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Box office does not always define storytelling: Dia Mirza on 'Rehna Hai Terre Dil Mein'


MUMBAI: Actor Dia Mirza says she feels blessed that people still remember her debut performance in "Rehna Hai Terre Dil Mein" even after 20 years.

The 2001 film, also starring R Madhavan and Saif Ali Khan, completed two decades on October 19.

The 39-year-old actor played Reena, a young naive woman who is torn between an obsessive lover (Madhavan) and a mild-mannered suitor (Khan).

Looking back, Mirza only has fond memories of working on the Gautham Menon-directed movie, which was a remake of the director's own Tamil 2001 film “Minnale”.

Madhavan also featured in the original film.

“I consider myself very fortunate because ‘Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein' is a film that gave me Reena and it is always said that if the audience remembers you with the name of a character, it is the greatest gift an actor can ever receive. For me, people identifying with Reena is just a wonderful gift," Mirza told PTI.

The film, she said, had a simple core despite being shot in exotic locations like Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Popularly referred to as RHTDM, the movie did average business at the box office but over the years, it has acquired a cult status thanks to its love story and music as songs such as ‘Zara Zara', ‘Rehnaa Hai Tere Dil Mein', ‘Dil Ko' and ‘Sach Keh Raha Hai' topped music charts back then and are enjoyed even today.

The score and songs were composed by Harris Jayaraj, with lyrics written by Sameer.

Mirza said the film has been a huge lesson for her in understanding that not all good films make noise at the box office.

“A film and story always finds its audience if it carries honesty and magic. The fact that it has gone on to become a cult film and has been viewed hundreds of times. People enjoy and create renditions of the songs, identify with the film, (it) is a huge reminder that the box office does not define storytelling and that audience's love matters,” the actor, who has also produced films like “Love Breakups Zindagi” and “Bobby Jasoos”, said.

Known for her performances in films like “Lage Raho Munnabhai”, “Sanju” and “Thappad”, among others, Mirza said she found Reena's character in “Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein” interesting.

“It is interesting that Maddy's obsessive love was something that Reena did not respond well to, thankfully even though she had fallen in love with him. And the fact that he lies to her, pretending to be the suitor that her parents had arranged to marry.

The representation of love in that was very tricky because it could have gone in any direction.

But Reena stands up for herself, puts her foot down, and refuses his love.

It is reflective of the fact that she was not going to put up with the lies and was willing to let go of love because he lied to her,” she added.

The Hyderabad-born actor recalled that while she was filming for the movie “Om Jai Jagadish” -- which eventually she didn't do -- producer Vashu Bhagnani narrated her the one-line idea of “Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein” and she instantly fell in love with it.

“I remember him (Bhagnani) making me meet Gautham Menon and telling me a one-line idea of this story and that it is a remake of a superhit film. I had heard the music and it blew me away, I was spellbound. It was an immediate yes. I was very excited to be working with Madhavan and Saif for the first time,” she said.



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