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Statue of Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol to be unveiled at Leicester Square marking 25 years of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

The Heart of London Business Alliance will install a bronze statue of the Indian stars by spring 2021.

Our Correspondent

The longest-running Indian film, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), turns 25 tomorrow and will be commemorated with a bronze statue of its two stars Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol at London’s Leicester Square next year.

The Heart of London Business Alliance will install a bronze statue of the Indian stars by spring 2021, hopefully in the presence of Khan and Kajol, who played the characters of Raj and Simran respectively in the film.

The Hindi film, directed by Aditya Chopra, was largely filmed in London and Europe. The statue will depict a scene from the film, which was filmed in the British capital. It will join other nine famous installations of iconic film characters from the past 100 years such as Gene Kelly's character from Singin’ In The Rain (1952), Harry Potter, Mary Poppins, Mr Bean, comedy duo Laurel and Hardy and superheroes Wonder Woman and Batman as part of the city’s Scenes in the Square movie trail.

Mark Williams, director of destination marketing at Heart of London Business Alliance, said in a press release, “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 [commercial Hindi cinema] 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.”

Avtar Panesar, vice-president of special projects at Yash Raj Films (YRF), added: “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 superstars have been recognized alongside the Hollywood elite, from Gene Kelly to Laurel and Hardy, and this is a great way to express the international appeal of cinema.”

An early scene from the film featuring Raj and Simran was filmed at Leicester Square, showing the Vue Cinema and the Odeon Leicester Square. The statue will be stationed along the eastern terrace, outside the Odeon cinema, honouring this scene. Other London locations featured in the film include Horseguards Avenue, Hyde Park, Tower Bridge and King’s Cross Station.

The Hindi film, also known as DDLJ, was the highest-grossing film of 1995 and ended up winning 10 Filmfare Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Actress. It also won the National Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.

Related topics

Indian cinema