13 April, 2021

All Aboard With Simran!

A century before a train pulled into a Swiss station in DDLJ—and 80 years before Sholay’s coal-fired grime—we had La Ciotat. Cinema, illuminated by its many arrivals ’n departures.

All Aboard With Simran!

The year 1995 is centennially emblematic. If you flash it backwards by a century, you find yourself at the birth of the moving image—at the Salon Indien du Grand Café in Paris, where the Lumiere Brothers presented their first paid public screening of ten short films, on December 28, 1895. Soon these shorts were to travel across the globe as ‘wonders of the world’. Incidentally, this particular Paris programme had missed The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station, but well, the steam-engine carrying passengers did arrive at this station near Marseille one hundred years prior to the train that had arr­ived at the small Swiss railway station of Zweisimmen in Adiya Chopra’s film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (Braveheart Wins the Bride, 1995).

Its story is about Raj (Shahrukh Khan), a rich Londoner who goes on a month’s vacation to Europe, including Switzerland. Another London-based girl named Simran (Kajol) also goes on a similar vacation tour. Both are Punjabi NRIs living in the UK. Raj distracts Simran by cracking...

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