Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani (English: Yet the heart is still Indian) is a Bollywood comedy-drama film released by Dreamz Unlimited, now Red Chillies Entertainment on 21 January 2000. The film was directed by Aziz Mirza and stars Shahrukh Khan and Juhi Chawla focuses on the media war being fought in the TV newsrooms. Ajay Bakshi and Ria Banerjee are two television reporters for rival news channels who try to save the life of a man who has been fixed by a politicians for the death of his brother, from a death sentence. The film marked the first attempted by Khan, Chawla and Mirza under their new production company Dreamz Unlimited, now Red Chillies Entertainment. This film won the IIFA Award for Best Special Effects.
Ajay Bakshi (Shahrukh Khan) is a successful loudmouthed reporter, working for a reputed news channel. His father was a freedom fighter living on a measly pension. Ajay thinks that his fathers ideal & sacrifices have given him nothing. He has no respect for his father's ideals, which his father still sticks to. The rival news channel ropes in Ria Banerjee (Juhi Chawla) as his answer. Ria is the antithesis of Ajay & uses her charm to get her work done.
Pappu Junior alias Choti (Johnny Lever) is a don who is soon to be ousted from his own gang, owing to his inability to make it big in the crime world. Ajay approaches Choti with an offer: arrange a fake attack on a minister Ramakant's (Shakti Kapoor) brother-in-law(Mahavir Shah) on national TV. Choti will earn respect & Ajay's channel will gain TRP. Little does Ajay know that the plan is going to turn too real.
The minister's brother-in-law is gunned down by an assailant named Mohan Joshi (Paresh Rawal). When Ajay learns that he was not Choti's man, he panics. Ria learns about Ajay & Choti's deal, but they decide to help each other nevertheless. Minister Ramakant, takes advantage for his brother's death to gain votes and sympathy he organises a pogrom. In the turn of events, Mohan is arrested, but does not open his mouth even once during police torture. To avoid any public unrest, the ACP (Anjan Srivastav) declares that Mohan is a terrorist working for unknown terror organisations. Meanwhile, Mohan somehow escapes out of jail.
Ajay & Ria are fighting over the matter in their car, unaware that Mohan is hiding in the same car. Mohan accosts them, where Ajay accuses him of being a terrorist. Mohan has an angry outburst & tells him that he is not a terrorist. Mohan goes on to narrate his story. Mohan has an ailing wife (Neena Kulkarni) & a now-dead daughter. Mohan says that his daughter went to an interview for a secretarial job at the victim's office, where the latter raped and beaten her badly and she dies by the trauma & Mohan was left helpless & running from door to door for justice. Hence hopeless, he took the law into his own hands.
Ajay & Ria are shaken by his confession & decide to help Mohan. Ajay hands over the video tape of this confession to his boss and Ajay's uncle Kaka (Satish Shah). Unfortunately, the minister has joined hands with his opposition rival minister Mushran (Govind Namdeo) as he fears that their secrets might come out if Mohan surrenders. Similarly, Ajay's boss forms an alliance with Ria's boss (Dalip Tahil) after knowing about the tape. The ministers & channel heads come together and trick Ajay & Ria to give the tape to them.
Only after they give the tape do they realise what the truth is. Ajay is angry at first, but comes up with a plan to retrieve the tape back from the politicians and their respective bosses. With the help of Ria & Choti, he succeeds in obtaining the tape. Here Mohan has been arrested by police & is sent to be publicly hanged. Ajay succeeds in broadcasting Mohan's confession just an hour before the execution & tearfully requests the nation to stop this injustice.
The ministers and policemen try to prevent the protesters from coming to the execution ground by making the police barricade the entrance and policemen and head inspector (Vishwajeet Pradhan) beats up Ajay. The ACP decides to join Ajay & Ria, thus neutralising the police barricades. In a blatant mockery of media's TRP hogger attitude, Mohan is made to wear a T-shirt containing logos of various companies & is prepared for execution. Just seconds before the execution, Ajay & the protesters succeed in saving Mohan and beat up the politicians.
Mohan's execution is called off. Ajay's father tells him that his ideals may not have given him materialistic gains, but they gave him something far more important – Ajay. Ajay proposes to Ria in front of all the protesters; Ria accepts after playful funny banter with him.Shahrukh Khan as Ajay Bakhshi
Juhi Chawla as Ria Banerjee
Paresh Rawal as Mohan Joshi
Johnny Lever as Choti/Pappu Junior
Atul Parchure as Shahid
Sanjai Mishra as Bomb Defuser
Sharat Saxena as Pappu's boss
Aanjjan Srivastav as Police Commissioner
Neena Kulkarni as Mohan's wife
Dalip Tahil as Chinoy
Satish Shah as Kaka
Govind Namdeo as Minister Mushran
Shakti Kapoor as Minister Ramakant Dua
Mahavir Shah as Ramakant's brother-in-law
Bharti Achrekar as Ria's mother
Smita Jaykar as Ajay's mother
Vishwajeet Pradhan as Head Police inspector
Dilip Joshi as Sapney (Choti's aide)
Mona Ambegaonkar as Ajay's crush
Hyder Ali as Ajay's father
The music was composed by Jatin Lalit who also composed the background score assisted by brother in law Aadesh Shrivastava. Al lyrics were written by Javed Akhtar. The music of the film was appreciated. Manish Dhamija of Planet Bollywood gave 8.5 stars stating, "Overall, the album is a pleasant surprise from Jatin-Lalit". the soundtrack and feature song "Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani" in particular, with its concept of "Love our country", were well-received and praised for their patriotism. Author M. J. Akbar highlighted the "very heavy winking" by Khan during his performance of the song, accompanying the evocative lyrics.
Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani grossed ₹18.20 crore (US$2.7 million) in India and $1.67 million (₹7.26 crore) in other countries, for a worldwide total of ₹25.46 crore (US$3.8 million), against its ₹13 crore (US$1.9 million) budget. It had a worldwide opening weekend of ₹7.45 crore (US$1.1 million), and grossed ₹12.50 crore (US$1.9 million) in its first week. It is the 13th-highest-grossing film of 2000 worldwide.
It opened on Friday, January 21, 2000, across 240 screens, and earned ₹91 lakh (US$140,000) nett on its opening day. It grossed ₹2.74 crore (US$410,000) nett in its opening weekend, and had a first week of ₹5.08 crore (US$750,000) nett. The film earned a total of ₹10.74 crore (US$1.6 million) nett, and was declared "Flop" by Box Office India. It is the 19th-highest-grossing film of 2000 in India.
It had an opening weekend of $650,000 (₹2.82 crore) and went on to gross $900,000 (₹3.91 crore) in its first week. The film earned a total of $1.67 million (₹7.26 crore) at the end of its theatrical run. Overseas, It is the 2nd-highest-grossing film of 2000 after Mohabbatein which grossed $4.17 million (₹19.39 crore).