Dil Se.. (lit.'From the Heart..') is a 1998 Indian Hindi-language romantic thriller film written and directed by Mani Ratnam, and produced by Ratnam, Ram Gopal Varma, and Shekhar Kapur. Set in the backdrop of Insurgency in Assam, the film stars Shahrukh Khan and Manisha Koirala, while Preity Zinta makes her film debut in a supporting role. Written by Ratnam and Tigmanshu Dhulia, the film is an example of parallel cinema and is noted as the final installment in Mani Ratnam's trilogy that consists of Roja (1992) and Bombay (1995).[3][4]

Dil Se..
Dil Se poster.jpg
English release poster
Directed byMani Ratnam
Screenplay byMani Ratnam
Tigmanshu Dhulia
Story byMani Ratnam
Produced byMani Ratnam
Ram Gopal Varma
Shekhar Kapur
StarringManisha Koirala
Shah Rukh Khan
Preity Zinta
CinematographySantosh Sivan
Edited bySuresh Urs
Music byA. R. Rahman
Madras Talkies
Varma Corporation
Distributed byEros International
Release date
  • 21 August 1998 (1998-08-21)
Running time
165 minutes
Budget₹11 crore[2]
Box officeest. ₹39.26 crore[2]

The film was screened at the Era New Horizons Film Festival and the Helsinki International Film Festival. Noted for its aspects nonlinear storytelling, the film won awards for cinematography, audiography, choreography, and music, among others. The film was a success overseas earning $975,000 in the United States and £537,930 in the United Kingdom,[5] becoming the first Indian film to enter the top 10 in the United Kingdom box office charts,[6] and it was also a hit in Japan.[7] The film won two National Film Awards and six Filmfare Awards, while also receiving a special mention at the Netpac Awards.[6][8] The film's soundtrack album, composed by A. R. Rahman, sold six million units in India.[9]


Amarkant Varma (Shah Rukh Khan) is a program executive for All India Radio, dispatched from New Delhi to cover festivities in Assam. On his way there, during a rainy night, Amar is stranded for hours at Haflong railway station to catch the Barak Valley Express. As he waits, he tries to have a smoke and asks a mysterious person for either a match or a lighter. Suddenly a strong gust of wind blows off the person's shawl, revealing a beautiful woman (Manisha Koirala). Amar approaches, tells her she's beautiful, and tries to strike up a conversation. She ignores him. He persists and she eventually asks him for a cup of tea. When he returns with the tea, he watches as she boards the next train with three male passengers and rides off into the distance.

Amar's infatuation with the woman is depicted with a lengthy dance scene, with dozens of dancers dancing on top of a moving train through the beautiful Indian countryside.

Amar reaches his destination and spots the same woman in Silchar. He attempts to talk to her, but she says she cannot recall meeting him before. As part of his news reporting assignment, for the occasion of fifty years of Indian Independence, Amar interviews many Assamese citizens, and an extremist chief, who blames the Indian Government for human rights violations and poverty in the region. The chief states the Liberationists do not wish to enter into any dialogue with the government, and justifies their resistance in Northeast India.

Some time later, Amar describes his encounter with the woman, over the radio, which she hears. He again spots her at a post office. At this juncture, she tells him to leave her alone; but he follows her and tells her that he is in love with her. She resists and tells Amar that she is married.

Amar decides to apologize to her, but she arrives with two men who beat him unconscious.

During the beating, Amar learns that the men are presumably her brothers and that she had lied about her being married. He rejoices in this discovery, despite being badly bruised and bloody. He reaches her home and learns from the locals that she has left. Amar then goes to the post office where he initially spotted her and bribes the PCO owner into giving him her contact details and learns that she is telephoning to Ladakh. Subsequently, Amar travels to Leh, and while recording the Sindhu Darshan Festival, a suicide bomber is chased to death by Indian military. Amar spots the woman again. As the woman and Amar board a bus, military officers question each passenger before the bus is allowed to leave. Amar tells the officers that he is reporting on the festival, and the woman falsely tells the officers that she is travelling with Amar.

After some travel, the bus breaks down and the passengers are required to walk to a nearby village. En route, the woman reveals her name: Meghna. Amar continues to pursue Meghna, despite her protestations. Megha tells Amar that her destiny prevents her from being with him. She reveals a traumatic personal history and lets slip that if they were to be together, she would want eight children. Her ambivalence and their mutual attraction is depicted by a daydream dance scene in the desert. The two end up travelling together and recuperate near one another in the desert, over night. In the morning, Amar wakes to find Meghna gone.

Heartbroken, Amar returns to his home in Delhi, where his family introduces him to Preeti Nair (Preity Zinta) from Kerala as a potential bride for him. Preeti confides that she was recently rejected in love and gets Amar to reveal that he was also just dumped. On their date, Amar spots one of Meghna's associates, Kim, who banished him earlier. Amar chases him down to Connaught Place, where he loses track of the man. Unbeknownst to Amar, the man kills himself with a cyanide pill after being stopped by local police. Because of the extremist nature of the situation, the police relinquish the incident to the CBI.

Back at home, Amar agrees to marry Preeti and wedding preparations promptly begin.

Much to Amar's surprise, Meghna shows up at his engagement party and asks Amar for a place to stay and help getting a job at Amar's All India Radio office, which he does.

Amar continues to pine for Meghna, not knowing she arrived in Delhi as part of a Liberationists group which has planned multiple suicide attacks in New Delhi at the upcoming Delhi Republic Day parade & celebrations. She stays in Amar's residence to escape from the CBI inquiry operation. At one point, Meghna expresses misgivings about her plans to kill innocent civilians. She is scolded by a member of her group and reminded of her duty to their cause.

Based on an eyewitness identification of the Connaught Place incident, Amar is now a prime suspect of the CBI. He is questioned by police and pieces together that Meghna is involved in something dangerous. Amar finds Meghna and questions her motives. She finally reveals to Amar that her name is actually Moina, and as a child, she had been a rape victim of the army. She describes villages being burned to the ground, and family members being raped and murdered. She accuses Amar of having no understanding of her history. She says she seeks justice and liberation through her activities. Amar infers she is planning a suicide attack on the Indian army and the President of India during Republic Day. While trying to grab at a cyanide necklace hanging from her neck, Amar gets arrested for harassing the woman.

In a separate scene, the CBI convinces the Army general of India to grant permission to conduct security checks of all the Army convoys and tankers participating in the parade. An associate of Moina's is privy to the government's secret security plans.

Moina's associates bribe the police officers holding Amar to release him. They follow him out of the police station and assault him again. Amar fights back and renders his attacker unconscious. He then answers a call from Moina, which she had placed to his attacker's mobile phone. Amar pleads with Moina to stop all this and marry him. Moina tearfully says that it is too late and that her fate is sealed. The scene ends with the sounds of bullets, which imply Amar has been shot and killed.

But Amar returns home, beaten and bloody, only to find out from Preeti that Amar's mother is also being questioned and that Moina's location is at Sunder Nagar. Preeti asks if he has any intention of marrying her, and Amar says he's the only one who can stop Moina.

Amar is arrested again and unable to convince the CBI that he is not working with the terrorists. He says he is in love with Moina and that he met her while interviewing an extremist leader. He says he wants to prevent them from perpetrating an attack. The CBI is not convinced. They sedate him for further interrogation later. Through sheer will, Amar is able to resist the sedative effects of the injection he received. He escapes from the CBI and continues his relentless pursuit of Moina.

The next day Moina is prepared for her role in a suicide attack, as an explosive device is concealed under her dress. Amar finds her. He expresses his undying love for her and his desire to be with her. He pleads with her to leave with him, so the two of them can start fresh in a new place. He asks her to say that she loves him. When she does not answer, he persists. Desperate, he asks her to at least let him die with her. He pulls her towards him, and continues to plead with her to say she loves him. She embraces him. As the two embrace one another, they cry, and the bomb carried by Moina explodes, killing them both.



Filming began in November 1997. Shah Rukh Khan also shot for Kuch Kuch Hota Hai simultaneously. Mani Ratnam had initially cast Kajol in the lead female role, though Manisha Koirala later replaced her.[10] Likewise, Simran was cast in a secondary lead role and opted out of other projects to accommodate the film. She later turned down the film citing that the role was too small and would affect her work in the Tamil and Telugu cinema industries. Preity Zinta was later brought in to replace her.[11]

Sameer Chanda, and Wasiq Khan were the production and art designers for Dil Se.[5][12] The principal photography took place in Himachal Pradesh, Leh, Assam, New Delhi, Kerala, and Ladakh over a period of 55 days.[5][12] Tigmanshu Dhulia was the casting director. Pia Benegal and Manish Malhotra were the costume designers. The song "Chaiyya Chaiyya" was shot between Malaika Arora and Shah Rukh Khan on top of the Nilgiri Express, en route Ooty, Coonoor and Kotagiri, the train is particularly painted in brown for the song sequence.[13] The travelling scenes, other crucial scenes were shot between Manisha Koirala and Shah Rukh Khan near Alchi Monastery, during the Sindhu Darshan Festival in Leh.[13] The longest song of the film "Satrangi Re" with the lead pair was shot near Thikse Monastery, the mystical Basgo Monastery ruins, and Pangong lake near Pangong Tso in Ladakh.[13] The song "Jiya Jale" was shot between Preity Zinta and Shah Rukh Khan near Athirappilly Falls, Alappuzha backwaters, Periyar National Park, Villangan Hills and Periyar Lake in Kerala.[13] Several action sequences in the film choreographed by Allan Amin were shot near Connaught Place, New Delhi, Rajpath and Old Delhi.[5][13]


Dil Se is said to be a journey through the seven shades of love that are defined in ancient Arabic literature. Those shades are defined as attraction, infatuation, love, reverence, worship, obsession, and death. The character played by Shahrukh Khan passes through each shade during the course of the film.[14] Authors Sangita Gopal and Sujata Moorti of Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Song and Dance also compared Khan's romance in the film to the trajectory of love in ancient Arabic literature, believing the lyrics in two of the songs to have delivered an "apocalyptic fatalism".[15]

The film is a dramatization of the attraction between a character from the heart of India and another from a peripheral state and a representation of opposites in the eyes of the law and society.[16] Dil Se is described as a film "structured through deferment and unfulfilled teasing promises".[17] Rediff.com said about the film, "The entire feel of the film is appropriately poetic, with a few romantic exchanges standing out quite memorable. Tigmanshu Dhulia has handled the film's dialogues adroitly. Amid moonlit desert dunes, there is a particularly stirring conversation between the leading pair. Amar reveals his hate for Meghna's eyes – because he can't see the world is hidden behind them and his love for the same, stunning eyes – because he can't see the world hidden behind them."[18]

Elleke Boehmer and Stephen Morton in their book Terror and the Postcolonial (2009) believe that the songs and their exotic locations in the film were very important in masking the impossible reconciliation between a terrorist and an uptight government agent by evoking pure fantasy.[17] They argue that this is a phenomenon called the "liminal space of dreaming" in that the terrorist woman cannot fulfill her sexual desire so the songs fill the void of this desire by "their sumptuousness and exotic locales" in the Ladakh region.[17]


Dil Se was released on 21 August 1998. Though the film was shot mainly in Hindi-language, director Mani Ratnam also dubbed and released the film in Tamil and Malayalam in the title Uyire.. (transl.Darling..) which became very popular among Tamil-audience with its songs and in Telugu with the title Prematho (transl. With love).[19][20][21] Shah Rukh Khan's Tamil dialogues were dubbed by Arvind Swamy in the film.[22]


Box office and critical responseEdit

The performances of Manisha Koirala and Preity Zinta received critical acclaim; each received Filmfare Award nominations, with Zinta winning the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut.

Though Dil Se received a Average box office response in India, it found success overseas. It was screened at the Era New Horizons Film Festival and the Helsinki International Film Festival. The film went on to win the Netpac Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, two National Film Awards, and six Filmfare Awards. The intense political agenda of the film with the trials of the Assamese on the India-China border, the love story and the fact that it coincided with the 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations became a major factor for its success overseas, particularly amongst the South Asian diaspora in the west.[23][24]

The film became the first Indian film to enter the top 10 in the United Kingdom box office charts.[6] Even months after its release in September 1998, the film was still screened on five screens, five times per day with an average of 3,000 spectators across all screens in the Cineworld complex in Feltham, West London.[23] Deepa Deosthalee wrote a positive review to the film, calling it "a picture-perfect ode to love" and praising the direction, writing and performances.[25] Khalid Mohamed found the film disappointing, noting it "fine performances, technique and music" but panning its lack "of that crucial element called a story".[26] Anupama Chopra of India Today wrote, "Amid the reels of tripe churned out by Bollywood every week, Dil Se... is a noble attempt. But coming from Mani, that's simply not good enough."[27] The film was included in Time's "Best of Bollywood" list in 2010.[28] Dil Se was also a hit in Japan.[7]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Recipients and Nominees Results
1999 Berlin International Film Festival Netpac Award Mani Ratnam Won
1999 National Film Awards Best Cinematography Santosh Sivan Won
Best Audiography H. Sridhar
1999 44th Filmfare Awards Best Female Debut Preity Zinta Won
Best Music Director A. R. Rahman
Best Lyricist Gulzar for "Chaiyya Chaiyya"
Best Male Playback Singer Sukhwinder Singh for "Chaiyya Chaiyya"
Best Cinematographer Santosh Sivan
Best Choreography Farah Khan for "Chaiyya Chaiyya"
Best Actress Manisha Koirala Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Preity Zinta
Best Lyricist Gulzar for "Ae Ajnabi"
Best Female Playback Singer Sapna Awasthi for "Chaiyya Chaiyya"
1999 Screen Awards Best Male Playback Singer Sukhwinder Singh for "Chaiyya Chaiyya" Won


Dil Se...
Soundtrack album by
Released8 July 1998 (1998-07-08)[29]
RecordedPanchathan Record Inn
GenreWorld Music
ProducerA.R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman chronology
Dil Se...
Professional ratings
Review scores
Planet Bollywood          [30]
All Music     [31]

The soundtrack features six songs composed by A. R. Rahman. Raja Sen of Rediff called it, "Rahman's finest soundtrack, by far."[18] The soundtrack album sold six million units in India.[9] The song "Chaiyya Chaiyya", based on Sufi music (lyrics based on the Sufi folk song, "Thaiyya Thaiyya" by Bulleh Shah) and Urdu poetry,[32] became especially popular and the song has been featured in the film Inside Man, in the musical Bombay Dreams, and in the television shows Smith and CSI: Miami.[33] The soundtrack was recorded in several other languages.

Malayalam lines for the song "Jiya Jale" was written by Malayalam lyricist Gireesh Puthenchery.

Pink Floyd bass guitarist Guy Pratt for post-Roger Waters albums Delicate Sound of Thunder, The Division Bell and Pulse played bass on title song "Dil Se Re".[34]

Original VersionEdit

Hindi (Dil Se)

All lyrics are written by Gulzar and Malayalam lyrics from the song "Jiya Jale" was penned by Gireesh Puthenchery; all music is composed by A. R. Rahman.

1."Chaiyya Chaiyya"Sukhwinder Singh & Sapna Awasthi6:54
2."Dil Se Re"A. R. Rahman, Anuradha Sriram, Anupama & Febi Mani6:44
3."Satrangi Re"Sonu Nigam & Kavita Krishnamurthy7:25
4."Ae Ajnabi"Udit Narayan & Mahalakshmi Iyer5:48
5."Jiya Jale"Lata Mangeshkar, M. G. Sreekumar & Sonu Nigam & Chorus5:07
6."Thayya Thayya (Remix)"Sukhwinder Singh4:35

Dubbed VersionsEdit

Tamil (Uyire)Edit

All lyrics are written by Vairamuthu and Malayalam lyrics from the song "Nenjinile Nenjinile" was penned by Gireesh Puthenchery; all music is composed by A. R. Rahman.

1."Thaiyya Thaiyya"Sukhwinder Singh, Malgudi Subha & Palakkad Sreeram6:55
2."Nenjinile Nenjinile"S. Janaki, M. G. Sreekumar & Sonu Nigam Chorus5:09
3."Sandhosha Kanneere"A. R. Rahman, Anuradha Sriram, Febi Mani,Sonu Nigam Anupama6:42
4."Poongkaatrilae"Unni Menon & Swarnalatha5:45
5."Thayya Thayya (Remix)"Srinivas, Sukhwinder Singh & Hariharan4:19
6."En Uyire"Srinivas & Sujatha7:26

Telugu (Premato)Edit

All lyrics are written by Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry and Malayalam lyrics from the song "Innaalilaa Ledule" was penned by Gireesh Puthenchery; all music is composed by A. R. Rahman.

1."Chaiyya Chaiyya"Sukhwinder Singh & Malgudi Subha6:52
2."Innaalilaa Ledule"K. S. Chithra, M. G. Sreekumar & Chorus5:06
3."Ninnele"A. R. Rahman, Sowmya Raoh, Dominique Cerejo & Kavitha Paudwal6:37
4."O Priyatama"Mano & Swarnalatha7:25
5."Chaiyya Chaiyya (Remix)"Sukhwinder Singh4:17
6."Ooristhu Ooguthu"Srinivas & Sujatha5:42

Background ScoreEdit

Dil Se...
Soundtrack album by
RecordedPanchathan Record Inn
GenreWorld Music
ProducerA.R. Rahman

Hindi (Dil Se)Edit

Track List :

1."Pokhi Pokhi Bidekhi"Zubeen Garg01:35

Tamil (Uyire)Edit

Track List :

1."Pokhi Pokhi Bidekhi"Zubeen Garg01:35

Malayalam (Uyire)Edit

Track List :

1."Pokhi Pokhi Bidekhi"Zubeen Garg01:35

Telugu (Premato)Edit

Track List :

1."Pokhi Pokhi Bidekhi"Zubeen Garg01:35


  1. ^ Shelly Walia and Tanushree Ghosh (21 January 2013). "Language no bar". Business Standard. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Dil Se". Box Office India.
  3. ^ Ciecko, Anne Tereska (2006). Contemporary Asian cinema: popular culture in a global frame. Berg Publishers. p. 142. ISBN 978-1-84520-237-8. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  4. ^ Pat Padua. "FROM THE HEART – The Films of Mani Ratnam". cinescene.com. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d "Dil Se – Starring Shahrukh Khan, Manisha Koirala, Preity Zinta, Raghuvir Yadav, Mita Vashisht, Zora Sehgal. Dil Se's box office, news, reviews, video, pictures, and music soundtrack". Ibosnetwork.com. 21 August 1998. Archived from the original on 16 December 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  6. ^ a b c Aftab, Kaleem (October 2002). "Brown: the new black! Bollywood in Britain". Critical Quarterly. Blackwell Synergy. 44 (3): 88–98. doi:10.1111/1467-8705.00435. The first Bollywood film to enter the UK top 10, Dil Se / Uyire was nevertheless a Average in India. Such factors attest to the crucial role of the NRI audience in the commercial fate of Bollywood produce.
  7. ^ a b Kohli-Khandekar, Vanita (2013). The Indian Media Business. SAGE Publications. p. 188. ISBN 9788132117889.
  8. ^ Cary Rajinder Sawhney (2006). "Dil Se." British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 1 February 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2008.
  9. ^ a b "Rahman @ 25". News18. CNN International. 8 September 2017. Archived from the original on 24 November 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". minnoviyam.com. Archived from the original on 13 October 1999. Retrieved 11 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Archived copy". www.minnoviyam.com. Archived from the original on 20 April 1999. Retrieved 11 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ a b "Making movies with Mani Ratnam". Rediff.com.
  13. ^ a b c d e "Movie > Dil Se – Movies and Locations – Filmapia – Reel Sites. Real Sights". filmapia.com.
  14. ^ "Dil Se... A Mani Ratnam film". Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  15. ^ Gopal & Moorti 2008, p. 166.
  16. ^ Chaudhuri, Shohini (2005). Contemporary world cinema: Europe, the Middle East, East Asia and South Asia. Edinburgh University Press. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-7486-1799-9. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  17. ^ a b c Boehmer, Elleke; Morton, Stephen (October 2009). Terror and the postcolonial. John Wiley and Sons. p. 350. ISBN 978-1-4051-9154-8. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  18. ^ a b "Weekend Watch: Dil Se". Rediff.com. 21 October 2005. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  19. ^ Sruthy Ganapathy Raman (20 June 2018). "Manisha Koirala on her acting journey: '200 per cent more focussed than ever'". Scroll.in. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  20. ^ Sowmya Rajendran (15 August 2017). "25 years since 'Roja': Has the depiction of 'patriotism' on screen changed?". The News Minute. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  21. ^ Anjana Sekhar (16 August 2018). "From fighting for freedom to killing terrorists: The Indian patriot in Tamil cinema". The News Minute. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  22. ^ Sujatha Narayanan (29 November 2016). "Shah Rukh Khan's conquest of the South: DDLJ to Dear Zindagi, how SRK won over fans". Firstpost. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  23. ^ a b Dudrah, Rajinder Kumar (2006). Bollywood: sociology goes to the movies. Sage. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-7619-3461-5. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  24. ^ Meyer, Michael (2009). Word & image in colonial and postcolonial literatures and cultures. Rodopi. p. 230. ISBN 9789042027435. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  25. ^ Deosthalee, Deepa (22 August 1998). "A picture perfect ode to love, Dil Se". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 14 November 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  26. ^ Mohamed, Khalid. "QUITE A DISAPPOINTMENT". Filmfare. Archived from the original on 2 October 1999.
  27. ^ Anupama, Chopra (31 August 1998). "Movie review: Dil Se.., starring Shah Rukh Khan, Manisha Koirala". India Today. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  28. ^ Corliss, Richard (27 October 2010). "Dil Se – 1998". Time. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  29. ^ "Dil Se (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". ITunes Store. 8 July 1998.
  30. ^ "Dil Se – music review by M. Ali Ikram". Planet Bollywood. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  31. ^ "Dil Se – music review by Bhaskar Gupta". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
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  33. ^ "Dil Se Soundtrack". Amazon. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  34. ^ "Dil Se Soundtrack at arrahman.com". arrahman.com. Archived from the original on 18 July 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.


External linksEdit