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The iconic climax of DDLJ (1995) and its link with Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965) and Billy Wilder. (Did You Know Facts by Bobby Sing)

24 Oct, 2017 | Did You Know!

Railway platforms have been an integral part of our Hindi cinema in the last millennium and there have been numerous films with their emotional concluding sequences shot at the location (or set) bringing in the last moment excitement. 

With air-travel becoming the new-norm in the 90s, the scenario changed to airports instead of railway platforms in the spirited climax of our love stories. But still, one of most successful, loved and cherished romantic films of Hindi cinema DDLJ, had its climax shot on the railway platform with the hero Shah Rukh Khan giving his hand from a moving train to the girl Kajol running towards him to be taken along.

This finale scene from Aditya Chopra’s DILWALE DULHANIYA LE JAYENGE has now become one of the most famous cult sequences of our Hindi films, but interestingly it wasn’t the first time a hero had pulled over a running girl onto the train just at the crucial moment.

In 1965 came a simple and sweet musical love story JAB JAB PHOOL KHILE that later inspired another mega hit RAJA HINDUSTANI (having a similar but extended storyline) becoming one of the biggest all time grossers of Hindi cinema.

The film was about an innocent Kashmiri boatman (Shashi Kapoor) who falls in love with a rich, beautiful girl (Nanda) staying in his house-boat for a while enjoying her post-studies holidays.

The climax of JJPK had an uncanny resemblance to the one seen in DDLJ (both also have a four word title) in which Nanda comes searching for Shashi Kapoor on the railway platform and just when the trains begins to move, she finds him standing on the door of a nearby compartment.
Running along the train she apologizes with tears in her eyes clearing all the misconceptions and asks for Shashi’s forgiveness, begging him to take her along. The train picks up the pace but she keeps running risking her life with a hope. And just when it seems she is going to be left behind….. Shashi gives her a hand and pulls her up in the train accepting her honest apology.

No doubt an almost identical finale of DDLJ had a much better build-up, a romantic melodrama and an entertaining excitement too reaching out to the masses especially the younger brigade, but the chain of inspiration actually had much more to it with the seeds coming from the west going back to the early 1930s.
Perhaps Suraj Prakash, the director of JJPK rewrote his climax getting inspired from the emotionally charged finale sequence of Billy Wilder’s LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON (1957) also shot on a railway platform.
And in the English film its Audrey Hepburn who keeps running along the moving train, before Gary Cooper sweeps her in giving a passionate kiss.
However the story still doesn’t end here as Billy Wilder’s film was based on the 1920 German novel ‘Ariane, jeune fille russe’ written by Claude Anet and Wilder was said to be largely inspired by a German adaptation of the novel directed by Paul Czinner in 1931 with the same title as ARIANE.

The film again had a similar climax featuring Elizabeth Bergner and Rudolf Forster as the couple interacting on the railway platform.
So the history of a girl running along a moving train and the hero timely sweeping her in, actually goes way back to the early 1930s. 
Interestingly, as mentioned in another detailed write up at BTC, the same climax was also there in ANUPAMA adapted by Hrishikesh Mukherjee in a much more emotional and subtle style without any dramatic twist or action.
But then Gulzar presented it in just the opposite order in his PARICHAY. And in his reverse version, its not the girl that boards the train, but the boy who decides to jump off the moving train bringing the sudden twist.
No doubt our cinema owes a lot to these railway platforms becoming the most loved location for our Hindi film couples to get united again.
(An edited form of the article got also featured in UC-News Mobile App in October 2017)

(Note : The write-up is a chapter shared from my upcoming book releasing soon. So any additions, rectifications suggested by friends are welcome to make it better.)

Did You Know By Bobby SingFor more such interesting articles on lesser known facts on Hindi Cinema, do try DID YOU KNOW Series by Bobby Sing available in both Book and E-book form.

Also available 
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Tags : DDLJ (1995) and its link with Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965) and Billy Wilder Did You Know Fact about Bollywood by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Inspired Scenes in Hindi Cinema, Cult Scenes of Hindi Cinema.
24 Oct 2017 / Comment ( 2 )
Vikas Kumar

Good one! Very insightful article. Also, DDLJ happens to be a very important film in my life. A film that made me choose the movies for a career.

There's something about trains leaving platforms...With one (lover) on the ground, and the other moving away...slowly picking up speed. Eyes locked...Mind racing...

Thank you, for the trivia.

Bobby Sing

Thanks a lot for being here with your comment Vikas sharing your personal experience.
It really feel great to be connected.
Keep Visiting and Writing in.

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