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The British Film Institute (BFI) has commissioned a book written by Anupama Chopra on the longest running film in Indian Cinema 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge'
. This book has been released under BFI Modern Classics series, which is a series of critical studies of international films produced over the last three decades. This is the first Hindi film to be chosen in this series, reflecting the enormous impact this movie had on global Indian audiences.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge ('The Brave-hearted Will Take the Bride'), universally known as DDLJ, opened to huge popular acclaim in India in 1995. Audiences flocked the halls to see it again and again. Directed by first-time film-maker Aditya Chopra, it has since become the longest running film in the history of Indian cinema - and has changed the face of Bollywood. DDLJ was the first contemporary Hindi film to focus on Indian residents abroad (specifically, in this case, London). As Anupama Chopra points out, it's a heady cocktail of European locations, flashy cars, gorgeous mansions - a feast for a newly liberalised nation - and the hearty, rustic traditions of Punjab. DDLJ has spawned numerous imitations and epitomises popular Indian cinema today. It's a paradoxical film, which affirms old-fashioned values of pre-marital chastity and family authority, affirming the idea that Westernization need not affect an essential Indian identity.
The book has interesting anecdotes on this cult movie and interesting insights from Yash Chopra and Aditya Chopra about their experiences of movie making. Having conducted in-depth interviews with the film-makers, Anupama Chopra gives the definitive account of a Bollywood phenomenon. It is a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes information about what it took to make this contemporary classic.
Anupama Chopra is a film critic for the national news magazine India Today. She is also the author of 'Sholay: The Making of a Classic (2000)' which won the prestigious National Award for the year's best book on cinema. She has an MA in Journalism from Northwestern University, Chicago. She currently lives in Mumbai with her husband, film-maker Vidhu Vinod Chopra, and children, Agni and Zuni.
The British Film Institute promotes greater understanding and appreciation of film and moving image culture in the UK. Under the BFI Modern Classic series, writers explore their chosen films, offering a range of perspectives on the dominant art and entertainment medium in contemporary culture. The series gathers together snapshots of the passion for and understanding of recent movies.