A statue of the iconic duo Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol from the film ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ (‘DDLJ’) will be featured in Leicester Square’s ‘Scenes in the Square’, Heart of London Business Alliance announced on Monday.
The statue is set to be unveiled in Spring 2021 when organisers hope that Khan and Kajol, who played Raj and Simran in the movie, will be able to travel to unveil the statue in a special celebratory event.
“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, and it’s exciting to be able to bring to the trail the first film that actually features Leicester Square as a location. This statue is a fitting tribute to the global popularity of Bollywood and the cultural bridges that cinema can help build, and we’re in no doubt it will attract fans from all around the world,” said Mark Williams, Director of Destination Marketing at Heart of London Business Alliance.
This will be the first ever long-term Bollywood statue erected in the United Kingdom. The announcement, thus, marks the 25th anniversary of ‘DDLJ’, and also coincides with the big 50th year celebrations of Yash Raj Films.
Avtar Panesar, Vice President of Special Projects at Yash Raj Films, said: “When ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ was released 25 years ago, it changed the face of the industry and 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, from Gene Kelly to Laurel & Hardy, and this is a great way to express the international appeal of cinema.”
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 in Leicester Square until at least July 2023.
The love story of Raj and Simran began on a train from King’s Cross Station and travelled across Europe and India. Leicester Square featured in ‘DDLJ’ in a scene when Raj and Simran first cross paths.
Helmed by debutant Aditya Chopra, ‘DDLJ’ shattered box office records and is one of the biggest all-time blockbusters in the history of Indian cinema. It also went on to become the longest-running Hindi film of all time. ‘DDLJ’ is also the winner of a record-breaking 10 Filmfare Awards.