A cinematic luminary has passed away. Hrishikesh Mukherjee was perhaps Bollywood's cleanest and simplest story teller of the last century. His films have delighted us time and time over. Some of his films will be remembered as classics. He was not Ray, Ghatak, Sen or Gopalakrishnan. Neither was he in the Johar, Chopra mould. He was the quintessential man in the middle. His stories dealt with the joys and sorrows of the middle class. No one understood this class better than him and Basu Chatterjee. I remember reading an article which said that Hrishikesh Mukherjee's films are like our fondest photographs in our picture albums. How true. I'd frame them.
Of course, Mukherjee's body of work did have blemishes. He did get repetitive in theme at times and made some average cinema with films like "Kisi se na kehna" and "Jhoot bole kauwa kaate", where you could tell he was trying to paste Amrish Puri onto Utpal Dutt, Anupam Kher onto David and Anil Kapoor onto Amol Palekar. He also got a little too ambitious with "Bemisaal". However, one doesn't really care about the blemishes of the man who gave us "Anari", "Anand", "Guddi", "Abhimaan", "Golmaal", "Anupama" and "Naram Garam". His films were all about normal people in abnormal scenarios. The joys and foibles of people like you and me. He was our film maker. They don't tell stories like this anymore. I'm sure if he saw today's big budget, candy floss, music video cinema he would repeat Utpal Dutt's classic line from Golmaal.
And now the answers from last post's Quiz -
1. RD Burman and Swapan Chakraborty sing 'Golmaal hai'. Amit Kumar was also in the recording studio at that time, but I find it hard to figure out his lines in the song.
2. Amitabh is shooting for 'Jurmana'.
3. Mukherjee used the same green and white school uniform to dress up 'Guddi'.
4. Gulzar, Bharat.
5. That Bhawani Shankar is Bengali in the film is clear from the slang phrase 'Daat kelani bancharam' (teeth bearing/laughing idiot?) which he uses twice in the film.
6. Swami Vivekananda.
7. There are a total of 8 sportsmen mentioned in the film: 2 Pakistan Hockey players (Samiullah Khan and another I cannot remember right now), Pele, Sunil Gavaskar, Vishwanath, Amarnath, Bedi and Chandrashekhar.
8. In the scene where Deven Verma wears make up (mustache) the mustache curls upwards. However, when Amol Palekar has to make the excuse and introduces his twin brother to Utpal Dutt, the flashback to the same scene shows Verma pasting a mustache curling downwards.
9. Kishore Kumar and Amit Kumar.
10. 15%, but only 12% passed.
Commendations to Gaurav for his fine attempt. Well done sir.