"Take movies, music, poetry out of life & its gone!"

OH DARLING YEH HAI INDIA (1995) - Our first awful movie experience in the theater. (Those Cherished Cinematic Moments: 6) - by Bobby Sing


Watching this daringly different and unusual film in the present times, one might consider it as an off-beat, brave satire or a before its time, confused, misdirected project released in the mid-90s. But the film actually gave us our first terrible movie experience in the theater and many friends still like to mention it in a get together or discussion, entertaining the young movie lovers as an amusing anecdote.
Those were the days when we used to catch every new release in the night show of the nearest single screen theater as a religiously followed ritual unconditionally (this was seen at NATARAJ) and the multiplex culture was still a few years away coming much later post 2000. However we never knew this particular show was going to be the first of its kind experience for our group (of college going movie enthusiasts) and that too from the same team of the controversial MAYA MEMSAAB featuring the then promising Shah Rukh Khan and Deepa Sahi directed by Ketan Mehta. Clearing the doubts, the cult DILWALE DULHANIA LE JAYENGE had yet not released and it was expected in the last quarter of the year as announced in the trade magazines.
As a film, OH DARLING YEH HAI INDIA was actually a musical parody or satire with mediocre or poor songs coming one after another without any reason as such and probably that’s what annoyed us the most as a never-seen-before kind of venture shattering the expectations.
Beginning with a song right away as ‘Nazar To Mila Le’ sung by prostitutes having fun on the road, it introduces Deepa Sahi as one of them and then has SRK in the next sequence itself (sleeping on the roadside) breaking into another song “Main Hun Kaun”, after having a poetic dialogue session with two hawaldaars (one of them being Tiku Talsania). A third song coming within the opening 20 minutes of the film as “Public Ko Hasao” made us all feel the restlessness together and just after the ridiculous entry of Amrish Puri (slapping himself looking into the multiple mirrors), a few of us had already made their first visit to the loo or the corridors spending time looking at the exciting lobby cards displayed of the upcoming films.
Post 30 minutes of all unimaginable trashy content, we really didn’t know what to do, since we still were not courageous enough to leave the theater in the middle of a running film (being dedicated movie lovers).
But then came an exciting revelation from one of our friends, who was too fond of playing cards, particularly around Diwali and for him the season had just begun (the film released around August/September). He had a pack of cards in his pocket and within no time was shuffling the deck and distributing the cards to the two friends sitting next to him and they started playing their game (it was Rummy I suppose). Giving an important information (that I missed earlier) there were only 8-10 more people in the theater (in balcony to be specific) other than our group of 5 in the night show of the first day of the film’s release. And two of those unknown watching the film also joined in to play cards post intermission.
Personally I tried my best to keep looking at the screen as the only one interested in the film. But had to give up soon, getting more indulged in the game being played in the row behind me.
So post interval, out of the less than 15 people in the balcony, 4 were not there (they had probably left), 1 was sleeping in the back rows, 4 were playing cards and 3 were looking at the game being played assisting their chosen players. In other words, almost none was interested in watching what was happening in the film running on the screen and that was the first awful cinema experience we had in the year 1995 (before 'the many' later).
Interestingly OH DARLING YEH HAI INDIA had a talented cast ensemble featuring Shah Rukh Khan, Deepa Sahi, Javed Jaffery, Amrish Puri and Anupam Kher in the lead roles. Plus it was reportedly also the first film of the now renowned and supremely talented Sanjai Mishra. But at the same time, it was the weakest film directed by the veteran Ketan Mehta too without any slightest of doubt.
If possible, do share which film was your first awful experience in the theater in the comments below.

(The article was first published on UC-News Mobile App in February 2018)

Tags : OH DARLING YEH HAI INDIA (1995) Our first awful movie experience in the theater by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Those Cherished Cinematic Moments by Bobby Sing, The Golden days of Single Screen theaters and the mad craze for movies.
05 Feb 2018 / Comments ( 4 )
Ashik P Elias

I am watching this film today28/03/2020 just out of curiosity.On this lockdown period just to kill my night.

Colourful but misdirected attempt.

I'm from Kerala

Bobby Sing

Thanks a lot for reading and writing in Ashik P Elias.
Hope you will like many more articles at the site.


Sumit Kudesia

I had a similar experience of watching this film at Amba along with my father. It was the 3-6 show on a Sunday. My mother fortunately decided to stay at home. I was excited to watch the film as the song ' baap re baap, kamaal hain aap ' was popular on satellite TV and the movie looked promising in all respects. SRK was also enough for a film to be a fun watch with his energy transmitting to the audience. He was very appealing to a 16 year old like me. However, I did not know why such a bad film was made with SRK at a time when his popularity was huge.

Bobby Sing

Hi Sumit,
Thanks for writing in. At times actors dont even know what kind of film is getting made when there is a reputed director behind the camera calling the shots. It has happened with many when they did films of renowned directors post their prime like Subhash Ghai, Manmohan Desai, Prakash Mehra and many more.
Keep visiting and writing in.

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