हम आपके हैं कौन…!
This adorable film is sometimes criticized as "three-and-a-half hours in search of a plot" or "an extended wedding video." But that didn't stop Hum aapke hain koun...! ("Who am I to you?") from being one of India's all-time biggest hits. Bollywood fans either decry this film as excruciatingly dull, or adore it and watch it over and over again. And I love it to bits.
The mischievous Nisha (GOAT favorite Madhuri Dixit) and energetic Prem (Salman Khan) are promising young students who meet when their older sister and older brother, respectively, become betrothed. Nisha spends an extended visit with her sister’s new family, and she and Prem declare their love to one another, planning to marry as soon as Prem’s business is established. Eventually tragedy strikes, though, and Nisha and Prem agree to sacrifice their love for the good of the family – but Lord Krishna has other plans for them!
For much of Hum aapke hain koun...! we, the viewers, just get to hang out with this sweet and happy extended family as they celebrate the joyous events surrounding the elder siblings' marriage and the birth of their first child. The film is is stuffed to the gills with excellent song and dance – a mind-boggling fourteen songs - that keep it light and fun even as the plot (such as it is) flags. Musical highlights include the raucous "Joote de do, paise le lo" (unfortunately the only upload of this I can find on YouTube is of such horrendous quality that I can't bring myself to link it here), and "Didi tera devar deevana," which Madhuri herself once identified as her favorite song in the film - but there are other delightful songs as well, and it's hard to choose just a couple.
So even though Hum aapke hain koun...! is a little too long, and its humor may be a bit of a "WTF?" for viewers unfamiliar with the Bollywood milieu, it is nevertheless wholesome, delightful, and fun, and full of exaggerated characters, each more loveable than the last.
The most detailed and thoughtful commentary on this wonderful film can be found in this post on In Praise of All Things Dharmendra-Related.