2003 / produced by Aditya Rai / directed by Naresh Malhotra / starring Aishwarya Rai & Arjun Rampal / music by Nadeem-Shraven / lyrics by Sameer

     People have said this movie unites the two most beautiful actors in Bollywood: Aishwarya Rai and Arjun Rampal. There is no doubt that this is true, but everybody knows that looks alone cannot carry a movie. Dil Ka Rishtaa is the first Rai Family production, and there were relatively high expectations as to how Aishwarya's first feature production would be. Aishwarya's talent alone was not enough to make this an extraordinary film, but it's still worth a watch!

    Dil Ka Rishtaa is the story of Jai (Arjun) and Tiya (Aishwarya). Jai and Tiya lead very different lives. Jai has grown up in a rich family with connections all over the Eastern Hemisphere; on the other hand, Tiya is a teacher who comes from a middle class background. Tiya teaches at a school for deaf children, and Jai meets Tiya when he makes a large donation to the school, for his best friend, Anita. Jai falls in love (more like, "is infatuated with") Tiya the moment he sees her.

   Jai and Tiya develop a friendly relationship, while Jai's feelings of love for Tiya grow deeper and deeper. Finally he works up the courage to tell Tiya his feelings for her, but is shocked to find out that Tiya loves someone else. Tiya rejects Jai, and tells him that there is no way he can forge the bonds of love (hence, "Dil Ka Rishtaa", or, "relationship of the heart") in such little time. Raj (Priyanshu) and Tiya have known each other for four years and love each other dearly. Raj also shares a very strong bond with Tiya's mother (Rakhee). Still, Jai cannot seem to fathom the idea that Tiya would fall for a middle-class orphan over him, and Jai does not stop pursuing Tiya until she is married.

   Now here comes my least favorite part of the movie - Instead of moving on with his life, Jai turns into a "Devdas" and drinks his sorrows away. By this time, Tiya and Raj have prospered and have started a family. One fateful night, Tiya and Raj are coming home from dinner when a drunk Jai hits their car. The tragic consequences give Jai one last, highly unorthodox chance to make a bid for Tiya's love — but whether he'll succeed is another matter altogether.

    Acting-wise, Aishwarya does an excellent job. She looks gorgeous as usual, emotes well, and the audience understands what her character is going through. Arjun has improved quite a bit from his previous movies. Dil Hai Tumhara left me with a bad impression of Arjun, and I feel like Arjun has redeemed himself with Dil Ka Rishtaa. He does a much better job with his dialogue delivery, and he looks a lot less wooden; but, there is always room for improvement (and he finally got his hair cut!).

   In the supporting cast, Priyanshu and Paresh Rawal do the best jobs. Priyanshu is not spectacular, but he is very entertaining and shows his potential as a good actor throughout the movie. Paresh Rawal is funny as usual and does a good job as Jai's father. Rakhee did not impress me much; I was expecting much more from her performance.

   The story has its fair share of loopholes, but what Bollywood movie doesn't? I feel like Tiya's love for Jai in the second half of the movie was not developed well. It was a little hard for me to believe that Tiya would fall so completely in love with Jai after suffering through such a tragic accident. The script is not very original; it basically consists of about two or three typical Bollywood stories. The songs are catchy and entertaining, and so is the choreography. I also liked the costuming, which has Aishwarya in modern traditional Indian clothes again.

   Dil Ka Rishtaa is an entertaining family movie. It does not have a very deep story, but it's still worth a watch. If nothing else, see it for its songs (which I like a lot) and for Aishwarya's performance. Even if the movie is not a box office hit, I do not think it will affect Aishwarya's standing in Bollywood, because most critics agree that she has given a very heartfelt performance in Dil Ka Rishtaa...even if it's no Devdas.

- reviewed by Farah



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This review was written by Farah. BollyWHAT? invites you to send your own reviews, along with a brief bio. Check out the reviewer's guide for more info.


Aishwarya Rai and Priyanshu



Arjun Rampal as Jai



Aishwarya gets down...


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