Mumbai: The blockbuster Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) will be 25 years old Tuesday. On this occasion a statute of its lead pair, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, will be erected at Leicester Square in London. This is the first time that a long-term statue involving Hindi film personalities will be erected in the United Kingdom. The announcement came from ‘Heart of London Business Alliance’ of the UK. The statue will be set up as part of ‘Scenes in the Square’ movie statue trail and to celebrate DDLJ‘s 25th anniversary.
Talking about the inclusion of statues of the actors, Mark Williams, director of Destination Marketing at ‘Heart of London Business Alliance’ discussed why the statues of Shah Rukh and Kajol were being put up. “It’s fantastic to be adding such titans of international cinema to our trail as Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge is one of the most successful and important Bollywood films of all time. It’s exciting to be able to bring to the trail the first film that actually features Leicester Square as a location,” said Williams.
“This statue is a fitting tribute to the global popularity of Bollywood and the cultural bridges that cinema can help build. We’re in no doubt it will attract fans from all around the world,” Williams added.
The statue will join nine other film icons from the past 100 years, eight of which were unveiled in late February and recently granted longer-term residency by Westminster Council to remain at Leicester Square until at least July 2023.
In September a statue of Harry Potter joined the original line-up that includes Laurel and Hardy, Bugs Bunny, Gene Kelly, Mr Bean, Paddington and the superheroes Batman and Wonder Woman.
DDLJ marked the debut of writer-director Aditya Chopra. The film went on to break quite a few records upon release apart from redefining the Bollywood romantic drama. The ‘Yash Raj Film’s’ (YRF) production is also recalled for its songs composed by Jatin-Lalit.
“When DDLJ was released 25 years ago, it changed the face of the industry. The movie captured the hearts of everyone who saw it. We’re thrilled to be able to announce this statue, and to be the first film of Indian origin to be represented in ‘Scenes In The Square’. We are honoured that these Bollywood superstars have been recognised alongside the Hollywood elite,” said Avtar Panesar of YRF.