25 years of DDLJ: Shah Rukh, Kajol’s statue to be unveiled in London
A bronze statue of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol will be unveiled in London’s Leicester Square in 2021 to celebrate the silver jubilee of one of Hindi cinema’s most iconic love stories, “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (“DDLJ”).
“DDLJ”, starring Khan and Kajoj as lovers Raj and Simran, released on October 20, 1995. The film, which marked Aditya Chopra’s foray into direction, was produced by Yash Raj Films.
In an announcement shared on Monday, Heart of London Business Alliance said the “DDLJ” statue will be a part of film attraction “Scenes in the Square” in the heart of the UK capital.
“Scenes in the Square” features highly recognisable classic and contemporary film characters, each immortalised in interactive and expressive bronze statues, with some brought to life in the evening through lighting.
Leicester Square acted as the setting for a scene in “DDLJ” when Raj (Shah Rukh) and Simran (Kajol) first cross paths, as strangers. The sequence features two of the square’s cinemas prominently, with Raj seen in front of the Vue cinema, and Simran walking past the Odeon Leicester Square.
According to a press release issued by Yash Raj Films, the new statue will be positioned along the eastern terrace, outside the Odeon cinema.
Mark Williams, Director of Destination Marketing at Heart of London Business Alliance said they are excited to bring to the trail the first film that features Leicester Square as a location.
“It’s fantastic to be adding such titans of international cinema to our trail as Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. 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,” Williams said in a statement.
The statue will be unveiled early next year, when organisers hope that Khan and Kajol will be able to travel to be part of the special celebratory event.
Avtar Panesar, Vice President of special projects at Yash Raj Films said it is an honour 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 recognized alongside the Hollywood elite, from Gene Kelly to Laurel & Hardy, and this is a great way to express the international appeal of cinema,” Panesar said.
Apart from the celebrating 25 years of “DDLJ”, the announcement also coincides with the 50th year celebrations of Yash Raj Films.
“Scenes in the Square”, which was launched in February 2020, also features statues of DC’s iconic Super Heroes, Batman and Wonder Woman, Gene Kelly from “Singin’ in the Rain”, Mary Poppins, popular
animated character Bugs Bunny, Paddington Bear, Rowan Atkinson’s Mr Bean and legendary comics Laurel and Hardy.