February 25, 2005

Bollywood Move Review: Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)

Rating: B+


  • Aishwarya's costumes
  • The good songs are GREAT
  • Moving story
  • Aishwarya's best dancing in any film

Weaknesses: Salman Kahn. Man, do I hate this guy. Not only are his looks highly overrated, but he's always overacting and is NOT a good dancer. Also, he's totally and utterly insane. After this film, he started going out with Aishwarya, but he's not called "Bollywood's bad boy" for nothing. Persistent rumors of his controlling, obsessive behavior and his "getting rough" with Bollywood's sweetheart have done a lot to harm his reputation, personal and professional, but the controversy has also made him very salable. Personally, I don't see how you can be mean to someone as kind and amiable as Aish. Boo, Salman Khan!

You can get mp3's of all the songs at bollyfm.net
Although it has annoying ads and pop-ups, and requires Real Player, you can view videos of the songs here.


Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam is a classic story of star-crossed lovers unable to be together and how life goes on after first love. Only her sixth movie (a paltry number in Bollywood), this film is a first-class Aishwarya Rai vehicle. The film does a good job of showing off both her looks and her often-overlooked dancing skills. Her style of dancing is exuberant and sensual, yet technically flawless and graceful. Her costumes throughout are each uniquely beautful and flattering and her house seems to be a palace.

Nandini (Aishwarya Rai, everyone's favorite Bollywood beauty) is the daughter of a reknowned classical indian singer. On Diwali: a half Indian-half Italian student, Sameer (Salman Kahn) arrives at the house to learn from her father. Nandini upset because she has to give up her room for him and swears she'll make him leave in 2 days.

Nandini and Sameer hit it off immediately, which means they tease each other and play tricks on each other. Father accepts him as his student, but won't accept payment; says he may or may not take something in the future. They're both now in love and Sameer's education is progressing. In song #2, "Albela Sajan" Aish dances around the house (showing off her classic indian dancing skills). Soon other members of the household begin to notice (and gossip) about what's going on between Nandini and Sameer.

aish white.jpg

Aishwarya dancing to Albela Sajan in my favorite "everyday" outfit; Sameer and Nandini flirting (this is actually from the "Doli Taro Dhal Baje" dream sequence)

In song #3, "Aankhon Ki," Nandini and Sameer flirt during the her cousin's wedding. He goes overboard when she's afraid people will see and she slaps him out of frustration. He refuses to come out of his room for the rest of the celebrations and she threatens that someone at the wedding may take her away. Song #4 - Nimbooda- is my favorite! If I had to give just one reason to see this movie, this song sequence would be it. This is a great display of Aish's dancing style and skill, the costume is beautiful and flattering. Speaking of beautiful sarees, check this out.

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Aishwarya in "Nimbooda"

Vanraj (Ajay Devgan) sees her dance and immediately falls in love. He's shy, but his sister convinces him he must be worthy of Nandini because he's such a good person. Nandini's parents are pleased with Vanraj's proposal because they know his parents and he comes from a good family of attorneys.

aish nimbooda2.jpg
More from "Nimbooda"

On Kite Flying day (song #5 "Kai Bo Chhe" about kite flying), Nandini isn't celebrating because she's mad that Sameer hasn't been serious about their relationship and she's heard that her family is looking for a husband for her. Sameer calms her by telling her he'll talk to her father about them.

Vanraj and his family come to meet Nandini's parents and although Vanraj can't sing, Nandini's father sees that he's a good person and seems pleased with the match. Nandini's father catches her and Sameer hugging at some temple ruins (gorgeous location!) and gets very angry. Nandini's dad says that the fee he wants for teaching Sameer music is that he'll never see Nandini again. Sameer leaves the house, feeling sorry for himself, but he's pulled a Devdas in that he lost his chance to be with his love due to his own foolishness and then just runs out on her instead of taking her away. I think he only has himself to blame. Song #6 "Tadap Tadap Ke" is a slow song with a male singer, which I don't usually like but it's probably the best one I've heard. If I felt Sameer wasn't solely responsible for his and Nandini's sadness this song would make me cry, but this is all because he wasn't man enough to ask for her when he had her father's favor. Bollywood does this a lot - asking you to feel sorry for a guy who's immaturity and cockiness destroys his life and breaks the heroine's heart.

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Cry me a river, Sameer

Vanraj and Nandini's wedding is opulent and Nandini looks great, but she is stone faced and mechanical. Vanraj senses something is wrong and tries to get her to confide in him, but she won't say anything. On Kara Chauth, Nandini holds the fast for Vanraj, but dreams of Sameer during song #7 "Chand Chupa." Classic Karwa Chauth splendor and ceremony.

When Nandini's mom comes to visit her, she scolds Nandini for not dressing up like a new bride and for still thinking of Sameer when she should be devoted to her husband. A servant brings all Sameer's letters, which Vanraj finds them and he gets very mad, but he can't bring himself to throw her out because he loves her so much. When he's more calm, he decides to take Nandini to Italy to find Sameer because he can't stand to keep a woman when her heart belongs to someone else and he wants her to be happy. Awww, poor Vanraj.

They travel all over Italy (song #8 "Ihokha Hawa Ka), Vanraj tirelessly searching for Sameer and putting up with Nandini's antics and attitude. At one point, they get held up by some white people and Nandini is shot. Since they've been robbed and the hospital won't treat Nandini without immediate payment, Vanraj sells his wedding ring. He's praying in a church for Nandini to recover, where he meets Sameer (although he doesn't know he's Sameer). They become friends and Sameer teaches Vanraj a song that Nandini taught him. Nandini has a dream of her and Sameer dancing to this song (#9 "Doli Taro Dhal Baje"). Sameer's costume is silly, but hers is beautiful (the red and pink one pictured above) and Aish gets to show off her dancing skills some more.

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Nandini and her devoted Vanraj

Vanraj and Nandini go to a bar where Sameer might sing, but he never shows and Vanraj gets drunk. While drunk, Vanraj says how much he loves Nandini and is glad that Sameer will take good care of her. This makes her feel bad for him and realize what a good, loving person his is. (Song #10 "Hum Dil De Chuke" - slow song)

They finally find out where Sameer will be performing and go to see him, but what will Nandini do? Will so follow her passions or will she do the right thing by the man who's actually been there for her?

Man, I love bollywood and I LOVE THIS MOVIE!! The sets are wonderful, the story is believable and moving, and Aishwarya is... well, Aishwarya. Although she always looks good, I think this movie does the best job of showcasing her looks, her dancing skills and her ability to make even the most modest sarees look sexy. While, "Nimboola" is the most fun and spectacular dance sequence of the movie, "Doli Taro Dhal Baje" gives it a run for its money, and "Albela Sajan," "Tadap Tadap Ke " and "Hum Dil De Chuke" are some of the prettiest, least annoying slow Bollywood songs I've heard.

Posted by Kristina at February 25, 2005 09:47 AM

ooooooooooooooooo, bollywood!

Posted by: brandy at March 1, 2005 06:55 PM
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