Saif Ali Khan Dil Chahta Hai

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Following an appearance in the moderately successful drama Imtihaan (1994), Khan starred in and earned public recognition with his next two releases opposite Akshay Kumar: Yash Raj Films' hit romantic drama Yeh Dillagi and the action film Main Khiladi Tu Anari. Yeh Dillagi was an unofficial remake of the 1954 Hollywood film Sabrina, and narrated the story of a chauffeur's daughter (played by Kajol) who becomes a model and engages in a love triangle between two brothers (played by Kumar and Khan). Main Khiladi Tu Anari (the second film in the Khiladi series) featured Khan as an aspiring actor and emerged as the fifth highest-grossing film of the year. Bollywood Hungama reported that the success of both films proved a breakthrough for Khan, and his performance in Main Khiladi Tu Anari fetched him his first Best Supporting Actor nomination at the annual Filmfare Awards. Khan found no success in his next two releases of the year: the dramas Yaar Gaddar and Aao Pyaar Karen, and his career prospect declined through much of the 1990s. All nine films in which he starred—Surakshaa (1995), Ek Tha Raja (1996), Bambai Ka Babu (1996), Tu Chor Main Sipahi (1996), Dil Tera Diwana (1996), Hamesha (1997), Udaan (1997), Keemat: They Are Back (1998) and Humse Badhkar Kaun (1998)—were critically and commercially unsuccessful. Critics generally perceived at this time that his career was over.