In the year 1991 director Mahesh Bhatt achieved something that is rarely achieved. Something that is even more rare in The Hindi Film Industry. But let’s start at the beginning…
Gulshan Kumar, the founder of T-Series and the man who saw to it that melody came back in hindi films in the ’90s, started his career as a producer with the tv movie Mirza Ghalib in 1988. He went on to produce the movies “Abhi Toh Main Jawaan Hoon” (1989 directed by the late Amjad Khan featuring Sachin) and “Bahaar Aane Tak” (1990 – Sumeet Saigal and Rupa Ganguly). The latter had a soundtrack by Rajesh Roshan that would be a big hit especially the song “Kaali Teri Chotti Hai”.
Then came the year 1990 and this would be the year that changed everything. This would be the year that Gulshan Kumar would collaborate with Mahesh Bhatt for the first time and that for a movie which would have music by Nadeem Shravan. A Nadeem Shravan soundtrack for a T-Series produced film for the first time. The story about the making and behind the scenes stories of “Aashiqui” are food for another blog so I will not go into that here. Just one thing I would like to mention since that will bring us back to our movie… Nadeem-Shravan recorded some songs for this movie and gave it to Gulshan Kumar and Mahesh Bhatt. They selected the songs for “Aashiqui” and rejected some songs…
Mahesh Bhatt was a director who had not been too succesful in the initial phase of his career. Movies like “Manzilein Aur Bhi Hai” (1974 – Kabir Bedi), “Vishwaasghaat” (1977 – Sanjeev Kumar, Shabana Azmi) and “Naya Daur” ( 1978- Rishi Kapoor) were nothing really special. Then in 1982 came the semi-autobiographical “Arth” (Smita Patil, Raj Kiran, Shabana Azmi and Kulbhushan Karbanda) which changed it all. The film was a hit and a new hit director was born. Films like “Saaransh” (1984 – Anupam Kher), “Naam” (1986 – Sanju, Kumar Gaurav, Amrita Singh, Poonam Dhillon and Nutan) followed. Some of these films would work big time and some would not work. My favourite Mahesh Bhatt movie from this era was the film “Thikaana” (1987 – Anil Kapoor, Smita Patil, Amrita Singh and Suresh Oberoi). According to me this film had glimpses of a Hitchcockian thriller. I think this movie is one of Mahesh Bhatt’s most underrated films which is a shame.
Then in 1990 Mahesh Bhatt, the director, would make a turn and start making films of a totally other genre. His collaboration with Gulshan Kumar would produce the first film of the new Mahesh Bhatt and the film “Aashiqui” (1990 – Rahul Roy, Anu Agarwal and Deepak Tijori) would become the biggest hit of the year. Not only would this film give the Hindi Cinema some new actors but this film would single-handedly change the filmi music scene. This film gifted us all music directors Nadeem-Shravan, lyricist Sameer and singers Kumar Sanu and Anuradha Paudwal.
After the big success of “Aashiqui” producer Gulshan Kumar and director Mahesh Bhatt would team up again. This time they would work with a bigger cast. No newcomers but an established hero and heroine. Remember what I told you about the rejected songs for “Aashiqui”? Well one of the songs that was recorded and was rejected for that film was a song which would become an anthem for young lovers. That song was “Dil Hai Ke Maanta Nahin” (Anuradha Paudwal, Kumar Sanu).
The film “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” which was released in 1991 was a remake of the Frank Capra film “It Happened One Night” (1934- Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert). This Hollywood film itself would be remembered for eternity as the first film ever to win the big 4 Oscars. The first film to win Oscars for best film, best director, best actor and best actress. But like I said in the beginning of this article what Mahesh Bhatt achieved with this film is something that is very rarely achieved. And that is to remake a movie in such a way that the remake is actually better than the original. And that is exactly what Mahesh Bhatt did with this movie. Though some scenes are literally lifted from the black and white classic and some dialogues are also literally translated from english to hindi it somehow works… and works big time!
“Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” featured Aamir Khan, Pooja Bhatt, Anupam Kher, Tiku Talsania, Avtar Gill, Rakesh Bedi, Mushtaq Khan and many others who would become regulars in Mahesh Bhatt films during the 90’s. The cast of “Aashiqui” was not repeated except for a special appearance right at the beginning by Deepak Tijori during the song “Galyat Sankali Sonyanchi”. But the cast that did appear in the movie was top-notch. Aamir Khan as Raghu Jetley (the Clark Gable role) was bang on. You can’t visualise anyone else in this role. That’s why it is so damn difficult to think of anybody in this role for a remake (which I will get to later on). Anupam Kher was quite funny in his role as Pooja her dad. It is said that the character portrayed by Anupam Kher was based on the real life father of “actor” Chunky Panday. I say “actor” because according to me Chunky Panday can’t act to save his life. The character actors like Tiku Talsania (who was known for his washing powder Nirma commercial), Mushtaq Khan and the others all did well and were all good in their respective roles.
That brings me to the leading lady of the film -Pooja Bhatt. I fell in love with Pooja Bhatt when I saw her 1989 tv movie “Daddy” in which she debuted. This movie was not your usual debut love story for a hero or heroine. Pooja had a though role and she did fully justice to it. I would come to love Pooja for her “Pooja roles”. To be honest most of her early films had her in the same role- at least the same character of Pooja. But let’s be honest: this were the 90’s and a lot of actors and actresses were faced with type casting. At least Pooja excelled in her role. I would come to love all her roles even if the film might be bad. And she surprised me with her comic timing. Especially in the Subhash Ghai produced, Sachin directed “Prem Deewaane” (1992 – Jackie Schroff, Madhuri Dizit and Vivek Mushran). Though Madhuri Dixit was the no. 1 actress at the time of this film’s release Pooja Bhatt stole the entire movie.
Pooja accepted this role after turning down “Aashiqui” for reasons best known to her. I personally think this is a shame because according to me “Aashiqui” would have gotten that something extra if Pooja would have accepted the role after her fantastic turn in “Daddy”.
Pooja Bhatt in “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” is just perfect and her pairing with Aamir Khan worked wonders. Though I loved Pooja in this movie there is 1 actress whom I can easily see in her role if this movie would be remade today. And that would be my favourite actress of the new generation…
“Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” though a well-directed film with only good performances by the entire cast would not have become the classic it has become if the soundtrack of the film would not have been as perfect as it was…
The making of the soundtrack of “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” could actually be an entire blog of its own. Let’s try to incorporate a few facts and stories regarding the evergreen soundtrack of this movie. Like I mentioned earlier the title track of this movie was written by Sameer , composed by Nadeem-Shravan and sung by Kumar Sanu and recorded for the film “Aashiqui”. But the track did not make it to final soundtrack of that movie. But when this film was being made it became the title track of this movie. Thank god for small mercies.
All songs which needed a female singer were sung by Anuradha Paudwal since T-Series was heavily promoting her at that time and did not record any songs in other female singers’ voices. Anuradha did a great job and even won a Filmfare Award for the solo version of the title track. In addition to the songs featured in the movie 3 songs were not shown in the movie. “Kaise Mizaaz Aap ke Hain”, “Hum Toh Mashhoor Huwe Hain” and “O Mere Sapnon Ke Saudagar”. The latter song was included in the movie after the movies release. However the 2 earlier mentioned songs were not which is a shame because they are true gems.
There are a couple of versions of the soundtrack available though it is not easy to find all the versions of the songs today. I bought the cassettes of the movie when it was released and have all versions of the songs. For instance before the movie was released I bought the soundtrack of the movie which had “Tu Pyaar Hai Kisi Aur Ka” sung by Anuradha Paudwal and Babla Mehta. But when I finally saw the movie the male voice was that of Kumar Sanu. So it took me a while to find that version. Now after 30 years of making my radio show and collecting songs I have some versions of songs which were only in trailers or in the movie. Of the songs “Kaise Mizaaz Aap Ke Hain”, “Adaiyen Bhi Hai” and “Galiyat Sankali Sonyanchi” I have the versions sung by Anuradha Paudwal and Babla Mehta but also the released versions of Anuradha Paudwal and Kumar Sanu. On some platforms like YouTube a 1 minute version is uploaded of the song “Dil Tujhpe Aagaya” sung by Kumar Sanu with the caption that it is a very rare version which was recorded. This is not true. I have an album which has singers like Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik et all singing an approximately 60 minute medley of Nadeem_Shravan songs. On that album Kumar Sanu renders an 1 minute version of the song which is uploaded on the net.
Now I am not that a big fan of remaking classics. But I am wondering that if Mahesh Bhatt achieved the feat of remaking a Hollywood classic in such a way that it was much much better then the original Frank Capra movie what could happen if “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” would be remade for today’s generation?
Like I said earlier on I can not think of anyone else in Aamir Khan’s role. It would be damn difficult to visualise anyone else in that role. Maybe the best option would be a newcomer. But in the role of Pooja Bhatt I do have a suggestion. And that is my favourite actress of the new generation. An actress who is pleasing to the eye, just like Pooja Bhatt, but also an actress who can really act, just like Pooja Bhatt. And above all an actress I wouldn’t mind taking on the “Pooja role” that Pooja Bhatt perfected in the 90’s. Who else then Alia Bhatt whom I do see glimpses of Pooja sometimes.
Wouldn’t that be great? “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin 2” with Alia Bhatt!
Do you like behind the scene stories about movies, movies till those from the 90’s or those film songs when hindi film songs were actually any good? Then tune in to SunriseFM every Sunday 10PM (Netherlands), 5PM (Suriname), 4PM (New York), 9PM (London) and Monday 2.30AM (IST) for my radioshow “YAADEIN- A Walk Through Memory Lane). You can tune in to the show on SunriseFM through the cable (if you live in The Netherlands). Otherwise you can listen to the show through Tunein, The Sunrisefm app or online : www.sunrisefm.nl
And don;t forget to become a member of our Facebookcommunity “GEET SANGEET”
Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin (1991)\
produced by Gulshan Kumar (T-Series)
directed by Mahesh Bhatt
music by Nadeem-Shravan
lyrics by Sameer and Faaiz Anwar
singers Anuradha Paudwal, Kumar Sanu, Babla Mehta, Abhijeet, Debashish DasGupta
cast Aamir Khan, Pooja Bhatt and Anupam Kher