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Dil Chahta Hai turns 20: Akshaye Khanna’s character Siddharth Sinha grounded Farhan Akhtar’s coming-of-age film-Entertainment News , Firstpost

Without Sid, Dil Chahta Hai would nonetheless have been a breezy coming-of-age story about friendship and love, however it could have misplaced its soul, its introspective high quality that forestalls it from being another forgettable rom-com spun by the dozen yearly.

Akshaye Khanna in Dil Chahta Hai

Men like Siddharth Sinha are uncommon. Both in actual life and in movies. In an trade that likes to obsess over and glorify the man-child, males like Sid come as soon as in a era.

It has been 20 years since Dil Chahta Hai launched however I nonetheless can not consider another character in motion pictures that has been written and carried out with as a lot care and management. When I first watched the movie as a pre-pubescent, I discovered Akash humorous and Sameer charming, nevertheless it was Sid that stayed with me. His sensitivity, gravitas, and deep sense of melancholy resonated with me at an instinctive stage. I had not seen anybody like him on display screen earlier than. I’ve not since.

What was it about him that felt so acquainted? His introversion? His quiet inventive genius? His negation of what ought to and shouldn’t be? His means to see what others disregard? Or was it his brooding self-assuredness? I couldn’t inform then.

When I watched the movie once more not too long ago, I lastly knew why. Today, twenty years later, Sameer seems to be juvenile, and Akash’s humour feels trite. It is barely Sid among the many trio who has aged effectively. No, he has gotten higher. Without him, Dil Chahta Hai would nonetheless have been a breezy coming-of-age story about friendship and love, however it could have misplaced its soul, its introspective high quality that forestalls it from being another forgettable rom-com spun by the dozen yearly.

Sid’s presence does to the movie what the little motifs that he attracts with Tara’s portrait do to the portray — add a complete new dimension discernable solely to these observant sufficient to understand it.

How Sid falls in love with Tara is so near life that it was a breakthrough for its time. It was 2001 — shiny, larger-than-life movies mounted on huge budgets and even greater stars had been the norm. Tickets of soppy tales wanting you to like your loved ones and nation offered like hotcakes on the field workplace. Bollywood was nonetheless busy doing what it does greatest — normalising love-at-first-sight romances and churning out uninspired copies of outdated blockbusters. In a milieu and at a time like that, Sid’s gradual, reflective romance was an anomaly.

Initially, identical to any well-meaning neighbour, he solely needs to assist Tara — a divorcee a lot older than him — transfer her baggage as much as her residence. It is when he finds that she is an artwork aficionado {that a} friendship strikes between the 2, a painter and an inside designer. It grows naturally, seamlessly into love after Tara — like comfortable sunshine — throws mild on Sid’s guarded particular person by deciphering his work in a manner that no Akash or Sameer might ever have. It is a exceptional scene. In discovering the artist by his artwork, Tara unpacks volumes about Sid, herself, and his blossoming love for her. In that one scene, she offers a face, an anchor to Sid’s flights of fantasy and quiet reclusiveness.

Dil Chahta Hai turns 20 Akshaye Khannas character Siddharth Sinha grounded Farhan Akhtars comingofage film

Dimple Kapadia and Akshaye Khanna in Dil Chahta Hai

Sid jogs my memory numerous Jai (Amitabh Bachchan) from Sholay. Though he’s Veeru’s associate in each crime — they’re each playful, uncouth, opportunistic history-sheeters — Jai is markedly completely different from him; he’s a lot extra. He is aware, contemplative. When he falls in love with Radha (Jaya Bachchan), the younger widowed daughter-in-law of the thakur who has employed him as a bounty hunter, we’re not shocked. Jai is nowhere the urbane artist that Sid is, however they’re each brooders, with a way of melancholy so palpable that it transcends and finds house within the viewer’s coronary heart. The scene through which he’s enjoying the mouth organ at sunset Radha who’s lighting the lamps of her haveli is among the many most poignant ever shot. Again, it’s the weight and the power of Jai’s character that didn’t let Sholay turn into simply one other flippant revenge drama or a bromance movie.

It is tough to be a Sid in a world that celebrates males like Akash and Sameer. In a tradition huge on self-aggrandizement the place extroverts shine and conquer, there’s little house for introverts like Sid and Jai. In the primary couple of minutes of Dil Chahta Hai, Sameer, half-smirking, asks Sid, “Aur tu? Abhi tak Poona mein apne uncle ke farmhouse par?” Introverts, brooders not often turn into “successful.” They nearly by no means get the woman (or the boy) both. Sid’s love for Tara stays unrequited, and Jai dies. But that’s the factor. They don’t care a lot for barter. When everybody else is busy climbing up the ladder and discovering a fascinating associate, you will discover a Sid or a Jai by themselves, attempting to make sense of all of it by music and artwork. In a loud world, they’re the solitude seekers.

Dil Chahta Hai was a landmark movie. It launched Bollywood to chill haircuts, city, slice-of-life, narrative-driven tales (a marked departure from plot-heavy, mushy melodramas), and impromptu street journeys. It additionally made the Hindi movie fraternity sit up and acknowledge the brimming expertise of Farhan Akhtar and music composers Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. But most notably, it gave cine-goers Siddharth Sinha. And by him a mature illustration of the compassionate introvert, a pleasant oddity within the Hindi movie-verse. Akash will be the lead of the triumvirate with essentially the most display screen time, however he’s a cardboard character; he doesn’t transcend raffish jokes and the realisation that he has fallen for another person’s fiancé. It is Sid who has been fleshed out with better care, and given sufficient bone and blood to kind a personality so advanced, he appears like an individual you’ll wish to know and hold.

But Sid wouldn’t have been the man we’ve grown to like and treasure with out Akshaye Khanna’s in a position efficiency. In another actor’s pores and skin, he would have been a distinct man. It isn’t on daily basis {that a} character enhances an actor’s character so totally that it’s not possible to inform the place one ends and the opposite begins. In an interview with Mid-Day, Akshaye revealed that he wished to play Akash however Akhtar was insistent that he performs Sid as a substitute. I can see why. Sid is so unmistakably Akshaye that it’s tough to see him in another person. It was an excellent casting determination — Akshaye infuses Sid along with his private mystique and solitariness so fully, and with such sensitivity and nuance, that even twenty years later, he feels as real and endearing.

Twenty years in the past, seeing Sid on display screen, I, who was struggling to return to phrases with my very own introversion, realised for the primary time that it was not an undesirable character trait. I figured I didn’t have to vary if I didn’t wish to, that it was tremendous to not be the life of each celebration or steal each present. The stress to shine and socialise can severely injury an adolescent’s sense of self. I used to be conflicted, torn, nonetheless discovering who I used to be when Sid got here alongside. When everybody else was telling me in any other case, he confirmed me that it was okay to like, and make decisions that won’t make sense to others, and that a lifetime of contemplation spent in doing your individual factor at your individual time was not such a nasty technique to reside in any case.

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