This memorable movie made the Bhatt camp a formidable force in Bollywood. Aashiqui gave us two new faces and new hope Rahul Roy and Anu Aggarwal. Mahesh Bhatt had spotted Anu at a party. Settled in Paris she was already an International model (first Indian Super model) and had no interest to come to Bollywood but one thing in the script clinched her okay and that was when the heroine says “I want to do something of my own’ which was also her life philosophy.
Anu Aggarwal was dark complexioned; which was a rarity in Bollywood during the 90s where people usually liked to see fair toned heroines, that notwithstanding she was accepted whole-hardheartedly. Rahul Roy was also spotted by Bhatt when he went to his mother Indira Roy’s house to wish her.
Though Aashiqui was a super-duper hit, it did not help in the careers of the lead actors as it should have due to various reasons, maybe the controversies were more than the actual screen time they got. This was officially, one of the biggest hits of 1990. Made on a small budget of Rs. 20 lakhs, it went on to gross 25 times over and ran to packed houses and changed the perspective of love as shown in the Bollywood movies. Aashiqui’s was different as it was a deeper and caring kind love that was rarely shown on screen vis a vis the tease and ‘patao’ or forceful love. This movie spawned many such movies with different themes but same underlying message, such movies are trend setters. The theme resonated with the educated masses of youngsters.
Aashiqui can surely be labelled as a cult film of sorts and also had a rehashed later day version from the same camp by the name Aashiqui 2, which also was a big hit with Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor as the main leads, providing fillip to the dead career of the later. Aashiqui was released on 17th August 1990.
The boy Rahul (Rahul Roy) an aspiring singer who sings in clubs and the girl Anu (Anu Aggarwal) meet at the most unlikeliest of places in the Police Station for various reasons, Rahul offers his jacket which is accepted. Unable to forget the girl’s striking face, he traces her to a Working Women’s Hostel run by Arnie (Tom Alter) the oppressive, he devices a way to contact her and the meetings start with exchange of notes. They elope but are caught by the police and she is sent back with Arnie who takes her to Ooty to her Uncle and guardian. Rahul unable to forget Anu and fearing ill-treatment approaches Arnie who is also wanting to help her go together to Ooty only to find Anu miserable. They bribe the alcoholic uncle and bring her back to rehabilitate her as she wants to do something on her own, Rahul helps her with that and she wins a contest and a ticket to Paris for appearing as a Model for a famous brand.
Rahul proposes marriage which she accepts but also signs a contract which has a no marriage for two years clause which hurts Rahul who writes her a blood soaked letter but she proceeds with her life and he also becomes a singer which he had always been aspiring to be. A few years down the line, both are successful in their profession and at one time when she is leaving for Paris for better pastures, Rahul reaches the Airport after getting the news and the movie ends on a happy note – in the now eponymous scene with both buried under the famous Jacket. What strikes you in the movie is the underlying pathos though it had a happy ending.
Though Rahul Roy had a good personality and his hair style a rage, but had a bit of wooden touch to his acting which was all glossed over due to the super music of the film and songs filmed on him. All the 12 songs of the movie were one better than the other and gave us the great Kumar Sanu, the man with the voice of Kishore Kumar finally found (there was a search for a person with his voice after his death). It also won Sanu his very first Filmfare award for “Ab tere Bin” as the best male playback singer. Aashiqui also resurrected the careers of its music director duo Nadeem-Shravan. It was one of the best-selling albums in the history of Indian film music. Some of the portions in the movie were autobiographical for Anu as she was already an International Super model and for Sanu who also sang in clubs before being picked for this movie. There were various cover versions of the songs like “Dheere Dheere se”. Aditya Pancholi had dubbed for Rahul Roy for this film and ofcouse, Anu Aggarwal was definitely the show-stopper of this cult romantic flick.
– Revisited by PAWAN GUPTA