The blockbuster coming-of-age Hindi film Dil Chahta Hai rings into its 21st release anniversary today. This Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Akshaye Khanna-starrer went on to attain cult status in the history of Indian cinema. As the film, which marked the debut of Farhan Akhtar as a director in Bollywood, completes 21 years from its release, read on to find out the reason why Aamir Khan gave a nod to Dil Chahta Hai.
It is not a lesser-known fact that Aamir Khan was not Farhan Akhtar’s first choice for the role of Akash in Dil Chahta Hai. It was originally written by Farhan for Akshaye Khanna. However, after Hrithik Roshan quit the film and Abhishek Bachchan turned it down too, the makers offered the role of Siddhart to Aamir Khan. While Aamir insisted on essaying the character of Akash, Akshaye Khanna cordially agreed to swap his role with the former in the film.
In an interview with IANS last year, Aamir Khan spilt the beans on the reason behind agreeing to star in Farhan Akhtar’s directorial debut film. He expressed, “I loved the script, and I felt that Farhan was coming in with a completely fresh look at everything. His own vision and voice. As a result, ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ will always be remembered as a film that broke a lot of conventions in Indian cinema.”
On Farhan as a debutant director, Aamir added, “I was working with a first-time director, but never once did it feel like that. Farhan was confident and personified. He was sure-footed and completely in control. ”
Produced by Ritesh Sidhwani under his banner Excel Entertainment, Dil Chahta Hai boasted of an ensemble star cast, including Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Preity Zinta, Sonali Kulkarni and Dimple Kapadia in key roles. The plot of this National Award-winning film revolved around three friends whose tight-knit bond is put to the test after they fall in love and adopt a highly different approach towards relationships.