He was an icon of Indian cinema and now that he’s gone, what better way to commemorate him than watch these fabulous films?
Words Team Just Urbane
Fifty years is a long time by any stretch of imagination, with respect to anything you can think of. To give you a perspective, the brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first recorded powered flight in an aircraft in December 1903. By the December of 1953, we had already fought three major wars in which the aircraft had played pivotal roles, men and women had flown across the Atlantic and we had also managed to fly faster than the speed of sound. It’s a long time. Now imagine when someone’s career is that long. Now many of you will think that late Rishi Kapoor’s career started with the film Bobby in 1973 but fact is, his first proper appearance in a significant role happened three years earlier. His first ever role being a cameo as a toddler in his father Raj Kapoor’s blockbuster Shree 420. But this isn’t a bio. So without further ado, here’s a list of five films that we think every Rishi ‘Chintu’ Kapoor fan should watch.
1. Mera Naam Joker – 1970
Yes, this is a Raj Kapoor film but it is his second son Rishi aka Chintu who plays the child Raju throughout the first chapter of this 3 hrs and 44-minute long saga. In his very first genuine acting venture, Rishi portrays the adolescent Raju who is infatuated with his school teacher Mary, played on screen by Simi Garewal. Who can forget the wide-eyed boy whose voyeuristic desire leads him to spy on the teacher as she changes out of her wet clothes? For the young Rishi ever perfected his father’s somewhat shuffling gait. An act to be applauded.
2. Karz – 1980
A decade after their appearance together in a film, Rishi and Simi reappeared in Subhash Ghai’s epic tale of greed, reincarnation and revenge. Rishy plays the role of popular singer Monty whose spontaneous moves to his song ‘Om Shanti Om’ on a giant vinyl record make the ladies swoon. A chance journey to a hill station triggers random memories of a past life when he had been Ravi Verma (played on screen by Raj Kiran), a local zamindar who had been brutally murdered by his fiancé Kamini (Simi) who has become the new Rani Ma. From the carefree entertainer, you see Monty go through bouts of doubt and confusion till he discovers his past life and remnants of his past family. So complete is Rishi’s identification with Monty that it is impossible to even imagine Monty without Rishi.
3. Student of the Year – 2012
By now, Rishi has not been playing the romantic lead for well over a decade, having moved on to character roles instead. In this superhot Karan Johar film, Rishi plays Dean Yoginder Vashisht. The film starts with the dean practically on his death bed. The rest of the film is mostly a collage of flashbacks all relating to the coveted Student of the Year competition that had a major impact on the lives of all the characters. But that’s not what’s remarkable. What’s remarkable is that Rishi actually plays the role of a gay who, thanks to society’s constraints, has to remain in the closet. His frustration comes out in the vindictive way in which he creates this competition that pits friends against each other, destroys relationships. Rishi does a fantastic job of portraying this suppressed anger and emotion in this superhit romantic comedy.
4. D-Day – 2013
From the romantic Ravi of Saagar in 1985 to Goldman in the 2013 action packed D-Day Rishi Kapoor has already undergone a complete transformation. Goldman is essentially India’s most wanted man, an aside to the very real fugitive Dawood Ibrahim. For the first time, tinseltown did not shy away from portraying the gangster who has been on the radars of our various agencies for years. Even the brilliance of Irrfan in the role of Wali Khan could not take anything away from Rishi’s swagger laden performance.
5. Mulk – 2018
In Mulk we see Rishi in the role of lawyer Murad Ali Khan, who finds himself in a courtroom battle to reclaim his own honour and of the joint family he heads when a family member gets involved in terrorist activities. It’s a battle that tests the will, patience and fortitude of the entire family. But it is Murad, as head of the family, who must bear the brunt of clearing his family name. What follows is a powerful performance Rishi that will evoke a multitude of emotions that end up with the viewer asking some very unusual questions of himself or herself. Truly, Mulk sees this scion of the Kapoor family at his finest.
Pic Credit - IMDb