Straight From the Heart (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam) Reviews

  • Nov 15, 2018

    Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam stars Aishwarya Rai as Nandini, the entitled, vivacious daughter of a royal musician who falls in love with one of her father's students, Sameer, played by Salman Khan. Sameer is a half-Indian, half-Italian mischievous playboy, who falls in love with Nandini. But Nandini's father, Pundit, has already arranged Nandini's marriage to the quiet and reserved lawyer Vanraj. Following their marriage, the honorable Vanraj takes Nandini to India to reunite with her lover, sacrificing his own happiness for hers. What follows is an epic love story spanning two countries, in which Nandini must decide between Sameer, who taught her how to love passionately, and Vanraj, who taught her to abide by promises of love. In a shocking twist ending, Nandini falls in love with her husband Vanraj, rejecting Sameer and choosing to spend her life with Vanraj. This film is unlike any other Bollywood movie I've ever seen. Thematically, it is similar to DDLJ - the daughter of a traditionalist father falls in love with a Westernized lover even though she is already arranged to be married to someone her father approves of. But Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam flips this formula on its script - rather than reuniting with her lover, Nandini falls in love with her husband along the way, and chooses to stay with him instead. Rosie Thomas writes that "the good-evil opposition becomes subtly conflated with another set of ideas: good with associations of the traditional, that which is Indian; bad with those of the traditional and the 'non-Indian.'" In this film, like in DDLJ, it is not the Westernized lover himself who disrupts the moral universe, but rather the overbearing father who rejects his daughter's wishes. However, this film takes that formula one step further by presenting Nandini with choosing between "good" and "bad" types of love. The "good" love is actually found with her "ideally traditional" (in the eyes of Nandini's father) husband, Vanraj, who loves her selflessly and respectfully. The "bad" love is found with the half-Indian, half-Italian Westernized Sameer, the lover, for their love is passionate, but it is also selfish, almost as if Nandini and Sameer are loving themselves through each other. Nandini and Vanraj grow to truly love each other, however this film does not provide a commentary on the father always being "right," or arranged marriages always being "right." Rather, within the framework of choosing between her arranged marriage husband and her lover, Nandini achieves greater agency, and in a rare twist on the typical Bollywood script, her character develops and comes more truly into her own through her search for Sameer, as shown through Aishwarya Rai's phenomenal performance. Appropriate for its time period (1999, when the Bollywood film industry was in a time of flux), Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam interrogates what true love is, and rights the moral universe through the female protagonist figuring out what she truly wants in life and expressing her agency over who she chooses to be with; in choosing the "right" love, Nandini herself rights the moral universe. One thing I did not enjoy about this film was Salman Khan's performance, as I found his acting to be completely overdone. However, he was balanced by Aishwarya Rai's range as well as Ajay Devgan's subtlety, which allowed his character to come to be the one we root against. I loved the costuming and the vibrant colors of the film - visually, it was stunning. I also enjoyed the different take on music that I saw in this film - there were rap and rock and roll influences in the music, and most of the songs were voiceover style as opposed to the traditional playback. I also really loved the message of female agency, with Nandini coming full circle as her free-spirited self in choosing to be with Vanraj. Ultimately, this film stands in my mind as a modern take on the classic Bollywood romance, and one that I truly believe should be a part of any academic study of Bollywood cinema, as well as a must-see for all Bollywood fans!

    Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam stars Aishwarya Rai as Nandini, the entitled, vivacious daughter of a royal musician who falls in love with one of her father's students, Sameer, played by Salman Khan. Sameer is a half-Indian, half-Italian mischievous playboy, who falls in love with Nandini. But Nandini's father, Pundit, has already arranged Nandini's marriage to the quiet and reserved lawyer Vanraj. Following their marriage, the honorable Vanraj takes Nandini to India to reunite with her lover, sacrificing his own happiness for hers. What follows is an epic love story spanning two countries, in which Nandini must decide between Sameer, who taught her how to love passionately, and Vanraj, who taught her to abide by promises of love. In a shocking twist ending, Nandini falls in love with her husband Vanraj, rejecting Sameer and choosing to spend her life with Vanraj. This film is unlike any other Bollywood movie I've ever seen. Thematically, it is similar to DDLJ - the daughter of a traditionalist father falls in love with a Westernized lover even though she is already arranged to be married to someone her father approves of. But Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam flips this formula on its script - rather than reuniting with her lover, Nandini falls in love with her husband along the way, and chooses to stay with him instead. Rosie Thomas writes that "the good-evil opposition becomes subtly conflated with another set of ideas: good with associations of the traditional, that which is Indian; bad with those of the traditional and the 'non-Indian.'" In this film, like in DDLJ, it is not the Westernized lover himself who disrupts the moral universe, but rather the overbearing father who rejects his daughter's wishes. However, this film takes that formula one step further by presenting Nandini with choosing between "good" and "bad" types of love. The "good" love is actually found with her "ideally traditional" (in the eyes of Nandini's father) husband, Vanraj, who loves her selflessly and respectfully. The "bad" love is found with the half-Indian, half-Italian Westernized Sameer, the lover, for their love is passionate, but it is also selfish, almost as if Nandini and Sameer are loving themselves through each other. Nandini and Vanraj grow to truly love each other, however this film does not provide a commentary on the father always being "right," or arranged marriages always being "right." Rather, within the framework of choosing between her arranged marriage husband and her lover, Nandini achieves greater agency, and in a rare twist on the typical Bollywood script, her character develops and comes more truly into her own through her search for Sameer, as shown through Aishwarya Rai's phenomenal performance. Appropriate for its time period (1999, when the Bollywood film industry was in a time of flux), Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam interrogates what true love is, and rights the moral universe through the female protagonist figuring out what she truly wants in life and expressing her agency over who she chooses to be with; in choosing the "right" love, Nandini herself rights the moral universe. One thing I did not enjoy about this film was Salman Khan's performance, as I found his acting to be completely overdone. However, he was balanced by Aishwarya Rai's range as well as Ajay Devgan's subtlety, which allowed his character to come to be the one we root against. I loved the costuming and the vibrant colors of the film - visually, it was stunning. I also enjoyed the different take on music that I saw in this film - there were rap and rock and roll influences in the music, and most of the songs were voiceover style as opposed to the traditional playback. I also really loved the message of female agency, with Nandini coming full circle as her free-spirited self in choosing to be with Vanraj. Ultimately, this film stands in my mind as a modern take on the classic Bollywood romance, and one that I truly believe should be a part of any academic study of Bollywood cinema, as well as a must-see for all Bollywood fans!

  • Nov 15, 2018

    5 Stars - Rotten Tomatoes Yair Koas An excellent film - one that captures all the elements of Bollywood, and then twists and turns them around to surprise and entertain the viewer. The film tells the story of Nandini, who falls in love with Sameer, a confident man who is staying at their house to study classical music. Nandini, however, is arranged to wed Vanraj, which prevents her from being with her lover. Vanraj, now Nandini's husband, agrees to help her find Sameer, so they travel to Italy (where Sameer lives) to find him. It is specifically this unique storyline, the music (classical and modern), the scenery (desert, Italy, etc.,) and the playing with traditional Bollywood film tropes that create a fun and unique viewing experience. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam is definitely similar to the 1995 classic Bollywood film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), as the type of playful romance that Sameer and Nandini have is comparable to that of Raj and Simran - but only to that of Raj and Simran in the first part of the film. The difference is that Raj and Simran eventually are able to mature their love once Raj agrees to go to India - and without giving anything away - Sameer and Nandini have difficulties with moving beyond that stage. Tejaswini Ganti writes in their novel Bollywood: A Guidebook to Popular Hindi Cinema, that the traditional love story found in Bollywood films is that in which a "character is torn between someone s/he loves and someone s/he is obliged to marry" (40). The joy in watching a film like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, is that the audience enters the film expecting the traditional love story, explained by Ganti, but instead are treated to a twist on what is expected. It is this intentional playing with the elements found within Bollywood cinema that truly make Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam a one-of-a-kind movie worth watching again and again!

    5 Stars - Rotten Tomatoes Yair Koas An excellent film - one that captures all the elements of Bollywood, and then twists and turns them around to surprise and entertain the viewer. The film tells the story of Nandini, who falls in love with Sameer, a confident man who is staying at their house to study classical music. Nandini, however, is arranged to wed Vanraj, which prevents her from being with her lover. Vanraj, now Nandini's husband, agrees to help her find Sameer, so they travel to Italy (where Sameer lives) to find him. It is specifically this unique storyline, the music (classical and modern), the scenery (desert, Italy, etc.,) and the playing with traditional Bollywood film tropes that create a fun and unique viewing experience. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam is definitely similar to the 1995 classic Bollywood film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), as the type of playful romance that Sameer and Nandini have is comparable to that of Raj and Simran - but only to that of Raj and Simran in the first part of the film. The difference is that Raj and Simran eventually are able to mature their love once Raj agrees to go to India - and without giving anything away - Sameer and Nandini have difficulties with moving beyond that stage. Tejaswini Ganti writes in their novel Bollywood: A Guidebook to Popular Hindi Cinema, that the traditional love story found in Bollywood films is that in which a "character is torn between someone s/he loves and someone s/he is obliged to marry" (40). The joy in watching a film like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, is that the audience enters the film expecting the traditional love story, explained by Ganti, but instead are treated to a twist on what is expected. It is this intentional playing with the elements found within Bollywood cinema that truly make Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam a one-of-a-kind movie worth watching again and again!

  • Apr 17, 2015

    A stunning movie. A classic love triangle with lots of drama. But I felt that Ajay Devgn should have played Sameer. Feel for Salman Khan as he was left by Aishwarya rai. Sanjay Leela bhansalis best till date for me

    A stunning movie. A classic love triangle with lots of drama. But I felt that Ajay Devgn should have played Sameer. Feel for Salman Khan as he was left by Aishwarya rai. Sanjay Leela bhansalis best till date for me

  • Mar 12, 2015

    watched it long time ago ..

    watched it long time ago ..

  • Sep 30, 2013

    If you are looking for a BOLLYWOOD movie- with song and dance- Watch this one.

    If you are looking for a BOLLYWOOD movie- with song and dance- Watch this one.

  • Mar 30, 2013

    Didn't know Budapest was in Italy, where everything is written and said in Hungarian, and where Gipsy East-European music is played and danced in pubs... but "kuchh nai hai" :) Otherwise, lovely story, great music and a good lighting around the duties conveyed by love. And Aishwarya is stunning as usual. Oh, yeah, and the scene when Aishwarya Rai catches Salman Khan unaware farting loudly is just legendary... !

    Didn't know Budapest was in Italy, where everything is written and said in Hungarian, and where Gipsy East-European music is played and danced in pubs... but "kuchh nai hai" :) Otherwise, lovely story, great music and a good lighting around the duties conveyed by love. And Aishwarya is stunning as usual. Oh, yeah, and the scene when Aishwarya Rai catches Salman Khan unaware farting loudly is just legendary... !

  • Jun 19, 2012

    My first introduction to Aishwarya Rai (in her first major Bollywood hit), 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam' excels at presenting fantastic dance set pieces and songs, as do most successful Indian films. While the pacing can drag at times (as is also the case with a lot of Indian films), most issues are saved by the Rai's charisma and the aforementioned musical performances. Where HDDCS really stumbles is in its dialogue. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Bollywood actors' tendency to overact and drown in melodrama can really bite their movie in the ass when the script isn't focused on the dance scenes. I'm not suggesting melodrama or passionate acting are inherently bad, rather, I'm simply saying that any missteps that occur when engaging in this type of acting are felt particularly hard by the audience. As I hinted earlier, a common type of misstep is awkward dialogue. Overacting and melodrama, if not used appropriately, can absolutely kill dialogue and turn a movie into a painful mess. I thought Salaman Khan was incredibly annoying in this film because of this. Furthermore, Bollywood melodrama and overacting (as is perfectly exemplified by this film) has other problems that go behind the awkwardness that can ensue. A little bit goes a long way, and pacing can be affected. This is the cause for the dragging in this movie (other than the 3 hour+ run time). But I digress. The second half of HDDCS is a lot stronger than its first, and most of the pacing and dialogue problems are handled more effectively. Ajay Devgan's more subdued performance also elevates the movie's latter half, and he is far more likable than Khan. I found the justice done to him at the end of the movie was great, and concluded the story well. In the end, HDDCS's performances from Rai and Devgan and the mesmerizing dance/song scenes outshine its weaker points. HDDCS, in giving credit where credit is due, is a real treat for choreography, music, and costume design. Well worth your 3 hours and 7 minutes ;)

    My first introduction to Aishwarya Rai (in her first major Bollywood hit), 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam' excels at presenting fantastic dance set pieces and songs, as do most successful Indian films. While the pacing can drag at times (as is also the case with a lot of Indian films), most issues are saved by the Rai's charisma and the aforementioned musical performances. Where HDDCS really stumbles is in its dialogue. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Bollywood actors' tendency to overact and drown in melodrama can really bite their movie in the ass when the script isn't focused on the dance scenes. I'm not suggesting melodrama or passionate acting are inherently bad, rather, I'm simply saying that any missteps that occur when engaging in this type of acting are felt particularly hard by the audience. As I hinted earlier, a common type of misstep is awkward dialogue. Overacting and melodrama, if not used appropriately, can absolutely kill dialogue and turn a movie into a painful mess. I thought Salaman Khan was incredibly annoying in this film because of this. Furthermore, Bollywood melodrama and overacting (as is perfectly exemplified by this film) has other problems that go behind the awkwardness that can ensue. A little bit goes a long way, and pacing can be affected. This is the cause for the dragging in this movie (other than the 3 hour+ run time). But I digress. The second half of HDDCS is a lot stronger than its first, and most of the pacing and dialogue problems are handled more effectively. Ajay Devgan's more subdued performance also elevates the movie's latter half, and he is far more likable than Khan. I found the justice done to him at the end of the movie was great, and concluded the story well. In the end, HDDCS's performances from Rai and Devgan and the mesmerizing dance/song scenes outshine its weaker points. HDDCS, in giving credit where credit is due, is a real treat for choreography, music, and costume design. Well worth your 3 hours and 7 minutes ;)

  • Jun 12, 2012

    A lavish, colourful and playful love story epic about a woman who falls in love with her fatherâ(TM)s music student, is promised to another man in an arranged marriage, and goes in search of her first love alongside her husband once he realizes that she doesnâ(TM)t truly love him. Themes of love, duty and self-sacrifice all nicely developed with much singing and dancing. Much of the banter and flirting is extremely artful and Aishwarya Rai has a physical talent matching Chaplin when sheâ(TM)s turning her back on a suitor or pretending to ignore someone. Salman Khan is a little over the top as Sameer, the music student who falls in love with her but Ajay Devgan is nobly glum and serious as Vanraj, her unloved husband who seeks to reunite her with Sameer so that she can be happy. Treating the Budapest backdrop as though it were Italy is absurd but somehow fits with the exuberant tone of this wonderful film about longing and desire.

    A lavish, colourful and playful love story epic about a woman who falls in love with her fatherâ(TM)s music student, is promised to another man in an arranged marriage, and goes in search of her first love alongside her husband once he realizes that she doesnâ(TM)t truly love him. Themes of love, duty and self-sacrifice all nicely developed with much singing and dancing. Much of the banter and flirting is extremely artful and Aishwarya Rai has a physical talent matching Chaplin when sheâ(TM)s turning her back on a suitor or pretending to ignore someone. Salman Khan is a little over the top as Sameer, the music student who falls in love with her but Ajay Devgan is nobly glum and serious as Vanraj, her unloved husband who seeks to reunite her with Sameer so that she can be happy. Treating the Budapest backdrop as though it were Italy is absurd but somehow fits with the exuberant tone of this wonderful film about longing and desire.

  • Apr 21, 2012

    One of the best Bollywood films I've seen!

    One of the best Bollywood films I've seen!

  • Dec 26, 2011

    didnt like Sallu- loved ash and ajay

    didnt like Sallu- loved ash and ajay