1 – « Deewana » of Raj Kanwar (06/25/1992)

I must admit that I was extremely surprised (positively though!) by this film.

Firstly because (and forgive me for that trait of condescension, but I swear, I’m healing myself) I came to know just before seeing this movie that SRK was coming from TV.
I don’t know in India, but in France we take a dim view (and I regret it!) when a serial actor tries to enter the cinema. As fond of SRK’s style of acting as I was, I wasn’t sure if this was a hallmark of his entire career (which later turned out to be) or the result of years of trial and errors. In short: I underestimated him, mea culpa!
(And in terms of condescension, know that I’m there: I « understood » why I found him so good after learning that he was initially doing theater … Yes yes, condescending elitist tendency, you can tell … Finally I reassure you, or not, but I am learning not to have any more prejudices… it’s just a long-term job! ^^)

Secondly, he only appears at the very end of the first part, at the time of the « intermission ».
Why was that an issue ? Because, when you are fascinated by an actor and decide to see all of his filmography, his absence for too long from the screen is sometimes difficult to bear (Ah but do I have to repeat it ? Dra-ma-tic I am and remain ! ^^).

Finally… It’s an Indian film from the 90s and, you will learn it soon enough : for us, Europeans, either you appreciate the singing voices that have been attributed to the actors and the melodies of the music, or… or the Indian sounds and the somewhat shrill voices of the singers of this time may surprise you (and this time, not in a good way …).
I’m fortunate, I like it !(smile)

After this long introduction, you would surely want to learn more about the film… I will disappoint you.
Here’s what happens : the story itself is not, in my opinion, what makes this film interesting to watch.
No, here, what’s truly interesting is what the actors have made with the characters, it’s their relationships, and it’s certain small parallels which, for me, are touching !

So… Since you can always find the script’s speech on Google and even a full summary, I will focus on why I will watch this movie again.

I will watch it again for love stories.
(So, here we still don’t know each other, you and I, but you will quickly understand that I am an inveterate lover.
We’ll come back to that !)

Divya Bharti and Rishi Kapoor - Deewana (1992)
Love story between Kaajal and Ravi
The first story highlights the wonderful, cute (and a bit stubborn) Kaajal, the main heroine of the film, beautifully played by Divya Bharti (I really enjoy how she played it and the sincerity she brings to it), with her first love Ravi, played by Rishi Kapoor.
This one is a rather famous singer, she, an longtime admirer, and for aberrant reasons of scenario (yes yes, 2 viewings and that doesn’t seem very logical to me yet…), they will rub shoulders for, I guess, which would be long weeks (unless it’s just days but, in this case, it’s a bit weirder).
Anyway, they are in love and after a mini drama, which I didn’t really understand if it was real or invented, they get married.

(There, you’re probably wondering if I understood the film: I refuse to tell the story and, in the first paragraph, I announce 3 points that seem to me aberrant or incomprehensible…
Honestly, even if I like this movie a lot, the script seems rather weak to me in several points. But watch the film and you’ll tell me.
Back to lovers…)

What do I like about their story :
We see Kaajal go from admiration to love during the song « Sochenge tumhe pyar… » (= I’m thinking if I should love you). It’s a very nice moment with a small flaw, however : the staging is a little « old fashioned » now but quite classic for the time (full of dancers, blue and pink neon lights for decoration).

1st encounter of Kaajal and Ravi - Deewana (1992)
1st encounter of Kaajal and Ravi
Then there is their first official meeting, the one where Ravi falls in love after running behind Kaajal, caught in the act of… stalking you could say ! She twists her ankle and here it’s to play her role of stubborn little girl, swinging at all costs this sentence « Maar dalungi » (I would kill you… Yes, she is a little belligerent when you catch her). But still, she charms him, and there is something with her big innocent eyes and her smile to swoon. (Me, jealous… do you think ?!)

Finally, my 3rd favorite moment in their story comes when Ravi gives Kaajal a little nickname, « Sonu ». This moment, in addition to being adorable (she feels an intense joy, asks to hear it again, is all the more happier as he is repeating this sweet name in her ear over and over again), is the subject of one of this famous parallels that I mentioned a little earlier.

Let’s move on to the second story, which this time still concerns the so-called Kaajal but with Raja.

SRK and Divya Bharti - 1st encounter - Deewana (1992)
First encounter of Kaajal and Raja
Whatever the first meeting is again due to a fall and Kaajal shows the fangs again, the future of the relationship is ambiguous.
Indeed, Raja falls on a scooter after having narrowly missed crashing into Kaajal’s stepmother who was quietly crossing the street (the splendid Sushma Seth). Then, Kaajal angrily grab our second hero still stunned and reprimand him. No more « Maar dalungi » then, she is now a woman (moreover broken) and no longer uses her charms to obtain favors.
SRK is, in my opinion, also perfect in the role of the casanova who discovers a « real woman » and falls (very) violently and madly (in the first sense) in love with her.

A few scenes highlighting the loneliness of one-sided love follow, including one of my favorite scenes : a monologue by Raja explaining that he is going mad and painfully understanding that this madness is called Love… Said like that, it might sound silly but played like he did, it’s especially heartbreaking !

My second favorite moment takes place right after this scene. It’s Holi and the doors of the houses are wide open allowing Raja and his band (we will talk about it later) to enter her home. A scene follows, both disturbing and exciting, between Kaajal and Raja. The latter affirming his love for her and asking her what to do and she, cornered and dumbfounded, can only witness the contained rage of the dissatisfied lover.
It’s an intense scene that shows everyone’s character and their handling of events quite well at this point in the story.

My third favorite moment in their love-story is for sure the scene starting with a silly brake accident (I’ll let you discover that) and arriving on the mirror scene of part one. Kaajal, shaken by emotions, throws herself into Raja’s arms and decides to call him « Raju ». Astonished, he asks her to repeat and here she is, like Ravi, repeating « Raju » in a loop and finally showing him her love.

Now on to the film’s other touching relationships.

In order, the relationship between Ravi and his mother : respectful, playful and profound. I really like the way their bonds are brought to the screen and a few times you can feel a deep love bonding them together.
The emotion is sometimes extremely strong and almost strangles us.

Mother Son relationship between Raja and Laxmi
Then, I must admit that I particularly appreciated the way in which Raja is a caring son towards Laxmi. Sweet, funny, again extremely respectful. We feel that he had always hoped to have a family and that he is therefore doing his best to keep it and give it its full value.

Boys band de SRK as Raja - Deewana (1992)
Boys band de Raja
In addition, he knows how to surround himself and his friendly relations are very strong, almost fraternal. This is how we can see him evolve with his « boys band » which is both moral support, a physical strike force if necessary, and his family at heart.

One could wonder why Raja acts like this but the reason is brought very quickly : his father, rich owner of one of the biggest companies in the city and whose name everyone seems to know and fear, is absent from his fatherly role and only seems to exist in Raja’s life to try to fit him into his mold and deprive him of what (and who) he loves.
The authoritarian father is not a really rare character in Indian films, quite the contrary. But that of a hard, cold father who is seen as wrong is, in my opinion, a little rarer. We are generally more on “strong but fair authority” and that is not the case here.
We’ll therefore see Raja rebelling against him and asking for disinheritance to finally acquire his freedom.

I’m not going to tell you so much more about this film other than:
1 – I liked several songs but « Koi na koi chahiye » (= I need someone) And « Aisi deewangi » (= This madness) are my favorites and I continue to sing them for several days after each viewing.
2 – All the main roles are held by excellent actors who, apart from SRK, were all already recognized at the time. I will quote, in addition to those seen previously, Amrish Puri, always an excellent antagonist, or Dalip Tahil that we’ll both meet again
many times in SRK’s filmography.

So I hope you’ll enjoy discovering the young SRK in his first role as a tortured lover and see you next time !

One Comment

  • Your articles are so engrossing and so refreshing to read! ❤❤👌👌

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