Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, also known by the initialism DDLJ, is an Indian romance film, directed by Aditya Chopra (in his directorial debut), produced by his father Yash Chopra, and written by Javed Siddiqui with Aditya Chopra. Released on 20 October 1995, the film stars Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. The plot revolves around Raj and Simran, two young non-resident Indians, who fall in love during a vacation through Europe with their friends. Raj tries to win over Simran’s family so the couple can marry, but Simran’s father has long since promised her hand to his friend’s son. The film was shot in India, London and Switzerland, from September 1994 to August 1995.
Earning ₹1.06 billion (valued at about US$32,766,000 in 1995) in India and ₹160 million (valued at about US$4,946,000 in 1995) overseas, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge became the highest grossing Bollywood film of the year, and one of the most successful Indian films in history. It won 10 Filmfare Awards—the most for a single film at that time—and the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. Its soundtrack album became one of the most popular of the 1990s.
Many critics praised the film, which connected with different segments of society by simultaneously promoting strong family values and the following of one’s own heart. Its success led other film makers to target the non-resident Indian audience, which was deemed more lucrative for them. It spawned many imitations of its story and style, and homages to specific scenes. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge was one of only three Hindi films in the reference book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, and was placed twelfth on the British Film Institute’s list of top Indian films of all time. It is the longest-running film in the history of Indian cinema. As of 2019, over 20 years after its first release, it is still being shown at the Maratha Mandir theatre in Mumbai.
The Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge soundtrack features seven songs composed by Jatin Lalit, a duo consisting of the brothers Jatin and Lalit Pandit. Anand Bakshi wrote the lyrics and Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Kumar Sanu, Abhijeet Bhattacharya and Udit Narayan performed the vocals. Jatin Lalit was considered for the job when singer Asha Bhosle contacted Yash Chopra after meeting the duo. It was their first collaboration with Yash Raj Films. They secured the job after singing “Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna” for Yash. In return, they ensured she sang one song, “Zara Sa Jhoom Loon Main”. Pamela Chopra helped them select tunes and instruments to give some of the songs a Punjabi flavour. Bhasker Gupta, writing for AllMusic, said the soundtrack was the best of Jatin Lalit’s career, and that it “marked the beginning of the fifth wave in Indian cinema …”.
The soundtrack became the best-selling Bollywood soundtrack of the year, with 12 million official units sold by HMV, although it is estimated the same number or more copies were pirated. More than 1 million of those sales occurred prior to the film’s release, with Chopra earning an advance of ₹10 million for the music rights. Gulshan Kumar sold an unofficial version of the soundtrack under his T-Series label. Combined sales of both the official HMV version and the unofficial T-Series version amounted to 20 million copies. The total number of estimated sales including pirated copies range from 25 million to over 100 million.
In 2005, the album was judged the top Hindi soundtrack of all time by voters on the BBC Asian Network website. Anand Bakshi won his third Filmfare Best Lyricist award after 14 years, having two nominations for this film. The wedding song “Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna” from the film became an all-time hit; it is played at weddings across the South Asian diaspora. The following is the track listing.