Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin (1991)

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In the year 1991 director Mahesh Bhatt achieved something that is rarely achieved. Something that is even more rare in The Hindi Film Industry. But let’s start at the beginning…

Gulshan Kumar, the founder of T-Series and the man who saw to it that melody came back in hindi films in the ’90s, started his career as a producer with the tv movie Mirza Ghalib in 1988. He went on to produce the movies “Abhi Toh Main Jawaan Hoon” (1989 directed by the late Amjad Khan featuring Sachin) and “Bahaar Aane Tak” (1990 – Sumeet Saigal and Rupa Ganguly). The latter had a soundtrack by Rajesh Roshan that would be a big hit especially the song  “Kaali Teri Chotti Hai”.

Then came the year 1990 and this would be the year that changed everything. This would be the year that Gulshan Kumar would collaborate with Mahesh Bhatt for the first time and that for a movie which would have music by Nadeem Shravan. A Nadeem Shravan soundtrack for a T-Series produced film for the first time. The story about the making and behind the scenes stories of “Aashiqui” are food for another blog so I will not go into that here. Just one thing I would like to mention since that will bring us back to our movie… Nadeem-Shravan recorded some songs for this movie and gave it to Gulshan Kumar and Mahesh Bhatt. They selected the songs for “Aashiqui” and rejected some songs…

Mahesh Bhatt was a director who had not been too succesful in the initial phase of his career. Movies like “Manzilein Aur Bhi Hai” (1974 – Kabir Bedi), “Vishwaasghaat” (1977 – Sanjeev Kumar, Shabana Azmi) and “Naya Daur” ( 1978- Rishi Kapoor) were nothing really special. Then in 1982 came the semi-autobiographical  “Arth” (Smita Patil, Raj Kiran, Shabana Azmi and Kulbhushan Karbanda) which changed it all. The film was a hit and a new hit director was born. Films like  “Saaransh” (1984 – Anupam Kher), “Naam” (1986 – Sanju, Kumar Gaurav, Amrita Singh, Poonam Dhillon and Nutan) followed. Some of these films would work big time and some would not work. My favourite Mahesh Bhatt movie from this era was the film “Thikaana” (1987 – Anil Kapoor, Smita Patil, Amrita Singh and Suresh Oberoi). According to me this film had glimpses of a Hitchcockian thriller. I think this movie is one of Mahesh Bhatt’s most underrated films which is a shame.

Then in 1990 Mahesh Bhatt, the director, would make a turn and start making films of a totally other genre. His collaboration with Gulshan Kumar would produce the first film of the new Mahesh Bhatt and the film “Aashiqui” (1990 – Rahul Roy, Anu Agarwal and Deepak Tijori)  would become the biggest hit of the year. Not only would this film give the Hindi Cinema some new actors but this film would single-handedly change the filmi music scene. This film gifted us all music directors Nadeem-Shravan, lyricist Sameer and singers Kumar Sanu and Anuradha Paudwal.

After the big success of “Aashiqui” producer Gulshan Kumar and director Mahesh Bhatt would team up again. This time they would work with a bigger cast. No newcomers but an established hero and heroine. Remember what I told you about the rejected songs for “Aashiqui”? Well one of the songs that was recorded and was rejected for that film was a song which would become an anthem for young lovers. That song was  “Dil Hai Ke Maanta Nahin” (Anuradha Paudwal, Kumar Sanu).

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The film “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” which was released in 1991 was a remake of the Frank Capra film  “It Happened One Night” (1934- Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert). This Hollywood film itself would be remembered for eternity as the first film ever to win the big 4 Oscars. The first film to win Oscars for best film, best director, best actor and best actress. But like I said in the beginning of this article what Mahesh Bhatt achieved with this film is something that is very rarely achieved. And that is to remake a movie in such a way that the remake is actually better than the original. And that is exactly what Mahesh Bhatt did with this movie. Though some scenes are literally lifted from the black and white classic and some dialogues are also literally translated from english to hindi it somehow works… and works big time!

“Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” featured Aamir Khan, Pooja Bhatt, Anupam Kher, Tiku Talsania, Avtar Gill, Rakesh Bedi, Mushtaq Khan and many others who would become regulars in Mahesh Bhatt films during the 90’s. The cast of “Aashiqui” was not repeated except for a special appearance right at the beginning by Deepak Tijori during the song  “Galyat Sankali Sonyanchi”. But the cast that did appear in the movie was top-notch. Aamir Khan as Raghu Jetley (the Clark Gable role) was bang on. You can’t visualise anyone else in this role. That’s why it is so damn difficult to think of anybody in this role for a remake (which I will get to later on). Anupam Kher was quite funny in his role as Pooja her dad. It is said that the character portrayed by Anupam Kher was based on the real life father of  “actor” Chunky Panday. I say “actor” because according to me Chunky Panday can’t act to save his life. The character actors like Tiku Talsania (who was known for his washing powder Nirma commercial), Mushtaq Khan and the others all did well and were all good in their respective roles.

That brings me to the leading lady of the film -Pooja Bhatt. I fell in love with Pooja Bhatt when I saw her 1989 tv movie “Daddy” in which she debuted. This movie was not your usual debut love story for a hero or heroine. Pooja had a though role and she did fully justice to it. I would come to love Pooja for her  “Pooja roles”. To be honest most of her early films had her in the same role- at least the same character of Pooja. But let’s be honest: this were the 90’s and a lot of actors and actresses were faced with type casting. At least Pooja excelled in her role. I would come to love all her roles even if the film might be bad. And she surprised me with her comic timing. Especially in the Subhash Ghai produced, Sachin directed  “Prem Deewaane” (1992 – Jackie Schroff, Madhuri Dizit and Vivek Mushran). Though Madhuri Dixit was the no. 1 actress at the time of this film’s release Pooja Bhatt stole the entire movie.

Pooja accepted this role after turning down  “Aashiqui” for reasons best known to her. I personally think this is a shame because according to me  “Aashiqui” would have gotten that something extra if Pooja would have accepted the role after her fantastic turn in  “Daddy”.

Pooja Bhatt in “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” is just perfect and her pairing with Aamir Khan worked wonders. Though I loved Pooja in this movie there is 1 actress whom I can easily see in her role if this movie would be remade today. And that would be my favourite actress of the new generation…

“Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” though a well-directed film with only good performances by the entire cast would not have become the classic it has become if the soundtrack of the film would not have been as perfect as it was…

The making of the soundtrack of “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” could actually be an entire blog of its own. Let’s try to incorporate a few facts and stories regarding the evergreen soundtrack of this movie. Like I mentioned earlier the title track of this movie was written by Sameer , composed by Nadeem-Shravan and sung by Kumar Sanu and recorded for the film  “Aashiqui”. But the track did not make it to final soundtrack of that movie. But when this film was being made it became the title track of this movie. Thank god for small mercies.

All songs which needed a female singer were sung by Anuradha Paudwal since T-Series was heavily promoting her at that time and did not record any songs in other female singers’ voices. Anuradha did a great job and even won a Filmfare Award for the solo version of the title track. In addition to the songs featured in the movie 3 songs were not shown in the movie. “Kaise Mizaaz Aap ke Hain”, “Hum Toh Mashhoor Huwe Hain” and  “O Mere Sapnon Ke Saudagar”. The latter song was included in the movie after the movies release. However the 2 earlier mentioned songs were not which is a shame because they are true gems.

There are a couple of versions of the soundtrack available though it is not easy to find all the versions of the songs today. I bought the cassettes of the movie when it was released and have all versions of the songs. For instance before the movie was released I bought the soundtrack of the movie which had  “Tu Pyaar Hai Kisi Aur Ka” sung by Anuradha Paudwal and Babla Mehta. But when I finally saw the movie the male voice was that of Kumar Sanu. So it took me a while to find that version. Now after 30 years of making my radio show and collecting songs I have some versions of songs which were only in trailers or in the movie. Of the songs “Kaise Mizaaz Aap Ke Hain”, “Adaiyen Bhi Hai” and  “Galiyat Sankali Sonyanchi” I have the versions sung by Anuradha Paudwal and Babla Mehta but also the released versions of Anuradha Paudwal and Kumar Sanu. On some platforms like YouTube a 1 minute version is uploaded of the song  “Dil Tujhpe Aagaya” sung by Kumar Sanu with the caption that it is a very rare version which was recorded. This is not true. I have an album which has singers like Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik et all singing an approximately 60 minute medley of Nadeem_Shravan songs. On that album Kumar Sanu renders an 1 minute version of the song which is uploaded on the net.

Now I am not that a big fan of remaking classics. But I am wondering that if Mahesh Bhatt achieved the feat of remaking a Hollywood classic in such a way that it was much much better then the original Frank Capra movie what could happen if  “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” would be remade for today’s generation?

Like I said earlier on I can not think of anyone else in Aamir Khan’s role. It would be damn difficult to visualise anyone else in that role. Maybe the best option would be a newcomer. But in the role of Pooja Bhatt I do have a suggestion. And that is my favourite actress of the new generation. An actress who is pleasing to the eye, just like Pooja Bhatt, but also an actress who can really act, just like Pooja Bhatt. And above all an actress I wouldn’t mind taking on the  “Pooja role” that Pooja Bhatt perfected in the 90’s. Who else then Alia Bhatt whom I do see glimpses of Pooja sometimes.

Wouldn’t that be great? “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin 2” with Alia Bhatt!

 

Do you like behind the scene stories about movies, movies till those from the 90’s or those film songs when hindi film songs were actually any good? Then tune in to SunriseFM every Sunday 10PM (Netherlands), 5PM (Suriname), 4PM (New York), 9PM (London) and Monday 2.30AM (IST) for my radioshow  “YAADEIN- A Walk Through Memory Lane). You can tune in to the show on SunriseFM through the cable (if you live in The Netherlands). Otherwise you can listen to the show through Tunein, The Sunrisefm app or online : http://www.sunrisefm.nl

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Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin  (1991)\

produced by Gulshan Kumar (T-Series)

directed by Mahesh Bhatt

music by Nadeem-Shravan

lyrics by  Sameer and Faaiz Anwar

singers  Anuradha Paudwal, Kumar Sanu, Babla Mehta, Abhijeet, Debashish DasGupta

cast Aamir Khan, Pooja Bhatt and Anupam Kher

 

 

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Saajan (1991)

Saajan was a love story released in 1991 that went on to become the biggest hit of that year. The music sales of the soundtrack of this movie broke all records and after “Aashiqui” Nadeem-Shravan established themselves as THE music directors if the new era with this movie.

In anticipation of the 90s special “YAADEIN -90S EDITION” that will be broadcast on SunriseFM on February 4th 2018 let’s go down memory lane to 1991…

 

Sudhakar Bokade was a producer who made his debut as a producer in 1990 with the movies  “Nyay Anyay” ( Jeetendra, Jaya Pradha, Shilpa Shirodkar and Sumeet Saigal) and “Izzatdaar” (Govinda, Madhuri Dixit, Dilip Kumar and Swapna). Though “Nyay Anyay” had a nice soundtrack the film did not do too well. Izzatdaar which was nothing special did fairly okay business. In 1991 Sudhakar Bokade hit the jackpot with the movie  “Saajan” which went on to become the biggest hit of the year and went on to inspire quite a few love triangles again and also about a dozen movies which had the word  “Saajan” in the title. The subsequent movies Sudhakar Bokade produced almost all flopped at the box office. Some where good movies like  “Prahaar” (1991 – nana Patekar, Madhuri Dixit and Dimple Kapadia)  which was directed by Nana Patekar himself. Other movies were crap like  “Sapne Saajan Ke” (1992 – Jackie Scroff, Dimple Kapadia, Karishma Kapoor and Rahul Roy). The final nail in his professional coffin was the film “Kalinga” ( Dilip Kumar, Sunny Deol, Meenakshi Shehshadri, Raj Kiran, Shilpa Shirodkar and others) which got shelved after being in the making for over 7 years and got stuck at 70%. This film was to be directed and scripted by Dilip Kumar who did start the film but never finished it. A story that happened before with the film “Master” which was to be produced and directed by Chandra Barot  (the director of the Bachchan classic  “Don”).

Lawrence D’Souza was a cinematographer and had shot movies like Tajurba (1981 – Smita Patil, Nasseerudin Shah, Raj Babbar), Hatya (1988 – Govinda, Neelam) and Gair Kanooni (1989 – Govinda, Sridevi, Rajnikant, Kimmi Katkar and Shashi Kapoor). He made his directing debut in 1990 with the film  “Nyay Anyay” and would go on to make 16 films in a span of 13 years. Most of his films would eventually flop though some of his movies weren’t that bad. My personal movie directed by Lawrence is the 1993 love story Sangram which had Ajay Devgan, Karishma Kapoor, Danny Denzonpa and Amrish Puri in the leading roles. This would also be the film that would finally bring director D’Souza and 90s actress Ayesha Jhulka together. But more on that later…

Lawrence claim to fame and his biggest hit in his entire career would be this 1991 love story from whom nobody expected anything. This film titled  “Saajan”.

Due to some circumstances which we will talk about later “Saajan” would star Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt in their first movie as co-stars. Madhuri Dixit would become the heroine of the movie. The supporting cast would compromise of Ektaa (who would go on to marry Nutan’s son Mohnish Behl), Kadar Khan and Reema Lagoo.

Sanjay Dutt at that time was known for his action roles and it would be with this film that Sanju would be stepping in the “love story” territory. For Salman Khan “Saajan” would continue his initial golden run at the box office after “Maine Pyaar Kiya” (1989 – Bhagyashree, Mohnish Behl, Alok Nath), Baaghi (1990 – Naghma, Mohnish Behl) and  “Sanam Bewaffa” (1991 – Chandni, Danny Denzonpa and Pran). This movie would consolidate Bhai as the next superstar of the Indian Cinema. Madhuri Dixit was at a high already at the time of the release of the movie.

The Reema Rakeshnath written movie (daughter of yesteryear character actor Sapru and wife of Rikku Rakeshnath -the secretary of Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Shilpa Shirodkar and Ranjeeta Kaur) was loosely based on the yesteryear classic “Aarzoo” (1965- Sadhana, Rajendra Kumar, Feroz Khan, Mahmood and Naaz).

The ’90s were still the times when it took 2 years at the least to complete a film and get it released. In such an environment  “Saajan” was shot in a mere 36 Days!

The star cast of the movie which we eventually saw was not the original intended cast of the movie.

The role eventually played by Sanju in the movie was first offered to Aamir Khan. In true Aamir fashion he turned the role down. And to be quite honest I agree with Aamir’s reasoning. It is said that Aamir turned the role down because he did not understand the reasoning of Madhuri Dixit’s character. So okay, she is in love with the poet she has never seen. then she meets Salman Khan en thinking that he is that poet she falls in love with him. But when she finds out that Salman in an imposter and Sanju -whom she met on several occasions and whom she considers to be her friend is the real poet, she without batting an eyelid dumps our Bhai and is in love with Sanju for whom she had no romantic feelings before that whatsoever. So I do get Aamir’s point of view.

The role done in the film by Ektaa (Behl) was initially offered to Neeta Puri ( Khuli Khidki, Awwal Number, Lashkar and Satyamev jayete)  who was one of the so called  “hottest” actresses of those times. For reasons unknown she turned down the role and the role went to Ektaa.

Okay that was a small role which only had a limited screen time. But the role that was done by Madhuri Dixit was bot offered to her at the beginning. The producer and the director of the movie wanted to cast one of the most beautiful and talented leading ladies of the ’90s _ Ayesha Jhulka- in the leading role opposite Bhai and Sanju. Ayesha was even signed and had started shooting.But on the first day of shooting she had a very high fever and the producer decided he could not wait for Ayesha, signed Madhuri and continued shooting. Now everyone knows what Madhuri Dixit ended up doing with the role and she did do a fantastc job. But I -being a die hard Ayesha Jhulka fan- keep wondering how the movie would have been if Ayesha had done the role of the leading lady in this movie.

Saajan- mera dil bhi

Another aspect that helped make the movie the blockbuster it became were the rumours about the Sanju – Madhuri Dixit affair at that time. It was said that the two fell in love during the making of this movie and that eventually Madhuri Dixit dumped Sanju when his court troubles started. In an interview published in 2017, Madhuri Dixit her former secretary Rikku Rakeshnath said that the entire affair was just a publicity stunt to make the people want to watch them together on-screen as they had signed a couple of films together.

When we think about “Saajan” today more than the movie, more then Bhai, sanju or even Madhuri Dixit what comes to mind is the soundtrack of the movie. initially the producer and director wanted to sign Laxmikant-Pyarelal for the movie. According to an interview with director Lawrence D’Souza since neither the producer nor he, the director,  were known or succesful at the time Laxmikamt-Pyarelal even refused to meet them. In a fix since shooting of the movie had to commence they approached Nadeem-Shravan and the rest is -as they say- history.  History was created by Nadeem-Shravan with a great contribution of the lyricist Sameer (son of the legendary lyricist Anjaan).

This was still the time when after  “Maine Pyaar Kiya” and most of the subsequent movies featuring Bhai, S.P. Balasubrahmanium was his screenvoice. Kumar Sanu was the voice of Sanju inthis movie and would go on to win his second Filmfare Award for Best Playback Singer male for his part in the song “Mera Dil Bhi Kitna Paagal Hai” which would become a solution for many youngsters in those days to try to express their feelings. And since the music of  “Saajan” was released by Venus and not by Gulshan Kumar’s T-Series there was no pressure to let all female songs be sung by only Anuradha Paudwal. Thank God for small blessings because this enabled Nadeem-Shravan to rope in Alka Yagnik as well as the voice of Madhuri Dixit besides having two songs sung bt Anuraha Paudwal.

And what can be considered as a masterstroke Nadeem Shravan roped in famous ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas -who by that time had started singing for a select few films as well- to render the second edition of the song that would be remembered for ages…

If you grew up in the ’90s you must have some memories attached to at least one of the songs of this film. Or maybe to the movie itself.

If you love those ’90s movies and/or songs from those ’90s movies do not forget to tune in on SunriseFM Sunday February 4th 2018 for a “YAADEIN-’90s EDITION”

The show will be broadcast at 10PM (Netherlands), 5PM  (Surinam), 4PM (New York), 9PM (London) and Monday 2.30AM (IST).  The show can be followed through Tunein, The SunriseFM app and also online : http://www.sunrisefm.nl

And ofcourse you can participate in the show LIVE by becoming a member of the facebookgroup GEET SANGEET

Saajan  (1991)

produced by Sudhakar Bokade

directed by Lawrence D’Souza

lyrics by Sameer

singers Alka yagnik, Kumar Sanu, S.P. Balasubrahmanium, Pankaj Udhas and Anuradha Paudwal

cast Salman Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit, Kadar Khan, Reema Lagoo and Ektaa

Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan (1968)

JGA -lekh

Lekh Tandon was a director who made some movies that went on to become super succesful. Films like Professor (1962 -Shammi Kapoor), Prince (1969 – Shammi Kapoor), Ek Baar Kaho (1980 – Navin Nsichol, Shabana Azmi and in one of his very first roles -Anila Kapoor) and Agar Tum Na Hote (1983 – Rajesh Khanna, Rekha, Raj Babbar) were some of the movies he made which really worked big time. Lekh Tandon also was an actor who did character roles in movies such as Swades (2004) and Rang De Basanti (2006).

But his swan song as a director came in 1968 when he achieved something that is rarely achieved in the Hindi Film Industry…

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Its was in this year that his swan song was released “Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan”. Saira Banu was a beautiful actress who had some hits credited to her at that time already. And the hero of the film -Rajendra Kumar- well his nickname at that time was “Jubilee Kumar” because all of his films went on to become golden and platinum jubilees at the cinemas. A feat which is unthinkable in today’s times when a movie stays in the cinemas for 2 or 3 weeks max.

In 1941 a Hollywood movie was released titled “Here Comes Mr. Jordan” which had Claude Rains in the lead. The movie although a good one was a moderate succes. but succesful enough to warrant a sequel. In 1978 (a good 10 years after “Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan”!!) this Hollywood movie was remade by Warren Beatty as “Heaven Can Wait” with himself and Julie Christie in the leading roles. And finally in 2011 Chris Rock remade the movie once again with himself in the leading role as “”Down To Earth”. This last film surprisingly had a lot in common with “Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan”… Does Chris Rock watch Hindi movies…?

So “Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan” which released in 1968 was a remake of “Here Comes Mr. Jordan” and with this remake Lekh Tandon achieved something that is rarely achieved by anyone. And that is to make a remake which is actually much and much better then the original! Yes you read it right!! “Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan” is the best version of all the films mentioned above.

The cast of the film couldn.t have been better selected. In those days there were no so called “casting directors”, the producer and director did the casting themselves.

Rajendra Kumar as the hero does a fantastic job. You really feel for him, laugh with him and cry with him. Prem Chopra as the evil step brother in the second half of the film does his usual “Prem Chopra” role but he is effective. Rajendra Nath – best known for his “Poppatlal” roles in the Nasir Hussain films is really funny for once. But that is not just because of his antics, it is also because of his role. he is one person whom we can identify with. First as the friend of Rajendra Kumar who cremates his friends body after his death and then when he is called by his friends lookalike in another city who tells him that he IS his friend since his soul is in another body. It is also funny to see the interactions between Rajendra Nath and Prem Chopra when you keep in mind that in real life Prem Chopra is married to Rajendra Nath’s sister.

Saira Banu as the leading lady is good. This role seems to be written especially for her. Though a fan of many actresses of those times (and there were a lot of good actresses those times) I can’t visualise any other actress in this role. Kudos to Saira Banu. Durga Khote as the dadi as very effective. Now I must confess I know her from a film that was released almost 12-13 years later – Karz (the original Rishi Kapoor one that is) and her role in this movie reminded me of her role in Karz. But she did very well. And finally I must mention the name of an actor whom I like very much (mostly thanks to the Hrishikesh Mukherjee films) but whose name mostly doesn;t ring any bells for most viewers – David Abraham. David as he was billed in the movies portrays the role of Clause Rains in this movie and is fun in his short role. The entire cast was well chosen and each and every member did their best. No complaints here.

Now since this is a movie released in the times when the soundtrack of a hindi movie produced gems of songs, let’s have a look at the music of this film.

Shankar Jaikishan compsed 8 songs for this film which were sung by Mohd. Rafi (this was before Kishore Kumar took over the nation), Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle. All the composed songs are well placed in the film and enhance the story (an aspect that is missing in today’s times and movies in general).

According to me 4 to 5 songs that were composed for this movie became immortal. The songs I mean are Sachha Hai Gar Pyaar (part 1 and 2), Kaun Hai Joh Sapnon Mein Aaya (inspired by the Elivs Presley song “Margarita”), Kahan Chal Diye Idhar Toh Aao and my personal favourite from the movie “Unse Milli Nazar ke Mere Hosh Udh Gaye”.

There is one thing however which I would like to mention for the people who have only seen this movie on dvd: When i watched the movie as a kid on VHS I remember seeing the song “Sachha Hai Gar Pyaar Mera Sanam” part 2 in the movie. But for some reason -and I really can’t fathom why- this song was deleted from all dvd versions. I remember the song was picturised when Rajendra Kumar goes to heaven after his car crash right before the interval point this song was picturised on him and David. But like I mentioned this song is deleted from all DVD’s. If anyone has a VHS copy of this movie just check out the song – it’s really a very beautiful song. And if you have the VHS please let me know.

“Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan” (1968)

directed by Lekh Tandon

music by Shankar – Jaikishan

singers Mohd. Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle

cast Rajendra Kumar, Saira Banu, Durga Khote, Prem Chopra and Rajendra Nath

Jeet (1996)

 

Sajid Jeet

Producer Sajid Nadiadwala  (who also is a director now) had started his career as an associate producer with the classic “Patthar Ke Sanam” which featured Manoj Kumar, Waheeda Rehman and Mumtaz in the leading roles. When he branched out on his own and started his own productionhouse Nadiadwala Grandson -one of the most respectable production houses today – he wasn’t that lucky at first.                                                             He started with the “The Godfather” inspired  “Zulm Ki Hukumat” which had Dharmendra in the Marlon Brando role and Govinda in the  Al Pacino role. The film did not do too well though I liked it (maybe because I am one of the biggest Govinda fans). After that movie came  “Waqt Humaara Hai” which did okay business. This movie will be remembered as the first movie which had the Akshay Kumar – Sunil Shetty combination. The film also featured Mamta Kulkarni, Anupam Kher, Jhonny Lever and one of my favourite ’90s actresses -Ayesha Jhulka.  Andolan which followed wasn’t that a big hit either, The movie had Govinda and Sanjay Dutt in the leading roles but was not your usual Govinda – Sanjay Dutt kind of film they made with David Dhawan during the ’90s. Then came 1996 and this would become the year that would change everything for Sajid and his productionhouse.                                                                                                              This would be the year that he would produce his first film with someone who would become a friend for life…

sallu

Raj Kanwar was a director who made 16 films in a span of 18 years. The thing with Raj Kanwar was that when he made a good film the film was really really good and had much repeat value. But when he made a bad film it was really cringe worthy.

Raj Kanwar Jeet

Like Yash Chopra had his heroines named “Chandni” Raj Kanwar had quite a few leading ladies named “Kaajal”.  Another thing common in quite a few Raj Kanwar movies was that through whatever circumstances the hero of the movie loved a girl in the movie that he would not get in the movie. According to me the best Raj Kanwar movies were the Rishi Kapoor- Divya Bharti film  “Deewana” which was Shah Rukh Khan’s debut movie, Laadla which had Anil Kapoor and Raveena Tandon in the lead along with Sridevi who took over the role when the heroine of the movie Divya Bharti died. “Dhai Aksar prem Ke” was another movie of his which I liked which was based on the Keanu reeves movie  “A Walk In the Clouds” and had Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwariya Rai in the lead roles. Fun aspect of this movie is that the movie also had Salman Khan in a cameo. And finally his best movie according to me is the 1996 released  “Jeet”.

“Jeet” is kind of a remake of the 1988 film  “Rukhsat” which was directed by actress Simi Garewal. “Jeet” had Sunny Deol, Salman Khan, karishma Kapoor and Amrish Puri in the leading roles and a guest appearance by Tabu.

This movie was quite an intense love story in which it was hard for me to root for one hero because both Sunny Deol and Salman Khan were two of my favourites then and both still are. I have read quite a few posts which say that “Sunny Deol ne Salman Khan ke chhuti kar di is film mein” with which I dont agree. I can see why some people might say this but one should not forget that Sunny Deol was THE main lead of the movie and had the author backed role in the movie. You might say that Sunny Deol was the Amitabh Bachchan of this movie and Salman Khan was the Vinod Khanna/ Shatrughan Sinha / Shashi Kapoor of the movie. The real movie buffs will understand exactly what I mean with this. But all of the actors be it Salman, Sunny or Karishma performed very well in this movie. For me the performance by Sunny in this movie is up there with Ghayal and Damini. Tabu in a guest appearance leaves a lasting impression and the only regret I have is that Tabu her role is too short. Though Karishma Kapoor gave one of her best performances in this movie according to me I would have loved it if her and Tabu’s role would have been reversed : Tabu in the Karishma role and vive versa.

NS Jeet

 

Nadeem- Shravan who were the undisputed musical kings of the ’90s gave a wonderful soundtrack for this movie with songs which are hummed and remembered even today. This was the movie in which Sunny Deol did his famous  “ant-killing dance” for the first time during the song  “Yaara O Yaara”.

Nowadays a movie might have 1 good song in it or maybe 2 at the most. But during those ’90s – especially when the music was composed by Nadeem-Shravan-  the entire soundtrack of the movie used to have hummable and good songs. So does  “Jeet”                 Written by Sameer the songs were sung by the usual suspects : Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan, Kavita Krishnamurthy and Sadhana Sargam. In a rare move Shravan made his brother Vinod Rathod sing perhaps one of the most famous songs of his singing career. And the best song – according to me that is-  in the movie was picturised on Salman Khan and Karishma Kapoor and was sung by Alka Yagnik and a singer who wasn’t at the top of his game yet but had a great hit in that song – Sonu Nigam.  I should not forget to mention that this song was deleted from some dvd’s when the movie was first released.

JEET (1996)

produced by  Sajid Nadiadwala

directed by  Raj Kanwar

music by  Nadeem-Shravan

singers  Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan, Vinod Rathod, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Sadhana Sargam and Sonu Nigam

cast   Sunny Deol, Salman Khan, Tabu, Karishma Kapoor, Amrish Puri, Alok Nath and Dalip Tahil.

 

Anand (1971)

Hrishi Anand

Hrishikesh Mukherjee was a director who told very simple stories in a very entertaining way. An editor before turning director with the movie Musafir (Kishore Kumar and Dilip Kumar) he used to edit the movies made by Bimal Roy. Because he was a great editor his movies were never dull and were edited crisply.
He had a team he used to work with frequently. The team consisted of actors, writers, music directors. Lyricist Gulzar , music director R.D. Burman, singers Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar and supporting actors like David, Asrani, Utpal Dutt, Asit Sen and Devan Verma were some of the artists with whom he would frequently collaborate. Most actors in the ’70s and ’80s would feel privileged if they would be considered in a Hrishikesh Mukherjee film. This is a director who worked with actors ranging from Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan to actors like Anil Kapoor. A director who worked with leading ladies from actresses like Nutan, Tanuja, Sadhana to actresses like Zeenat Aman and Juhi Chawla.

He was also the director who made the maximum number of films with Amitabh Bachchan. A respectable feat if you consider that Hrishikesh never succumbed to using Amitabh in the Angry Young Man persona in the “Salim-Javed” kind of way.
Some of the most memorable movies directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee were Musafir (1957)

Anari (1959), Mem Didi (1961 in which Tanuja , Kaajols mom, was introduced as a leading lady), Asli Naqli (1962 Dev Anand, Sadhana), Satyakam (1969 Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar), Bawarchi (1972 Rajesh Khanna, Jaya Bhaduri Bachchan), Abhimaan (1973 Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Badhuri Bachchan), Namak Haraam (1973 Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, Rekha),Bemisaal (1982 Amitabh Bachchan, Raakhee, Vinod Mehra) and many more.

Anand 01

Anand was actually based on the friendship between Hrishikesh Mukherjee and actor Raj Kapoor. Because Hrishikesh could not even think of his friend Raj Kapoor die on-screen the role was not offered to him. The movie was initially going to be made with Kishore Kumar and Mahmood in the leading roles. But due to a misunderstanding between Hrishikesh and Kishore Kumar this combination did not work out.

Rajesh Khanna got the role of Anand and after Aradhana this is one of his best performances ever. It is hard to imagine another actor in this role. Rajesh Khanna was born to play Anand. Anand has cancer in the movie and knows he is dying. But instead of feeling sorry for himself and feeling helpless he wants to enjoy life and make the most of the time he has left. The next quote from the movie sums it up very nicely “Zindagi lambi nahin, badi honi chahiye”. He meets his doctor friend Ramesh Deo, the doctor’s wife Seema Deo whom he comes to see as his sister. One of the highlights in this movie according to me is during a party at the doctor’s home. Anand’s bhabhi/sister does not know that he is dying and asks her brother for his “aashirwad” (blessings). Now it is important to know that usually the elders bless with saying “Tujhe meri umar bhi lagajaaye”. And as she walks away and before Rajesh Khanna starts to sing the next song het whispers “Abe main kya kahoon bahen? Main yeh bhi nahin keh sakta ke tujhe meri umar lag jaaye”. Very subtle but this is one of the instances when we glance into Anand’s real soul and his true feelings. The mask comes off for just a few seconds.

Another person he meets and befriends is a doctor who wants to help him and eventually takes Anand in his home. They become best friends. “Babu Moshai”, a role played by an unknown actor named Amitabh Bachchan who got the Filmfare award for best supporting actor for his portrayal. Though Anand belongs to Rajesh Khanna, no doubt about that, you could sense that Amitabh would be a threat to Rajesh Khanna and Rajesh would eventually lose his throne to the best actor the Indian screen has ever had – Amitabh Bachchan.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee is the only director to have had Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna as the leading men in the same movie. The second and last movie the two actors did together was also by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Namak Haraam. Though Simmi Garewal was Amitabh’s leading lady in that movie and Rekha was Rajesh Khannas leading lady, fortunes had already changed and Rajesh Khanna was not the big star anymore. By this time the people had already fallen in love with and embraced the “angry young man”. After many years they would share screen space for a minute or so during the song “John Johnny Janardhan” picturised by Manmohan Desai for the movie “Naseeb”.

But like i said ANAND belongs to Rajesh Khanna. When you watch the movie closely you will notice that though Rajesh Khanna has no love track in the movie, it is very subtly mentioned that he had a girlfriend. Also mentioned is that she got married when he became ill. The day she got married Rajesh Khanna moved to Bombay. Rajesh Khanna as Anand wants to spread joy all around and does not want anybody to see the pain he has. I am including a clip of a song here. Just watch the expressions of Rajesh Khanna. This is wonderful

The music in this movie was by Salil Choudhury and all the songs are evergreen gems. Though Kishore Kumar was the voice of Rajesh Khanna this movie has no Kishore songs. The songs are sung by Mukesh, Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar. Kahin Door Jab Din, Maine Tere Liye, Zindagi kaisi hai paheli and Jiya Lage na are all classics

ANAND 1971
directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee
music by Salil Choudhury
singers Mukesh, Lata and Manna Dey
cast Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, Lalita Pawar, Ramesh Deo, Seema Deo, Jhonny Walker and others