The World of Hrishikesh Mukherjee- Book Review

I thought I knew everything about him. But this book was revealing, to say the least. Many of his movies I have seen, but many others I came to know about. Musafir, Biwi aur Makaan (delightful comedy available on Youtube), Anuradha (starred Leela Naidu and Balraj Sahni), Anupama (this has my favourite song- Dheere dheere machal aye dil-e-beqaraar), and many more.

Dharmendra plays hero in his Satyakam, a story of an idealistic man who will not compromise on his values, and suffers in a world of corruption and compromise. The same Dharmendra plays a comic role (role of his life?) in Chupke Chupke, an all-time favourite film of mine.

Hrishikesh Mukherjee appeals to me for one more reason. He was a GREAT editor. His movies have an economy of shots that you rarely see in Hindi films. Many films are classics, and can be watched multiple times, such as Bawarchi, Gol Maal, Naram Garam, Khubsoorat.

The author brings out many little things about his films and working style- David playing sutradhaar (narrator/link-man) in many films, smaller characters getting prominence along with lead actors (Lalita Pawar or Johny Walker in Anand), his discipline on the sets.

Anari (typical Raj Kapoor) was directed by him, and so was Buddha Mil Gaya, a muder mystery! He used Deven Varma well in many films. He also used many different music directors in his films, and was modern in his thoughts about relationships (In Khubsoorat, Rekha calls the elderly Ashok Kumar 'boyfriend'). His characters had an everyday feel, you find them believable, and sometimes outrageously funny. He never had villains in his films-didn't need them. People with quirks were good enough (Utpal Dutt the moustache-worshipper in Gol Maal).

A superb read!


Harimohan said…
Raja, bring it along please? What a lovely body of work.

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