All you cinema aficionados, does 15th November 1996, ring a bell? Yes!! Most have got it right! It marked the release of arguably one of the most iconic films of the 90s, RAJA HINDUSTANI.
Flashback 1996, the multiplexes had not emerged as a potent force and the era where mega star Amitabh Bachchan was in self-exile, and no real successor had emerged to fill the void. Yes, there were some successful and hit films too and some media touted superstars, but the real all time blockbuster, that marked the 70s and 80s were missing. The Khan troika along with Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn, were just about getting a foothold.
Actor Aamir Khan was making a mark as a class actor, but more with the elite (termed as the gentry/balcony) audience. And out of the blue came Dharmesh Darshan's RAJA HINDUSTANI that became a mass plus class deal, a rarity in those days (even today) and made Aamir Khan a pan India star, especially amongst the masses.
Circa 15th November 2016, 20 years of an iconic movie which boasts of the second highest footfalls ever witnessed in the history of Hindi cinema, RAJA HINDUSTANI, and it calls for genuine cause for celebrations, and a leading FM radio did just that by inviting the man of the moment, the selective (by choice) writer-director Dharmesh Darshan, who doesn't crave for publicity, where today, everyone (from ordinary to legendary!) seeks it. He reportedly cancelled his travel plans to be there and talked at length about how he went about the onerous task. And amongst the many interesting anecdotes which included Aamir Khan's famous drunken scene in the film. The maverick director recalled the fact that despite Aamir and him being tee-totallers how they went to lengths for the perfect scene.
Moving on, Dharmesh Darshan also spoke about the famous Aamir - Karisma kissing scene where sexual undertones had to be incorporated (as it was essential for the plot) but in an aesthetic manner, so that it did not transcend into the erotic zone as RAJA HINDUSTANI was meant to be family film. And Dharmesh succeeded in a big way as he recalls that not a single whistle was heard as the scene unfolded and the audience witnessed it in stunned silence.
The film went on to become the biggest hit and grosser of Aamir Khan's career which was already a decade old and continued to remain so till GHAJINI. Need we say more about the appeal of RAJA HINDUSTANI, a film that transcended social and geographical boundaries. There have been quite a few real life instances of estranged couples calling it truce and reuniting after watching RAJA HINDUSTANI such was its effect on the people. RAJA HINDUSTANI touched lives and hearts in a big way.
It would be a gross injustice not to talk about the memorable music of RAJA HINDUSTANI, the songs of which are still quite popular specially in the wedding celebrations ('Aaye Ho Meri Zindagi Mein' is a hot favourite) and interior belt. The audio is one of the top three selling albums of the 90s.
Well, we can go on and on, but there is time and space crunch, so to conclude, we got in touch with Dharmesh Darshan, and asked his views on who, according him, is a real life Raja Hindustani, and pat came the reply in his spontaneous forthright manner,'' As per me, the real Raja Hindustani is our honourable prime minister, Mr. Narendra Modi.''