wiki:Hum Aapke Hain Koun

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Hum Aapke Hain Koun...''''''

1994 206’ col/scope Hindi d/sc/dial Sooraj Barjatya pc Rajshri Prod. p Kamal Kumar Barjatya st Keshav Prasad Mishra, S.H. Athavale lyr Ravinder Rawal, Dev Kohli c Rajan Kinagi m Raamlaxman lp Madhuri Dixit, Salman Khan, Anupam Kher, Renuka Shahane, Reema Lagoo, Alok Nath, Satish Shah, Bindu, Mohnish Bahl, Laxmikant Berde, Ajit Vachani

Promoted as the most successful Indian film ever, the plot concerns the arranged marriage between Rajesh (Bahl), nephew and heir to the industrial empire of Kailashnath (Nath), and Pooja (Shahane), daughter of the equally rich Professor Choudhury (Kher). Most of the 3- hour film is devoted to a series of festivities with parties in the Ram temple and at the homes of the two families, one chronicling the marriage itself and another when Pooja is pregnant. Prem (Khan), Rajesh’s younger brother, falls in love with Pooja’s sister Nisha (Dixit). The elaborate entertainment of an ostentatious North Indian wedding with its enormous consumption of food is also the scene of the mandatory pranks played upon each other by the ‘younger generation’ led by Prem and Nisha, their sexual and voyeuristic overtones sanctioned, even at times replicated (e.g. in the song Saamne samdhan hai) by the older generation. Both families, including Kailashnath’s cook (Berde), are free of any traces of class or gender conflict in the film’s celebration of a fantasy in which unbridled consumerism and religiosity combine without problems. The especially dominant food motif is stressed by the song ‘Ice Cream Chocolate’, sung by Lata Mangeshkar, and illustrated by large advertising posters in Nisha’s room. The only exception to the general religioconsumerist bliss is a fussy and generally disliked aunt (Bindu), who insists on mentioning issues such as the dowry and class differences, for which she gets slapped by her husband (Vachani). Pooja’s moving into Kailashnath’s home leads to utopia itself, blessed by her religiosity (she prays to the gods Krishna and Rama, both of whom actively intervene into the story). However, all this is interrupted when Pooja falls down a flight of stairs and dies. To restore the situation, the families decide that Nisha will marry the widowed Rajesh, but the happy ending, and a second marriage, arrives only when the dog Tuffy, an incarnation of Krishna, becomes the instrument for revealing that Nisha loves the younger brother, Prem. This remake of Rajshri’s far from successful earlier Nadiya Ke Paar (1982) proved to be an astonishing success as has the effectiveness of its marketing as a ‘clean’ family film. It is arguable that the fantasy of a feudal elite that has successfully negotiated its transition to capitalism while retaining its allegedly ‘traditional’ religiosity underpins an appeal to the audience’s voyeurism as well as to a devotional fervour hitherto reserved for explicitly religiously themes.

Film