Uff! How vividly I remember that summer day – during the start of our summer vacations in class eleventh – when I went to watch this iconic film called QSQT. First day, first show. At the Paras cinema hall in South Delhi. All alone. Because of Juhi Chawla! Yes, only because of her, as I had become a fan of hers ever since she became Miss India! My friends had no such extra love for her and they refused to accompany me! I remember that the hall was as good as empty, with a handful of couples sitting far and wide! And what a film I enjoyed in the emptiness of that hall! For the next seven days, I kept going back to see the same movie with a different set of friends each time (with the last set of friends coming back repeatedly) as the crowds kept swelling. By the time we were watching the movie on the 8th day after buying tickets in ‘black’, QSQT was on its way to become one of the biggest blockbusters ever of Bollywood, and Aamir Khan one of the country’s biggest ever heartthrobs – at least for the next seven years till a certain DDLJ brought in a new Khan! And yes, my friends too had finally realised why I loved Juhi so much! QSQT was a pure love story in its true sense – as pure as the emotions of love could get – conveyed through a clean and beautiful film with great direction, music and acting.
Those indeed were amazing days. They used to more often make films which one could see time and again!
And while getting nostalgic one recent evening reading about QSQT’s 25 year celebrations, I wondered whether a QSQT will work again in today’s times. Coincidentally, after hearing praise aplenty from the student community, I went to see Aashiqui 2 the same evening and got my answer.
Aashiqui 2 is a Mahesh Bhatt film. He necessarily is someone who finds his place in the top 25 all-time influencers from the world of Bollywood. A top intellectual without doubt – even if his films are often nowadays branded on the borderline of soft porn. He started off with some of the greatest art-house films and realised that to survive in Bollywood, one needs commercial success. And since he couldn’t make unrealistic films, he and his extremely bold and talented family members decided to make films largely on some of the most real passions of humanity, and those that sell the most – sex and crime (what every media house of India today thrives on while often hypocritically criticising his films). With a tremendous and rare sense of music – always keeping ahead of its times – he is today the man behind one of the most commercially successful production houses. And someone who can sit back and claim that he never made popcorn movies that looked unreal! So I went to see Aashiqui 2 expecting a lot of passion and realism.