October 12, 2019 2:47:31 pm
Sameer Mulchandani from Dil Chahta Hai was a happy-go-lucky, confused, love-struck guy who had his friends’ back, just like anyone of us. His vulnerability and spontaneity still remain so relatable that even after 18 years of the film’s release, nothing seems to have changed for the way Sameer (and his friends Akash and Siddharth) depicted the millenials.
So what was it about Sameer that struck a chord with the cinephiles, so much so, that he continues to be one of the most loved characters played by Saif Ali Khan onscreen?
Sameer was one of the three magnetic friends in the Farhan Akhtar directed urban comedy drama. And in the trio, Sameer, in specific, had something about him, that set him apart from Akash and Sid. While Akash was a rich brat casanova and Sid was too righteous to be true, Sameer was the only balancing force amid them.
Sameer was flamboyant, impulsive, made mistakes, fought them out and stayed honest to his feelings. He never lied to his girlfriend, even if he missed a date because of his friends (a recall to his popular telephone scene). He never even lied to his friends (pointing at his Goa tale). He knew he falls in love with every second girl, but then, when true love hits him hard, he isn’t able to contain his confusion, happiness, yet despair of not being able to express.
Sameer got the best dialogues in the film. His take on friendship – “Ya toh yeh dosti gehri hai ya yeh photo 3D hai” to his view on love (a pick-up line he used for Pooja) – “Har dosti mein ek hadd hoti hai jo nahi paar karni chahiye,” Sameer spoke the voice of every guy caught up between romance and bromance.
After getting bashed by separate girls, (Priya and Christine), Sameer opts for an arranged marriage and ends up falling for the girl of his parent’s choice even when she isn’t interested. Little nuances like these about Sameer made him immensely beloved and relatable.
Sameer also became the connecting thread when Akash and Sid almost ended their deep friendship. He provoked both of them to sort out their misunderstanding and turn the page to a new chapter in life. In short, Sameer was that friend in our group, the pacifier, the binding force, who ensures the gang stays put.
Sameer came at a time when Saif was struggling to find a direction to his sinking acting career. Before Dil Chahta Hai, he was either only doing two-hero films like Kachche Dhaage, Main Khiladi Tu Anari and Yeh Dillagi, or getting lost in a multi-starrer like Hum Saath-Saath Hain. Even if he managed to play the solo lead (say, a Kya Kehna) it turned out to be a female-led movie. In short, Saif was still looking to find his stand.
With Farhan Akhtar’s directorial debut Dil Chahta Hai, Saif not only got a new lease of life, but also a character that still reciprocates with his persona.
Sameer’s most striking scene was when, after getting pestered by Sid, he finally decides to vent out his feelings for Pooja (Sonali Kulkarni). While he thinks everything will be just perfect, he messes up quite a bit, ending up using a lot of “agar” in his confession. The scene was hilarious, yet showing Sameer’s state of mind, that he was trying hard to accept it more to himself that he is indeed ready to commit for life.
The USP of this Farhan Akhtar film was definitely its casting, as even to this day, one cannot imagine anyone else but these three actors (Saif, Aamir and Akshaye) playing the parts. Dil Chahta Hai will clock two decades soon, and like an old wine, it is only getting better, as Sameer, Aaksh and Sid continue to resonate with the youth of any given generation.
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