Dil Se (From the Heart, 1998)

India Moserbaer DVD to the left and the older and even more lousy Eros UK/US edition to thr right

Text below written 2016-03-19

Dil Se was one of the first indian films i watched on a DVD sometime in 2001 and then it was the pisspoor Eros edition
with a blurry picture, burnt in english subs and with a drastically cut format ratio. I was highly impressed with the beauty
and emotional power of the film and with the acting from Manisha Koirala and Shahrukh Khan but less impressed with
the POOR DVD edition. So, when re-watching this MASTERPIECE OF FILMMAKING sometime in 2011 i bought
the lowpriced indian Moserbaer edition, with a widescreen presentation (better than the Eros one but i'm not sure if the
ratio is correct) and a 5.1 soundtrack hindi with removable english subs.
But, No the picture was still blurry and not worthy an edition of this important work of a master, Mani Ratnam.
If there's ONE indian film that deserves a proper DVD and Blu-ray release after a thorough expert restoration, it's Dil Se

Film has been my biggest interest in life since i was in my teens. I've been working in cinemas, went to countless of films
shown at film clubs, seen film at various places around the world, collected film - first on VHS and then DVD and Blu-ray,
i've read about film and i've had a DVD Internet Store for 9 years, and now i run this filmsite since 15 years.
So, even though i haven't studied film academically i think i've started to get a grip, a notion, about what constitutes a
great film, even though the tastes differ between different film lovers. I do like directors that uses the visual aspects of the
medium, who wants to touch you emotionally or like a Buñuel with lots of black humour and social critic.
Not all critics/viewers do though, many high-brow swedish film critics despises the above "qualities" in filmmaking and much
prefer filmed theatre with preferably dysfunctional hateful families shouting at each other sitting at worn dinner tables.
Or maybe with irritated country people loafing around knee deep in mud to their scruffy homes with yellow snow outside.
Great visuals are vulgar. So, this film are definitely NOT for these people. So how good was Dil Se when re-watching it ?

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

That's a reasonable description in my eyes. I'm a hopeless romantic and even though i much love to see crime- and
horror films i also love films with desperate doomed love, Film Noir obsessed love, Big Love, L'amour Fou.
Dil Se is the most romantic film i've ever seen and also the most visually magic one, and surely the one with the most
Powerful and Feel Bad ending. The most Explosive and most romantic ending in film history.
"Tell me just once that you loved me ...". A film for all us who really are a romantic behind our hipster coolness, for all
of us who once has experienced a Big Love, something you do only once. It's like that isn't it, you only get one chance

An absolute MASTERPIECE from Mani Ratnam and with an otherworldly cinematography from Santesh Sivan.
To the great power of this film adds also the lovely music soundtrack by A.R. Rahman. The Acting from Manisha
Koirala and Shahrukh Khan are sensational, this is easily the best performance i've seen from Shahrukh with his total
commitment to his portrayal and Manisha, she's nothing but hypnotic as the enigmatic Meghna.
Yes, this film is 2 hours 36 minutes and 31 seconds long and there are some Masala elements and maybe some out
of place action scenes towards the end when Shahrukh and Piyush Mishra (the great musician) goes into Hyper mode.
But, the separatists are all good and toned down, i.a. Aditya Srivastav and Meghna's "sister" Mita are very fine in
their small parts. Also the film debuting actress Preity Zinta is very good, toned down and all natural (always liked her).
But, Shahrukh is a Masala film actor and this film is made as love story and social comment in the Masala style, and
Shahrukh makes it work perfectly fine and clearly proceeds out of the Masala boundaries into serious drama, a man
obsessed in love and ready to die with his beloved one.
A Haunting ending and dynamite chemistry between the 2 lead actors leaves you breathless in your TV sofa

The Great Soundtrack on Indian Venus CD Music: A. R. Rahman

Songs 1. Chaiyya Chaiyya (Sukhwinder Singh, Sapna Awasti) 2. Jiya Jale (Lata Mangeshkar, M.G. Sreekumar) 3. Dil Se Re (A.R. Rahman)
4. E Ajnabi (Udit Narayan, Mahalakshmi) 5. Thayya Thayya (Sukhwinder Singh) 6. Satrangi Re (Sonu Nigam, Kavita Krishnamurthy)

Tamil director Mani Ratnam became the man who during the 1990's renewed the indian film with his gripping love
stories played out against a political context, race, religion and separatism. The explosive ingredients that so often results
in bloody mayhem. In Bombay (1996) he depicts the religious riots and in Dil Se the separatist movement in Assam
fighting for it's independence from India after decades of repression. India with it's multitude of ethnicities and languages.
(Assam in this film and in the great 2003 film Hazaaron Kwaishein Aisi it's the state of Bihar with it's separatism, the
latter film not by Ratnam though).

Mani Ratnam was the man every hindi Bollywood superstar wanted to make a film with.
He made his social commentaries within a well known commercial format - the Bollywood melodrama, Masala, and
depicted the power of love and it's shortcomings versus the violence, indoctrination and brutalization of man.
Dil Se was a unique Love Story and flopped big in India but was hailed in the rest of the world (well, the parts that
show indian film that is, here in the Hollywoodified Sweden no one knows about it) and Shahrukh, much proud over
the film, has said that Dil Se was at least 10 years ahead of it's time and was no Masala popcorn blockbuster

The Story:

L'Amour Fou in India when love hits the investigating reporter Amar Kanth (Khan) and the enigmatic and elusive
Meghna (Koirala) and were the latter turns out to be a separatist/revolutionary black widow out for revenge.
Here's also a young Preity Zinta as the woman chosen for Amar, but she has got an impossible task to get a hold
over his heart when competing with the fascinating and beautiful Meghna.
Amar's working at the radio station All India and travels the northern parts of the country shortly before the
50th anniversary of the nation India, and he interviews people incl. separatists about their views on this event.

Waiting for a train he sees a glimpse of a lonely woman waiting in the station, and he energetically tries to start
a conversation with her. Maybe because he's a talkative guy, maybe because he feel alone, but he doesn't succeed
in getting any response from her and she soon disappears on a train in the different direction from his.
He only saw her for a very short time, but he can't forget the silent woman dressed in black.
This is followed by the 1st wonderful song/dance number on top of a train moving through some mountain landscape
and later he sees Meghna again. He stalks her and like some adhesive tape he joins her on a buss ride in Ladakh,
up in the Himalayas. The Bus breaks and with some other passengers they start a 2 day mountain walk, and now
finally they get close and she accepts his obsessive love .... for a short time anyway, because she has a mission.

These pictures of their journey, the trek, and the insanely beautiful song/dance number are among the most memorable
i've ever seen on film, indian or others. Once again he lose her just to meet her for a last time in the finale of the film,
that Big Ending, maybe the saddest and most romantic ending ever seen in a film. Mani Ratnam - You Genius You


I'm a sucker for Feel Bad losers in films, as the archetypal Film Noir anti-hero, fodder for a femme fatale, and there's
something fragile in Shahrukh that he manages to convey into tragic weak lovers as classic drinker Devdas and maybe
here in Amar, maybe he's not weak but he sure is tragic. At this time, the end of the 1990's, Khan probably was the
biggest male star of Bollywood and even though he may not have been a great actor (outside of the Masala film reality
standards) he was always likeable, more emotional than macho. I like him best in the more non-mainstream films he
has made as Asoka, Swades or this film. Sure, he does go into (Masala) hyper mode sometimes in this film and at the
end he's almost hyperventilating .... but it works here as he's deeply gripping in his portrayal of desperate love

Manisha Koirala in 2010

Manisha! All followers of my Bollywood filmpage know that i adore this legendary nepalese indian actress and
it doesn't matter if she hasn't played a decent role this millennium. After Dil Se my heart was lost. I sincerely hope
that she will yet again get substantial roles suitable to an accomplished actress. In 2010 she made her 2nd nepali
film Dharmaa the first since 1989. Manisha has been treated an operated for ovarian cancer and seems to be OK
again and hopefully cancer free. I, your many fans all over the world, We Love You Manisha!


Manisha Koirala's performance is beyond my words, but something like this: Unforgettable, MAGIC and 100%
perfection .... all the time. Her amazing eyes and her evasiveness make us understand something about her brutal
past and her fear of giving in to Amar's courtship. Afraid of the powers that would set free and jeopardize the
mission she's been drilled her whole life to fulfil. Her performance must surely be one of the Great ones in the
history of Bollywood film.

Manisha was at her peak here and maybe even the queen of Bollywood along with Madhuri Dixit, and not just
because of her great beauty but even more because of her great and undisputed talent as an actress. She held
that position for some 5 years more, when she after making Company suddenly disappeared from the limelight.
She made some odd and not very good movies that flopped and then she disappeared almost completely.
Manisha was born 1970 in Katmandu, Nepal and she's from a brahmin family and the grandchild of the first
elected Prime Minister. She married a nepalese businessman in june 2010 (and divorced him) and some people
thought, as she had relatives engaged in politics as ministers, that she would jump on the politics train.
I hope she will yet again make great films and that the Bollywood New wave people will give her a meaty role

widescreen (maybe not correct ratio?) 5.1 soundtrack hindi with subs and a blurry picture with a big logo
This film should be a national film treasure and be released in an expertly restored Blu-ray edition, but ....
today it's March 2016 and people are still waiting for this to happen. It's strange how poorly India treats it's
film classics, now i've seen this in a poor condition, Mahal (1949) in an abominable edition, and C.I.D (1956)
in a just watchable edition. Are there no usable film sources for a proper restoration ?