I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!
I do not prefer melodrama. I hate it when a song stops the narrative. Overacting is a big turn-off. Aesthetic perfection matters lot. I hate it when the story is stuck and I tend to lose my connect. Two films that have guided me to the cinema I love have been the dark Satya (1998) and the epic Lagaan (2001). And now, being exposed to the best of cinema, across the globe and decades, I find most of our Hindi films unimpressive and disappointing, including some of the most popular ones.
I LOVE Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994). It was my first favourite film. And it was up there for six years. Lagaan changed the meaning of Cinema for me. And since then I have stopped selecting just one film as my favourite. So, HAHK is also the only favourite film of my cinema consciousness, though it is no more the favourite. But even today, whenever I sit watching this film, I am amazed at how it affects me. I feel a part of that family. The songs always work for me. I feel amazed at the chemistry that an overacting Salman and a gorgeous Madhuri create. I still cry. And for the rest of the time, I keep smiling. And I am transported back to Neelam Talkies, the single-screen theatre in my hometown, where I had watched this movie. And had re-watched it three months later. And in 1999, when Sooraj Barjatya was coming up with his next film, it became the first film I eagerly waited for, the first music and movie reviews that I looked for. I never knew then, that what I am doing for this film would become an essential way of my life. HAHK was the beginning of a passion called Cinema. It was the first attachment. It was the desi tharra that made me a bewda, and today I am on my way to become a connoisseur of the best wines in this world. But the first taste of that local alcohol and the intoxication I had had is still special.
I know most of the people of my generation, and those ahead, hate this film. I know the lovers of World Cinema will find it impossible to bear. I understand their reason and point-of-view and I do not expect anyone to understand mine. I do not plead guilty and I rest my case.
Over to you, Your Honour.