Before Aankhen, I had never experienced stardom of this level, says film’s director David Dhawan

BySyeda Eba Fatima
Apr 11, 2023 11:52 AM IST

Director David Dhawan recounts the enormous success of his film Aankhen in 1993, which changed his career forever and brought him stardom.

When the biggest blockbuster of the year, Aankhen released on April 9, 1993, director David Dhawan and actor Govinda were in Bangalore, shooting for another project. Unaware of the blast that the film’s success had created, Dhawan then received a call from the producer, to tell what he and the team and done.

David Dhawan recalls working on his most iconic film Aankhen as it completes 30 years.
David Dhawan recalls working on his most iconic film Aankhen as it completes 30 years.

“Pahlaj Nihalani called me and said, ‘You don’t know what this film has done. It has broken all the records. People were going crazy’. And back then, there were no mobile phones, so I started receiving telegrams from distributers,” recalls Dhawan, adding, “Isse pehle aisa success dekha hi nahi tha. Shola Aur Shabnam did well but Aankhen’s success was enormous.”

Too innocent to understand the business that the film was doing, Dhawan travelled back to Mumbai, a week later. “From the airport, I directly went to the theatre where my film was being screened, and I was taken by surprise to see people’s reaction. At the venue, there was chaos. The whole press was present and everybody wanted a picture of me. I could not believe it as I had never experienced stardom of this level. Later that evening, there was a party at Taj and every senior of mine...every big filmmaker was present. They congratulated me. I had tears in my eyes ,” he recounts the frenzy.

The ace director tells us that from that day, his career changed forever and “I never looked back.” He elaborates, “From the next day, I started getting so many offers to direct films and the whole game was turned around. People’s attitude towards me, the budget of my films, my whole dynamic with the industry changed. I brought a house. Usse pehle kya haalat thi meri, woh mujhe hi pata hai. I feel God is great and he gave me the right film at the right time.”

Ask him who does he give the credit of this film’s success to, and Dhawan says, “First one would be Pahlaj. He is one of those producers who would react the set even if the shoot starts at 6 am. Then comes Govinda — an unbelievable actor who creates magic on screen and Anees (Bazmee), who did an outstanding job on the script throughout. He used to write everyday and till the end, actively participated in the film. The film’s success was definitely a team work and everyone did amazing, but these three people, I believe, did exceptionally well,” he concludes.

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