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The Big Fat Indian Wedding


Hum Aapke Hain Koun 1994

Ahem.. Ahem… so the heroine coughed to draw attention in the movie and attention it did draw, that too in hordes. Hum Aapke Hai Koun was the biggest Bollywood blockbuster of all times till then, before DDLJ came along the next year. Released on 5th August 1994.

Hum Aapke Hai Kaun – This was the movie responsible to get the audience get back to theatres, as till then the Bollywood Industry was reeling under the onslaught of cable TV and people had almost forgotten to visit the theatres. This hugely successful tale was itself a re-adapted version of Rajshri’s own ‘Nadiya ke Paar’ with Sachin and Sadhana Singh.

Steeped in Indian cultural values, Hum Aapke Hai Koun had a good measure of songs and dance associated with a typical North Indian wedding. Some consider it to be a docu-drama on Indian weddings. It sealed the spot for Salman Khan as a superstar. The heroine Madhuri Dixit too was in superb form here. Some of the wedding dresses worn by her were a complete rage, so much so that every other female was wearing either the green white lehenga or the iconic purple sari, at the weddings, which she wore during ‘Didi tera Devar diwana’ song sequence. It literally developed in an eyesore and that too very quickly. Audiences sat in rapt attention through this three hour plus wedding epic, occasionally coming to life whenever a song played on the screen, all of the 14 of them, one could hear the crinkle of coins being thrown on the screen and whistles by the front rowers. This phenomenon has rarely been noticed since.

Hum Aapke Hai Koun was Sooraj Barjatya’s second directorial venture after the ‘Maine Pyaar Kiya’.

Two families one led by Kailash (Alok Nath) uncle to two bright boys namely the elder Rajesh (Mohnish Behl) and younger Prem (Salman) and the other by Siddharth (Anupam Kher) with wife Madhu (Reema Lagoo) and daughters Pooja (Renuka Shahane) and Nisha (Madhuri Dixit) are college day friends and as it happens they chance to meet each other with family in tow. As Kailash is looking for a suitable bride for Rajesh, the engagement is fixed between him and Pooja. After a mush-mush time at the engagement the wedding day finally arrives bringing with it loads of relatives, fun, songs and extended celebrations, during which Prem and Nisha also endear themselves with each other after the initial pranks and squabbles. Nisha is sent to Prem’s house to help Pooja during her pregnancy this gives wind to the flames of love between Prem and Nisha. Pooja comes to know about their puppy love but alas falls to her death before announcing this to the world. The new born baby has to be taken care of, Rajesh has to be married again and who better than Nisha… My God what now, will Prem and Nisha confess their love and stop this madness or they will repress their feelings and live as two souls? Well Tuffy will do it… the God sent lovable puppy saves their love in time so that the tears don’t flow to bring a deluge.

Hum Aapke Hai Koun was well crafted though having 14 songs all of them only helped in taking the story forward, most of them being situational, one for each occasion, like the cricket song, the realization of love song etc. all the songs were peppy numbers, good till they lasted on the screen. The movie won 5 Filmfare awards including Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress and also the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.

In the words of Sooraj Barjatya himself he said that he wanted to bring back the audiences in the theatre not to see a movie but to relive the joint family experience preparing for a grand wedding. How true these words ring out when over 70 million tickets were sold in India itself, being the highest number of tickets sold till then for any movie released in theatres in India.

– HAHK is revisited by PAWAN GUPTA

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