By Rishabh Naudiyal Last Updated:
Even after so many years, it's impossible not to connect with Farhan Akhtar's directorial debut, Dil Chahta Hai, which was released on August 10, 2001. The coming of age movie was the first film released by Farhan and his producer friend, Ritesh Sidhwani's production house, Excel Entertainment. Yes! The same production house that has given us blockbuster films like Lakshya, Don, Rock On!!, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Fukrey, Dil Dhadkne Do, Gully Boy, KGF: Chapter 1, Toofan, and the list goes on.
Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani had produced Dil Chahta Hai on a budget of Rs. 80 million with a lot of things at stake. But their sheer confidence in their film's idea was the key that they used to break the box-office, as it was the fifth-highest grossing film of 2001. According to Box Office India, Dil Chahta Hai had performed well both in India and overseas, grossing a total sum of Rs. 397.2 million, after the end of its theatrical run.
The movie was based on the lives of three friends, Akash Malhotra, Sid Sinha, and Sameer Mulchandani. From portraying the struggles of 'adulting' to unfolding different dynamics of friendship and modern love, Dil Chahta Hai is one of the most relatable movies ever.
With two National Awards and seven Filmfare awards, Dil Chahta Hai was, is, and will always be remembered as the film in which flawed protagonists have learned from their mistakes and shown that there's always a chance to grow. So now, on this super-special day, let's talk about some lesser-known facts about this iconic movie!
On May 19, 2000, Preity Zinta's film, Kya Kehna, was released in theatres and shocked everyone with its immense success at the box office. The film was termed as a sleeper hit by everyone after the critics' claim that it will be a failure was mercilessly washed away by this movie.
However, Farhan Akhtar had met Preity Zinta for the first time during the screen test of the film, Kya Kehna, and even at that point, he was not just impressed by her looks and acting skills. But, he knew that Preity is going to turn the industry upside down, which is why he had told her strictly that whenever he would make his first film, he wants her to be a part of it, no matter what.
It's hard to imagine a better trio than Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, and Akshaye Khanna for the roles of 'Akash Malhotra', 'Sameer Mulchandani', and 'Sid Sinha', as the three actors have probably given their career's then-best in this film. However, you'll be shocked to hear that, originally Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani wanted the trio of Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan, and Akshaye Khanna for Dil Chahta Hai.
There's no denying that Akshaye Khanna had portrayed his character, 'Sid Sinha' flawlessly in the film, but there's no argument in the fact that Aamir Khan was born to play 'Akash Malhotra'. However, it wasn't a cakewalk for Farhan Akhtar to convince him for this role, as he had waited for almost ten months just to get an appointment with Mr Perfectionist.
After discussing the film with him, Aamir Khan was super-excited to play 'Akash Malhotra' in the film, and Akshaye Khanna was told to portray his original role, 'Sid Sinha' in Dil Chahta Hai. So eventually, all the missing pieces of the jigsaw fell into the right places.
In filmmaking, there are two techniques to record dialogues and sound. The first is dubbing, which is done in the recording studios, the second one is sync sound, and it is done on the sets during the filming. The sync sound is quite complex in nature, but elite filmmakers like Mani Ratnam always prefer to use it over dubbing.
However, Saif Ali Khan wasn't comfortable in sync sound at that time, which is why he had decided to leave the film. But after multiple discussions, the actor dropped the plan and completed the film. No wonder, it was the right decision from the Nawab of Pataudi.
The director of the film, Farhan Akhtar and the legendary trio, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, had a tough time composing the soundtrack and background music of Dil Chahta Hai. But the composers were facing issues in terms of creativity. That is when they had decided to go to Lonavla. After spending just four days in the arms of nature, the trio, along with Farhan, had come back with the film's entire soundtrack fully composed.
One day, the film's composer, Shankar Mahadevan, was brushing his teeth and had realised that the opening bass tune, which he had composed earlier, fits perfectly with the film's title, Dil Chahta Hai. As soon as he realised it, Shankar ran straight into Farhan Akhtar's room and had explained to him the match between the tune and the three words (Dil Chahta Hai).
The lyrics of all the tracks from Dil Chahta Hai were written by the maestro, Javed Akhtar. However, his son, Farhan Akhtar, had a hilarious opinion about the usage of the words 'Chamkele Din' in the title track. The director had thought that the words sounded like a name of a detergent powder and had wanted to replace them. But his thought wasn't entertained by his father, as expected.
Dil Chahta Hai's peppy song, Woh Ladki Hai Kahan, was an instant hit at that time, while the song was composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Shaan and Kavita Krishnamurthy sang it. The song was Shaan's first hit track and had launched his career in Bollywood.
The comical picturisation of the song was done by famous choreographer, Farah Khan and she had paid homage to the romance of the 60s, 70s and 80s. For the same, Farah had won the Best Choreography Award both at Filmfare Awards ad IIFA Awards.
When it was announced that Aamir Khan has agreed to join hands with Farhan Akhtar for his directorial debut, Dil Chahta Hai, many critics and filmmakers thought that the film would be a massive flop. One among them was director, Karan Johar, who had also stated in an interview with a media portal that Aamir had 'lost the plot' while choosing this film.
It was a challenging decision to decide which scene should be shot first from the entire script. After much discussion, the first shot was when Saif Ali Khan's character, 'Sameer', tells 'Akash' and 'Sid' about falling in love with 'Pooja' (Sonali Kulkarni).
Akshaye Khanna's character, Sid, gives a long speech about 'letting go' in Dil Chahta Hai that is still very much alive in the Instagram reels of this generation. But, not many are aware of the fact that it is a nod to legendary American writer, Edgar Allan Poe's beautiful poem, A Dream Within A Dream.
Once in an interview with a leading media portal, Farhan Akhtar had revealed that his film, Dil Chahta Hai, was inspired by his personal diary, in which he had recorded his trips to Las Vegas and New York. He had also added that one of his close friends had narrated a story about road trips to him, and it had played a big part in his decision to write his directorial debut.
Once Saif Ali Khan had revealed a hilarious incident during a press conference that had happened on the sets of Dil Chahta Hai and is extremely close to his heart. The actor had stated that during the filming of the scene in which his character, 'Sameer' came back from Goa, one of the film's assistant directors would say 'clop' instead of 'clap', and it had left Saif in splits for hours.
When the film's budget, Dil Chahta Hai, was in process and came out, after all the important calculations, it was found that Ritesh Sidhawani forgot to include all the expenses of post-production. Well, it clearly shows that everyone starts from scratch.
According to Farhan Akhtar, he had originally planned to make his characters, Akash and Shalini, fall in love with each other in the beautiful city of New York. But, because the winter season was falling when they were supposed to shoot that part of the film, Farhan had decided to film it in Australia.
According to reports, Farhan Akhtar is thinking about the prospect of making the sequel of Dil Chahta Hai with an all-female cast.