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DIL NE JISE APNA KAHAA. Director: Atul Agnihotri. Players: Salman Khan, Preity Zinta, Bhumika. Theatrical release.

The recent hit Kal Ho Na Ho may have started a mini trend about dramas where death or dying is the unspoken spool that slowly unwinds as the film unfolds. Planned, structured lives are jolted onto unexpected tracks as what was easily at hand suddenly vanishes. Such is the premise of Dil Ne Jise, an unusual medical drama that has mortality as its engine. Slowly, deliberately, and plausibly, this tale of hearts in transition grows on you and wins you over.

One freaky traffic accident (in itself a tongue-in-cheek warning about using cell-phones while driving) puts into play a huge unexpected twist into three lives that get caught in an unusual love triangle. A successful architect (Khan), his doting doctor-wife (Zinta) and a pretty, terminally ill convalescing patient (Bhumika) are the three pillars that shoulder a medical equation that challenges both romance and medical ethics.

A.R. Rahman, who normally does not share musical billings for his Indian works, here atypically shares musical credits with upstart Himesh Reshammiya. It’s Reshammiya, however, who has the better tunes. Even though Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik’s “Bindiya Chamakne Lagi” is uplifting and airy, it is tinged with bittersweet longing that is compounded by the onscreen dramatization of the song.

Khan has been riding a wave of successive hits with the successes of both Tere Naam and Garv. Dil Ne Jise is neither as dark as Tere Naam nor as violent as Garv. Instead, it has a cheery, silver-lining feel pushed along by an effervescent Zinta. Bhumika, who turned in a decent performance opposite Khan in Tere Naam earlier, again provides good company. Lightly touching on better medical dramas over the years (Dil Ek Mandir comes to mind), Dil Ne Jise sails through.

—Aniruddh Chawda

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