meet and Raj tries to hit on Simran (duh, this is an Indian movie).
Soon after telling Raj she doesn’t go to parties, Simran meets Raj at (can you guess?) a party of course. He plays the piano impeccably while dancing with Urmila Matondkar clones.
Long story kinda-short, Raj and Simran fall in love because the first step to falling in love is public humiliation. They miss a couple of trains, get drunk, have fun, almost get laid in a barn.
Now I understand this is the 90s, but what the fuck are you wearing, Simran? You look like a Fresh Prince-y Lil’ Kim at a Church.
Simran finally breaks the arranged marriage news to Raj, who is heartbroken… And also like WTF.
The trip is over. Everyone goes home with the realisation that they are in love with each other. It is said that they also took a lot of drugs on the train back home because both of them were seeing each other everywhere for, like, a whole fucking day.
High on love, Simran tells her Ma everything. But both of them have too many goddamned blind spots in each eye because dad is standing right there, 3 feet away from them, listening to the whole conversation. He’s not even hiding behind something. He’s just standing there tall and visible as fuck, but you know what they say, love is blind.
Meanwhile Raj tells his dad all about the girl with questionable fashion choices who he fell in love with in Europe.
Simran has already flown to India where her wedding is being planned. Kuljeet, Simran’s to-be husband, is a complete asshole who kills little wabbits and birdies. :<
Simran is barely surviving the ceremonies and her grandma can tell she’s unhappy, so she decides to ask her son Baldev.
It doesn’t take Raj very long to get to this village he has never heard of.
Raj’s master plan includes befriending Kuljeet, entering the shaadi house and slowly trying to impress Simran’s dad so that he agrees to wed his girl off with him. That sounds like a totally shit plan to be honest. It’s like going to someone else’s birthday party and hoping you will figure out a way to make it your own if you are nice enough to everyone.
He rescues Kuljeet from this one thing and, wouldn’t you know it, they become best friends forever. You need to watch this scene if you have not. For a hunter, Kuljeet has the agility of a fried egg.
Raj lies about setting up a Stroh’s beer factory (mad product placement BTW) in the village and Kuljeet’s fam instantly falls in love with him because money and beer tune in well with us Punjabis. His sister develops a crush on Raj.
But Baldev (Baou Ji) knows wassup… He immediately recognises Raj.
Raj struggles to impress everyone at the house. Apparently, thaalis/trays are excellent props when you’re trying to impress old desis.
It is clear that the family is quite impressed because they want to marry Kuljeet’s sister Preeti to Raj.
By now, the awkward caressing just looks like a fucking family tradition.
So anyway, Raj’s dad (he calls him Pops) decides to come meet him in India and his hat choices appear to be inspired by the cartoon character Strawberry Shortcake.
He accidentally asks the family for Preeti’s hand because he’s incredibly stupid and wears, like, 4 fucking layers of clothing in Punjab’s scorching heat. He’s still in London in his head, I guess. Is this a desi uncle thing? For their heads to be somewhere else?
Anyway so, they try to get things under control while the fam is still celebrating. Everyday is a new family function.
Kuljeet’s sis shows off these complicated-cool dance moves. Watch out, Step Up 5.
Pops meets probable future bahu and approves in a minute.
But he’s enjoying his trip because he’s spending a good amount of time hitting on Simran’s older unmarried aunt.
Soon, Simran’s mom Lajjo sees Raj and her secretly meeting (in the fucking open, on the terrace in a shaadi ka ghar, fucking geniuses).
She decides Raj and Simran should run away but Raj has a huge moralistic turd up his ass.
Baou Ji and Raj begin to bond over important things…like wild pigeons and inefficient medicine of the ancients.
But thanks to daadi’s illness, the shaadi is now going to happen a week prior to the set date. Raj’s plans are failing.
His dad tells him there is no way out but to kidnap Simran and flee to London.
With the secret-keeping ability of a cornflake, Simran leaves a picture of Raj and herself from the Europe vacation near an open window. The photograph flies away and finds itself in the hands of Mogambo Baou Ji.
Raj realises nothing will work. On the day of the wedding, he decides to leave but on his way out, this happens…
It doesn’t end here. Baou Ji basically goes fucking Ehonda on Raj. Heck, even kind of looks the part.
Hundred Hand Slap attack later, Raj proceeds to apologise to everyone and then leaves for the train station.
Sorry is not enough. It is time for some action. Kuljeet and his goons grab the most threatening weapons in all of India (wooden sticks) and start beating Raj up at the station.
I told you Daddy Shortcake was nothing but a liability.
Anyway, so in like 4 minutes, everyone from the Haveli shows up. Girlses, boyses, uncles, aunties. Everyone.
Raj and his dad get on the train which is just in time because everyone just got done throwing up blood and breaking bones. The family stays there and watches because you have to walk your guests outside; it’s a desi tradition. We fucking love tradition, okay?
Simran begs Baou Ji to let her go but Baou Ji is the kind of man who even holds his farts in because he has the authority to — talk about letting a whole person out.
And just like that, we see the perfect Hindi film ending.
The train is the actual hero in DDLJ.
(Shhh. I adore this movie)