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The Best Of Dharmendra & Sharmila Tagore

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Two of Hindi cinema’s most enduring and endearing star-actors celebrate their birthday on  December 8 .While he-man Dharmendra turns  a ripe 80, the very beautiful Sharmila Tagore is now 71!

The two made  an interesting and very fuitful pair, specially in the films that they did together for Hrishikesh Mukherjee. But Garam Dharam and Seductive Sharmila did other interesting works together too.

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Listing the best of Dharmendra-Sharmila.

  1. Anupama(1966): This was the first time Hrishikesh Mukherjee brought this very compatible and captivating pair together. Sharmila played Uma, a repressed girl who hardly spoke. Dharmendra looking dapper in a dhoti , was a poet and a  writer who tried to bring the shy withdrawn Uma out of her shell. Thir performances so complemented one another that Hrishida went on record to state this was his favourite star pair. A lot of us agree.Memorable for its melodies composed by Hemant Kumar specially Lataji’s Dheere dheere machal ae dil-e-beqaraar and  Kuch dil ne kaha and Hemantda’s Ya dil ki suno duniya walon.
  2. Devar(1966): In the same year as Anupama came another powerful drama based on Bangla literature, this one directed by Mohan Segal. Like Anupama , Devar too was about repressed unspoken love. Dharmendra played Shramila’s bother-in-law silently in love with Shramila watching her suffer in a bad marriage.A film way head of its times made memorable by composer Roshan’s melodies Baharon ne mera chaman lutkar and Guzra zamana bachpan ka sung by Mukesh.
  3. Satyakam(1969): Regarded  by most as  Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s best film and by far Dharmendra’s most accomplished performance.As Satyapriya whose idealism destroys him and his family Dharmendra’s naturalistic performance has withstood all ravages of time. Sharmila as his supportive wife was the perfect foil.
  4. Yakeen(1969): During the same year as the imperishable classic Satyakam , Dharmendra and Sharmila were seen together in this  kitschy espionage thriller directed by Brij Sadanah most memorable for the title song were the hotblooded hero chased Sharmila who sported an itsy bitsy hot pants which made male eyes pop and trousers bulge . Put her in a ghagra-choli or a skimpy little western outfit Sharmila was game for any role.
  5. Mere Humdam Mere Dost(1968): A completely kitschy claptrap where Dharmendra and Sharmila looked smashing together. Laxkimant-Pyarelal’s songs went a long way into making this trashy film a blockbuster. Dharmendra sang Rafi Saab’s Hui sham unka khayaal aa gaya and Chalkaye jam aapke hothon ke naam. She sang Lataji’s Chalo sajna jahan tak ghat chale and Tum jao kahin.
  6. Chupke Chupke(1975):  In the 1970s Shramila got busy doing films with Rajesh Khanna . But she reunited with Dharmendra one  more time for their beloved director Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s comedy which has over the years acquired cult status.
  7. Ek Mahal Ho Sapnon Ka(1975): A love triangle featuring Dharmendra with Sharmila and Leena Chandravarkar. The most forgettable film from the Dharam-Sharmila oeuvre.
  8. Sunny(1984): The beautiful pair came together one more time for Dharmendra’s home production where Sharmila played his mistress . He dies at the beginning of the film leaving behind the two women in his life Sharmila and Waheeda Rehman to fight it out.
  9. Chaitali: Technically speaking Dharmendra and Sharmila did one other film together.The film Chaitali was to be directed by the great Bimal Roy who passed away. Bimalda’s assistant Hrishikesh Mukherjee took over. The film was launched with  Hrishida’s favourite pair Dharmendra and Sharmila but finally got made with Saira Bau replacing Sharmila.
  10. Devdas: Gulzar launched his own version of Saratchandra classic with Dharmendra, Sharmila and Hema Malini cast as Devdas, Paro and Chandramukhi. Tragically the project went no further than the mahurat. If this version of Devdas had happened no doubt Dharmendra and Sharmila would have given a new lease of life to Saratchandra’s doomed lovers.
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Rakesh Roshan: “Everything I  Know  About Acting & Direction, I Learnt From K Vishwanathji”

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Rakesh Roshan

The  mighty moviemaker K Vishwanath who  was to Telugu cinema what  Satyajit Ray  was  to Bengali cinema,  passed  away on February 2,leaving behind a luminous  legacy.

Acto-director Rakesh Roshan  who had  the  rare honour of working  in four projects  with  Vishwanath recalls him with tremendous respect. “Everything I know  about acting and  direction I learnt from  him. He was  a stalwart , an institution, and so passionate about his work. I had the privilege  of being directed  by him in two films Aurat Aurat Aurat  and Shubh Kamna. He would show  his actors  exactly what he  wanted, down to the minutest gesture.His  understanding  of the medium was  extraordinary.”

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Rakesh Roshan remembers how  he  invited Vishwanath to make films for him. “I produced  two films that Vishwanathji directed. One  was Kaamchor, the other was Jaag Utha  Insaan.While the  first was  a runaway success, the second didn’t do well.”

Speaking on how Kaamchor happened Rakesh recalls, “Vishwanathji and I used to meet socially in Hyderabad.We  wanted to work together. But we had  no script.One evening when we met he  looked very depressed. When I asked him what was wrong, he  said his new release Shubodayam  (in Telugu) had  flopped. That  night I went to see Shobodayam  in  a theatre in Hyderabad. The  next morning I  told Vishwanathji, ‘We’ve  found our script’. I told him where  the  storytelling in Shubhodayam  had gone wrong.We corrected the script and that’s how Kaamchor  happened. Although the entire story revolved  around me,  it was Jaya Prada who benefited  from Kaamchor.”

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About the beautiful  Jaag Utha Insaan , Rakesh Roshan admits  bluntly, “It  flopped because  of miscasting. During those days Sridevi was known  in Hindi cinema as a glamorous heroine. We cast her as classical dancer. Mithun Chakraborty had  the image  of  Gun Master G-9 and  Disco Dancer.We cast him as  a downtrodden  underdog. I was  known  for Kaamchor and  other citybred characters,I was cast as a Brahmin pandit.With other actors Jaag Utha  Insaan would have been a superhit”

Rakesh met K Vishwanath six years  ago. “We were shooting for Krissh in Hyderabad. He came on  the set several  times. We  had so much to say to each other. After that we lost contact. He was  very very busy with many projects. K Vishwanathji lived  for his cinema.”

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As His Latest Work Faraaz Releases Today,  Hansal Mehta Speaks To Subhash  K Jha On The Exciting Times Ahead

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Faraaz

Hansal, Faraaz is  your fifteenth directorial  venture. How does it feel to have come so far  with so many  milestones behind you?

don’t count my films. Genuinely. Every film is a new beginning. Every film has its share of uncertainty and nerves. Perhaps it is also because of the choices I make. There is no scope for either complacency or me carrying a false sense of security. I’m not complaining,though. Living life on the edge keeps me going.

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I  consider  Faraaz to be  a part of your great trilogy on  the dynamics  of terrorism, after  Shahid and  Omerta…where do you see Faraaz  positioned  in your creative ambit?

Thank you , Subhash.Faraaz is a film I’m very, very proud of. It was a challenge to pull off, a tough journey but creatively a very satisfying one. As Rajkummar Rao told me after watching the film , the Trilogy is complete now. Time to explore new stories and new characters. And finish post-production for all the exciting things that we shot for over the past eighteen months.

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Out of curiosity which of your films  have given you  the most creative  satisfaction?

Almost every film Shahid onwards has been immensely satisfying , both in terms of process and the outcome. Save a couple that I need not name. But even those I own for all their flaws, failures, deficiencies and redeeming qualities. But Faraaz has been a great process. I’ve made so many new friends in this journey and found some of the most exciting colleagues that I’m proud to introduce through the film. Writers Raghav Kakkar and Kashyap Kapoor (who co-wrote the film with Ritesh Shah), Cinematographer Pratham Mehta, Sound Designer Mandar Kulkarni, Editor Amitesh Mukherjee, co-producers Sahil, Maz and Sakshi – all of whom have given their blood and sweat to make this film happen. And of course Anubhav Sinha one of my oldest friends in the industry who backed me in telling this story just the way I wanted it. So yes, Faraaz has been satisfying and also filled me with a deep sense of gratitude. I must have done something right, no?

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Of course. Faraaz has a lot of young new actors in it. Tell me  about the  process  of  casting in this film? It couldn’t have been easy since there are dozens  of faces?

That was the challenge and the joy of making this film. I worked on the story during Chhalaang and I always knew that it would be a return to my indie roots for Faraaz. The film had to be made. And it needed fresh faces, bereft of image or trappings of stardom. A huge credit to Mukesh Chhabra who has a huge role to play in my filmography since Shahid. We constantly challenge each other and never ever give up. Casting is a process I really enjoy and finding the right talent to bring characters alive is something I thrive upon. Faraaz has an amazing ensemble. Right from Aditya Rawal , Zahan Kapoor, Juhi Babbar to every small character in the film including the officers, parents and the hostages this one is a triumph of honest casting , casting without an eye on profits, simply in service of the film, of the character.

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Faraaz is  about a terror attack in Bangladesh?how  do you respond to those who want to know, why Bangladesh?

In our research of this dastardly attack we realised that here was a story that had a larger message and something very universal to share. Misguided youth taking up violence in the name of religion or a parent’s love for her child or the unexpected bravery from an unlikely hero are themes that cannot be limited by borders, nationality or language. These stories must be told. They must transcend the limitations of perceived local relevance – particularly when our polarised times need such stories to be told to a larger audience.

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In 2020, your OTT series Scam 1992  proved to  b e game changer. Do you see Scam as a turning point  in your career?

I see Scam 1992 as an enabler. We did not expect its humongous success and to say it did not change things would be fake humility. It gave me back a lot of things I had lost in the years before it released. Including some money. And the courage to tell the stories I desperately wanted to. Also exceptional friends and collaborators like Sameer Nair and his Studio Applause.

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Your films  and your  attitude to cinema has always  been fearless. How  do you  cope with the  threat of growing intolerance in our society  vis a  vis your  convictions as a  filmmaker?

It is not new to me. Remember Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar in 2000? The only difference now is that then I was deeply affected by the intolerance to a point of self destruction. Now I channelise my despair and anger into telling relevant stories and through them taking on those who have made it a business to be intolerant.

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To Attend Siddharth-Kiara’s Destination Wedding, Karan Johar Preponed His Twins’s Birthday  Bash

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Siddharth-Kiara’s

For those  who are  wondering why Karan Johar hosted  the grand birthday party for his  twins Roohi and  Yash who will  turn 6 on 7 February,  six days in  advance  on 1  February  here is  why:  on the day of his twins’ birthday,  Karan  will be in Rajasthan attending the wedding celebrations of his dear friends  Siddharth Malhotra  and Kiara Advani who are  getting married on  February 6.

 Reveals   a friend close  to  Karan,  “Karan was in a dilemma. To him there is  nothing more important than his  children’s happiness.  How could he break their hearts by skipping  the most important day of their  lives? At the same time, how could he  not attend Siddharth and Kiara’s wedding ? They are  very close to him.”

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Karan did the best thing possible to resolve the situation:  he put the dilemma before his children Yash and Juhi who happily  agreed  to  have their party  a few days in advance so their ‘Dada’  could  attend  his friends’ wedding.

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The  Big Independence Day Clash To Be Averted?

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Animal and Sunny Deol’s  long-awaited Gadar 2

Sunny Deol, John Abraham  Ranbir  Kapoor  and the Covid Vaccine are all set to clash at the boxoffice this  Independence Day .

While the  Ranbir Kapoor starrer Animal and Sunny Deol’s  long-awaited Gadar sequel  are  both scheduled  for release  on August  11, John Abraham’s  Tariq  releases three days later on August 15.On the same day  Vivek(The Kashmir Files) also  releases  The Covid Vaccine.

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It looks  like  a crowded weekend, with one too many releases for audiences to  choose from.

Apparently  intense discussions are on among the  producers of the four  big films to see how the clutter can be  resolved.

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A  source close to the  development says, “Gadar 2 is the  right fit for the Independence Day weekend. But the producers of Animal  are in no mood to move  from August 13 . John  who is  a co-producer  on Tariq  and Vivek  Agnihotri with his Covid Vaccine  are also adamant  on coming on   August 15.The  Independence Day weekend is  a long  weekend. So let’s see…”

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