Saturday, July 15, 2006

Sanjeev Kumar - XI

Sanjeev Kumar was very unlucky when it came to love. He was unlucky twice over. He was was in love with Hema Malini and lost her to Dharmendra. The second time around, he proposed to Leena Chandavarkar. Co-incidentally, Kishore Kumar had proposed to Leena Chandavarkar on the same day and she chose Kishore Kumar over Sanjeev Kumar.

On November 6, 1985, Sanjeev Kumar died a bachelor, at the young age of 47 due to a heart ailment.

Definitely one of the phenomenal actors produced by the Hindi film industry.

Sanjeev Kumar - XI

Sanjeev Kumar won National Award as best actor twice for his movies Dastak (1970) directed by Rajinder Singh Bedi starring Manmohan Krishna and Rehana Sultan and Khoshish (1972) directed by Gulzar and starring Jaya Bhaduri, Seema Deo, Om Shiv Puri, Asrani and Dina Pathak.

Sanjeev Kumar has won Filmfare Best Actor Award three times for Arjun Pandit (1976) directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and starring Ashok Kumar, Bindu, Vinod Mehra and Srividya; Aandhi (1976) directed by Gulzar and starring Suchitra Sen and Shikar (1968) directed by Atma Ram and starring Dharmendra, Rehman, Asha Parekh, Helen and Johny Walker.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Sanjeev Kumar - X

Sanjeev Kumar also acted in a few movies directed by Yash Chopra. Although these movies mostly had Amitabh Bachchan as the central character, Sanjeev Kumar also played stellar supporting roles in these movies. Sanjeev Kumar's movies directed by Yash Chopra are as follows:

8. Silsila (1981) directed by Yash Chopra starring Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha, Jaya Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor. Although Sanjeev Kumar had a small role, but he did well to potray the character of a husband whose wife has an extra marital affair.

9. Kaala Patthar (1979) directed by Yash Chopra starring Amitabh Bachchan, Rakhee, Shashi Kapoor, Parveen Babi, Shatrughan Sinha and Neetu Singh.

10. Trishul (1978) directed by Yash Chopra starring Amitabh Bachchan, Rakhee, Shashi Kapoor, Hema Malini, Sachin and Poonam Dhilon. Sanjeev Kumar's role in this movie was his meatiest with any Yash Chopra movie.

Sanjeev Kumar - IX

6. Pati Patni Aur Woh (1978) was directed by B. R. Chopra. The star cast of the film included Parveen Babi, Rishi Kapoor and Ranjeeta. Sanjeev Kumar once again excelled at comedy.

7. Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977) directed by Satyajit Ray. This was Satyajit Ray's only Hindi film. The starcast of this film was very interesting and talented. The movie starred Sanjeev Kumar, Amjad Khan, Saeed Jaffrey,Shabana Azmi, Farida Jalal, Victor Banerjee, Farooq Shaikh,Tom Alter, and Leela Mishra.

Sanjeev Kumar - VIII

3. Anamika (1973) directed by Raghunath Jhalani and starring Jaya Bhaduri, Iftekhar and A. K. Hangal. Music by R. D. Burman was a big hit and so was the movie.

4. Faraar (1973) directed by Shankar Mukherjee and had Amitabh Bachchan and Sharmila Tagore as his co-stars. This movie is an off-beat film and had a very interesting story line. Amitabh Bachchan has also given an good performance in the role of a murderer hiding in the house of a police officer (played by Sanjeev Kumar). However, police officer's wife has been Amitabh's girlfriend before her marriage. Sanjeev Kumar gave a great performance in the role of a helpless police officer who cannot take hold of a criminal because his son is his hostage. Sharmila Tagore also acted very well in the role of a woman caught between her husband and her ex-lover.

5. Naya Din Nayee Raat (1974) directed by A. Bhimji was quite an experimental film. Sanjeev Kumar played nine different characters in the film. Jaya Bhaduri was his co-star in the film. This film was a path-breaking film in the career of Sanjeev Kumar.

Sanjeev Kumar - VII

Sanjeev Kumar also did many other films with other directors and was successful at the box office. Some of his other prominent films were as follows:

1. Aap Ki Kasam (1974) directed by J. Om Prakash starring Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz. This was an authored back role for Rajesh Khanna and Sanjeev Kumar had a supporting role in the film. The music was by R. D. Burman was a big hit just as the movie.

2. Sholay (1975) directed by Ramesh Sippy and starring Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Jaya Bhaduri and Amjad Khan. This potrayal of Thakur Baldev Singh was one of the high points in Sanjeev Kumar's career as an actor. The movie is a land mark film in the history of Bollywood. The music of the film was by R. D. Burman.

Sanjeev Kumar - VI

Sanjeev Kumar then next acted in Gulzar's Namkeen (1982). His co-stars in the film were Sharmila Tagore, Shabana Azmi and Waheeda Rehman. The music was by R. D. Burman.

And then came one of their funniest films together, Angoor (1982) which had Sanjeev Kumar and Deven Verma both in double roles. The film also starred Moushmi Chatterjee, Deepti Naval, Aruna Irani and Utpal Dutt. This film was inspired from William Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors and Sanjeev Kumar excelled in this comic caper. The music was by R. D. Burman.

Sanjeev Kumar - V

Thereafter, he acted in Gulzar's acclaimed Aandhi (1975) where he co-starred with the beautiful Suchitra Sen. This movie was a landmark movie in the careers of both Gulzar and Sanjeev Kumar and it ran into much controversy because it was released during Indira Gandhi's regime (as a Prime Minister of India) just before the emergency and it was rumoured that the movie was based on the life of Indira Gandhi. This movie is definitely one of Sanjeev Kumar's best performances. The music of this film was by R. D. Burman and the songs Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi Shikwa and Tum Aa Gaye Ho are unforgettable.

In the same year, Sanjeev Kumar also acted in Gulzar's Mausam where he co-starred with Sharmila Tagore (in a double role). The movie is about the guilt, struggle and anguish of the protagonist when he finds out the injustice he has caused to a girl and her family by getting the girl pregnant and then after many years finding out that his illegitimate daughter, who is supposed to be studying medicine, actually earns her living in a brothel and is a foul-mouthed prostitute. The story is about the protagonist's struggle to identify himself as the father of the prostitute. Once again, outstanding performances from both Sanjeev Kumar and Sharmila Tagore. The music of the film was by Madan Mohan and the song Dil Dhoondhta Hai is a classic.

Sanjeev Kumar - IV

Sanjeev Kumar has given some of his best performances in movies directed by Gulzar.

Sanjeev Kumar's first movie with Gulzar was Koshish (1972) where Jaya Bhaduri was his co-star. They play a dumb and mute couple in the movie. Deaf and dumb Haricharian meets deaf and dumb Aarti and persuades her to lean the sign language to communicate with her mother and brother. Their courtship leads to marriage and ultimately a child born to them. After the death of Aarti from an illness, Haricharian's son tries to deal with the after effects as well as his history of being raised by two deaf parents when he begins courting another young girl who also happens to be deaf. The performances of Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bhaduri were extremely poignant and touching. Definitely one of the better performances.

Thereafter, he did a brief role in Gulzar's Parichay (1972) which had Jeetendra, Jaya Bhaduri, Pran and A. K. Hangal in lead roles. The music was by R. D. Burman in this Gulzar's inspiration of The Sound of Music.

Sanjeev Kumar - III

He went to do many movies where he potrayed a range of emotions. He went on to do movies such as Seeta Aur Geeta and Manchali both of which were huge hits.

Seeta Aur Geeta (1972) was directed by Ramesh Sippy and had Sanjeev Kumar in the lead role with Hema Malini and Dharmendra. Although Hema Malini had the author backed role in the movie, Sanjeev Kumar did well to come out on tops with Dharmendra.

Manchali (1973) was directed by Raja Nawathe and starred Sanjeev Kumar, Leena Chandavarkar and Nirupa Roy. The music was by Laxmikant Pyarelal. This movie further established Sanjeev Kumar as a lead actor with good comic sense and timing.

Sanjeev Kumar - II

In the year 1968, he acted in Sangharsh directed by Harnam Singh Rawail where his co-star in the film was none other than the ultimate Dilip Kumar and the legendary Balraj Sahani. However, he managed to hold on to his own in a movie which had such big and legendary names.

However, it was in the year 1970 that Sanjeev Kumar tasted superstardom when his film Khilona was released. Khilona made him into a star in its truest sense. Khilona was directed by Chander Vohra and had Jeetendra, Mumtaz, Shatrughan Sinha, Durga Khote, Aruna Irani, Ramesh Deo and Jagdeep as a part of its star cast.

Thereafter, there was no looking back for Sanjeev Kumar. He went on to become one of the most versatile actors of all times. He essayed roles of extreme complexity with ease and was equally comfortable doing comedy as well. He had an awesome ability to emote with his eyes and facial expressions. It is often said that Sanjeev Kumar used to add tremendous depth to his character with his voice modulations at the time of dubbing for a film.

Sanjeev Kumar - I

I have received a request from one of the anonymous visitors on my blog that he wanted me to write something about the life and career of Sanjeev Kumar. Hence, in my next few posts, I will discuss Sanjeev Kumar's humble beginnings in life generally, as an actor and his rise as one of the most talented actor Hindi film industry has ever seen.

Sanjeev Kumar was born on July 9, 1938 in a poor Gujarati family. His original name was Harihar Jariwala but he took on Sanjeev Kumar as his screen name for coming into movies. After studying acting in a film school, he joined Hindi films. He made his Bollywood debut with Homi Wadia's Ali Baba And the 40 Thieves (1954). However his first break as a lead actor came with Nishan (1965) directed by Aspi Irani. The movie had Sanjeev Kumar as the lead actor with Nazima as leading actress, Prem Chopra and Helen as the supporting cast.


I have read in some parts of the media that this 1967 desi bond flick is gonna be remade with Tushar Kapoor as the lead actor. Tushar Kapoor will try to step into the shoes of his dad Jeetendra who excelled in the original movie.

The original Farz (1967) was directed by Ravikant Nagaich and had Jeetendra, Babita Kapoor and Aruna Irani as lead actors. The movie did very well at the box office and Jeetendra as the desi James Bond did well. The music was by Laxmikant Pyarelal.

It would have to be seen whether Tushar Kapoor manages to hold on to a role that his father Jeetendra excelled in.

Amar Akbar Anthony

There have also been rumours of this Manmohan Desai classic being remade by David Dhawan. I am not sure whether this movie is being made or not.

The original was released in the year 1977 and had the stellar star cast of Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor, Parveen Babi, Shabana Azmi, Neetu Singh, Nirupa Roy, Pran and Jeevan. It was a multi starrer in its true sense. The music was by Laxmikant Pyarelal. This is one of the best entertainers of all time with all the actors excelling in their own parts. Of course, the cult of Anthony Gonsalves continues to live on and Amitabh Bachchan has, in many interviews said that people still call out to him as "Anthony Bhai".

Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam

Besides these remakes, there are also other remakes that are on the anvil. However, I am not sure whether these have been finalised or if finalised, is it happening at all or not.

The first one is Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam that was supposed to have been produced by Pritish Nandy's company Pritish Nandy Communications. The original Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962) was directed by Abrar Alvi and starred Guru Dutt, Meena Kumari, Waheeda Rehman and Rehman. The music was by Hemant Kumar and the movie is one of the classics with top notch performances from the entire leading star cast.

I am not sure whether this is being made by Pritish Nandy or not but there have been many rumours that Priyanka Chopra was a part of the star cast for the remake.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Sooraj Barjatya's "Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon"

Sooraj Barjatya's Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon was a remake of his Rajshri Productions' earlier film Chitchor.

Chitchor (1976) was directed by Basu Chatterjee and had Amol Palekar, Zarina Wahab and Vijendra Ghatge in leading roles. The music was by Ravindra Jain. The movie was a big hit and was very well received cricically and commercially.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about Sooraj Barjatya's Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon (2003) starring Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor and Abhishek Bachchan. Sooraj Barjatya was supposed to have hit a bulls eye with the casting coup that he had managed for this film. The (jarring) music was by Anu Malik. It was an absolute washout for Sooraj Barjatya and Rajshri Productions and this movie was mercilessly rejected both by critics and audience.

Ram Gopal Varma's "Sholay"

This will be the mother of all remakes. Ram Gopal Varma is making the remake of Sholay, arguably one of the best Hindi films to be made. Ever.

The original Sholay was released in the year 1975 and was directed by Ramesh Sippy. The original Sholay had Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Jaya Bhaduri, Sanjeev Kumar and Amjad Khan. The movie was written by Salim-Javed and the music was by R. D. Burman. The movie had a record run at a theatre in Mumbai. I have done a comprehensive post on Sholay in the month of May 2006. See the archives on my blogspot for the week ended April 30, 2006 (2006-04-30).

The remake would be known as Ram Gopal Varma Ka Sholay. However, the remake would be Ram Gopal Varma's interpretation of Sholay and would not be set in Ramgarh. The remake would be, you guessed it right, set in Ram Gopal Varma's favourite set up - Mumbai Underworld and Gabbar Singh would be your typical Mumbai underworld king pin. The likely casting of the remake is as follows:

Amitabh Bachchan as Gabbar Singh (originally played by Amjad Khan)

Mohit Ahlawat as Jai (originally played by Amitabh Bachchan)

Abhishek Bachchan as Veeru (originally played by Dharmendra)

Mohanlal as Thakur Baldev Singh (originally played by Sanjeev Kumar)

Katrina Kaif as Radha (originally played by Jaya Bhaduri)

Rajpal Yadav as Soorma Bhopali (originally played by Jagdeep)

Urmila Matondkar as Helen for Mehbooba song (original dance by Helen)

Himesh Reshamaiyya singing the song Mehbooba (originally played by Jalal Agha)

The all important character of Basanti (originally played by Hema Malini) is still missing. I am not sure but the music is likely to be composed by Himesh Reshamaiyya. Well, what do you say, he's the current flavour of Bollywood. Not only do we hear him and his compositions, we also have to see him now.

Feroz Khan's "Kurbani"

The next remake on the anvil is Feroz Khan's "Kurbani". This is a remake of his own previous film by the same name Qurbani. Please note the difference in spelling as Q had to give way for K. You may call it the effect of numerology on today's film-makers.

The previous Qurbani was released in the year 1980 was a big hit and now has become a cult film. The movie had Feroz Khan, Vinod Khanna, Zeenat Aman and Amjad Khan in leading roles. The music by Kalyanji Anandji was a huge hit with Laila O Laila and Hum Tumhe Chahte Hai Aise being chart busters. The movie had the style and flamboyance of Feroz Khan written all over it.

So far, Fardeen Khan has been finalised to play Feroz Khan's role for the remake. Saif Ali Khan was rumoured to be a part of the cast but that seems to have not worked out. It would be interesting to see how Feroz Khan remakes his own classic!

Other actors who will be seen in the remake will be Feroz Khan (doing Amjad Khan's role) and Jackie Shroff (doing Amrish Puri's role). The music for the remake is being composed by Anand Raaj Anand.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

J. P. Dutta's Umrao Jaan

Another re-make in the pipeline is J. P. Dutta's "Umrao Jaan" starring Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Shabana Azmi and Sunil Shetty. The music is by Anu Malik.

The earlier classic was directed by Muzaffar Ali (1981) is a cult movie and truly a classic! It had a stellar star cast of Rekha, Farooq Shaikh, Naseeruddin Shah, Shaukat Kaifi Azmi, Raj Babbar. The music was by Khayyam and till date remains one of the most beautiful compositions of all time. This also remains one of Rekha's best performances.

The songs "In Aankhon Ki Masti" and "Dil Cheez Kya Hai" are definitely two of Asha Bhonsle's best renditions ever.

Interestingly, Shabana Azmi plays the role of Khanum Jaan which was essayed by her mother Shaukat Kaifi Azmi in the earlier version.

It would be be a tall order for Aishwarya Rai to pull off a Rekha and it would be a big task for J. P. Dutta to re-create the magic of Umrao Jaan that has been already immortalised on the celluloid by Muzaffar Ali.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Farhan Akhtar's "Don"

The next (most likely) big release of a remake is Farhan Akhtar's Don which is the more stylized version of earlier Don which was released in 1978.

The earlier version was directed by Chandra Barot starring Amitabh Bachchan, Zeenat Aman, Pran, Iftikhar, Om Shiv Puri and Helen. This movie was a big hit and the music by Kalyanji Anandji was a big hit as well.

Farhan Akhtar's Don stars Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal and Boman Irani. The music is by Shankar Ehsaan and Loy. Farhan has retained two songs from the earlier Don. One is the cult Khaike Pan Banaraswala and the other one (I am not sure though) is Yeh Mera Dil. Kareena Kapor is slated to do a Helen and Arjun Rampal is said to do a Pran in this stylized version.

We can only wait and watch as to how this re-make would turn out to be. Frankly speaking, I am a fan of Farhan Akhtar and at the cost of sounding biased, I would like to say that Don's remake would be a good film.

Pradeep Sarkar's "Parineeta"

The first Parineeta to be made in Hindi was directed by Bimal Roy and starring Ashok Kumar as Shekhar Rai and Meena Kumari as Lalita.

Parineeta (2005) directed by Pradeep Sarkar was a big hit and further boosted the career of Saif Ali Khan. Vidya Balan made a sensational debut as Lalita. Shantanu Moitra also made a very good debut as a music director.

Pradeep Sarkar managed to pull off the Saratchandra Chatterjee classic. It could be attributed to the fact that the earlier Hindi version was released way back in the year 1953 and Pradeep Sarkar's version was released after almost 52 years. Today's audiences may not even know that Bimal Roy's Parineeta was ever made.