Cinema lovers have voted Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) as their most favourite feature film from the past 100 years of Indian cinema in a poll conducted by Sanona, the UK's largest online Pay Per View (PPV) Indian movie streaming service.
The hit romantic comedy, which starred superstars Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in the lead roles, won 47 per cent of the votes in the online poll conducted across social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, email and via the movie portal itself to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Indian film industry.
Written and directed by Aditya Chopra, son of the legendary Bollywood filmmaker Yash Chopra, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge beat a selection of ten all-time greats which included classics such as Raj Kapoor's Awaara (1951), Mehboob Khan's Mother India (1957) and Ramesh Sippy's Sholay (1975).
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge was among the first Indian films to be produced with the large and rich South Asian diaspora in the West as its target audience.
The film introduced the Non-Resident Indian into modern Hindi cinema, making overseas desis and scenic foreign locations the heart and soul of storytelling.
The trans-continental romance filmed in the UK, Switzerland and India was declared an all-time blockbuster and remains the longest-running film in the history of Indian cinema, completing 900 weeks at the Maratha Mandir theatre in Mumbai.
The film tells the story of a young couple (Raj and Simran) who fall in love on a European vacation, and relates how the boy tries to win over the girl's parents so that she can marry him rather than the groom that her father has chosen for her.
When it released on July 25, 1995, DDLJ received rave reviews from critics worldwide and became the second highest grossing film of Bollywood in 1990s after Salman Khan's Hum Aapke Hai Koun.
It was also the second film to surpass the 100 crore mark worldwide. In 1996, DDLJ won 10 Filmfare Awards including four major awards in the Best Movie, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress categories.
It also won National Film Awards for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.
Sanona's CMO, Shazia Nizam, is not surprised that an evergreen musical such as DDLJ won the poll by a wide majority. "With Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol's continuing popularity and Bollywood's expanding fan base in the UK, Europe and further afield, it comes as no surprise that Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge would be voted the public's most favourite film," she said.