The story of Dil Chahta Hai revolves around three young friends, Aakash (Aamir Khan), Sameer (Saif Ali) and Sid (Akshaye Khanna), their friendship, how it changes with times, their love lives and, finally about growing up. Actually, there is not much of story here. The storyline, in fact, is quite thin. But Farhan Akhtar has fleshed it out so well. The screenplay is sound and the dialogues are so very contemporary. The first part of the film does tend to drag ever so slightly, but it has some of the most brilliant scenes. The pace picks up in the second half, which is flwaed by the presence of certain cliches which the director takes recourse to. One can almost forgive him that because Dil Chahta Hai is a film which moves us, makes us laugh.It is a bittersweet experience, part pain, part love, an unbeatable combination. Some mindblowing cinematography from Rajiv Chandran, excellent shot taking and cutting, puts Dil Chahta Hai in a class all by itself.
Of the three buddies, Sid is the artistic and sensitive sort, while Aakash is the guy who doesn't believe in love. Sameer, on the other hand, is falling in love everyday. Their friendship receives jolt when Sid falls in love with an older woman (Dimple Kapadia). An off-colour comment from Aakash pushes the two friends apart. Meanwhile, Aakash goes off to Australia to manage his father's business in that country. He encounters Preity Zinta there and falls in love for the first time in his life. Back home, Sameer too finds the love of his life in Sonali Kulkarni. Sid, the most sensitive of the three, loves without any expectations. It's a platonic love, with no exoectations from either side. This was the only love story, which one felt deserved more screen time. It is again Dimple's death which brings all the friends back together.