Never thought about 'Dil Chahta Hai' sequel: Farhan

Never thought about 'Dil Chahta Hai' sequel: Farhan Akhtar

It marked Farhan's directorial debut and attained cult status

Actor Farhan Akhtar. Credit: DH Photo

For two decades, fans have wondered whether their favourite on-screen friends, Akash, Sid and Sameer from Dil Chahta Hai would reunite, this time perhaps to discuss mid-life crisis, but filmmaker Farhan Akhtar says he has not thought about continuing the film's storyline.

Released on August 10, 2001, the film featured superstar Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Akshaye Khanna as three friends, focusing on the ups and downs in their equations with different approaches towards love and life.

The coming-of-age drama, also starring Preity Zinta, Sonali Kulkarni and Dimple Kapadia, marked Farhan's directorial debut and is regarded as a benchmark film on friendship.

In an interview with PTI, Farhan said, unlike American filmmaker Richard Linklater's romantic film trilogy Before, which follows the story of its lead characters after every nine years, he has no plans to chronicle where his characters are today.

"There was never a point where I thought, let's discover where these three characters are 20 years later. I have not thought about that at all, to be honest," he said.

The filmmaker was 27 when "Dil Chahta Hai" released and quickly became a movie that resonated with the audience who had grown up on a staple diet of the larger-than-life, dramatic films of the '90s.

Dil Chahta Hai became the defining film of the new decade, as it was both aspirational and relatable.

Farhan's conversational screenplay with characters reminding people of a version of themselves and their friends; a young, breezy soundtrack by Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy; with lyrics by Javed Akhtar and contemporary costume designing by Arjun Bhasin earned immense acclaim.

Ahead of the film's 20th anniversary, Farhan said he is filled with "many emotions".

"The one that is at the forefront of it all is honestly just how fortunate I was to get such amazing people to collaborate on my first film. Then the film did what it had to do by itself, there is nothing you can do after you have made it. People make it their own and keep it alive."

The director-actor, now 47, said it was remarkable how Dil Chahta Hai has continued to remain relevant, reaching out to a newer audience every day.

"The fact that subsequent generations keep discovering the film, keep relating to it in their own way is not something you can plan. It fills me with happiness and so much love that people have for something that I did two decades ago. That they remember it so fondly. I feel fortunate," he added.

The film also launched his production house, Excel Entertainment, co-founded by his close friend and producer Ritesh Sidhwani.

The director, who went on to helm films like Lakshya (2004) and the Don series for the banner, on Monday took to Twitter and shared a note, marking 20 years of the production house.

Excel has backed films like Rock On!!, Luck By Chance, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Fukrey franchise, Dil Dhadakne Do, Raees, Gully Boy and Farhan's latest film as an actor Toofaan.

"And to think all we wanted was to just make Dil Chahta Hai' Thank you life for having other plans. Thank you to all actors, writers, directors, technicians, music directors, lyricists and every single person from all creative departments and production teams that walked alongside and sometimes carried me on this journey. None of it was possible without you."

Farhan also thanked the audience for their constant love for the films of the banner.

"It's been your support that's given wings to our dreams. Thank you. All I can say now, two decades later, is that we're just getting started. Let's fly," the post read alongside a montage of the films backed by Excel.