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Randhir Kapoor’s 5 Finest Performances

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Randhir Kapoor

 It’s a  pity that Randhir Kapoor got  trapped  in the image of a happy-go-lucky  awaraa-nalayak  version of his father Raj Kapoor.

There  was so much more to him than the rumbustious ho-ho-ho blustering bumpkin’s image that he was stuck with.  Part  of  the  blame for not breaking out of that stereotype  must go to  Daboo, alias Randhir Kapoor. He  loved to be perceived  as  a   typical Kapoor:overweight foodie with a  snappy sense  of humour who  didn’t care  for the hit-or-flop  cycle  of  the  boxoffice. But Randhir had the chops, and he had the hits. Take  a look.

  1. Kal Aaj Aur Kal(1971): This  was  quite   a family affair: that is  to say, Randhir’s family his grandfather Prithviraj Kapoor  and  father Raj Kapoor, played their real-life  roles while his  fiancé Babita played his girlfriend. This  was  Randhir’s debut as an actor and  director, and he was  promising. The  film still exudes a  freshness  in its tone. It  deals with the theme  of  the generation gap with a certain  amount of  wisecracking wisdom.Shankar-Jaikishan created  a hit  score without the  presence of Lata Mangeshkar .Songs like Aap yahan aaye kis liye and Bhanware  ki gunjan are  hummed to this day. The film was  an average  success at  the  boxoffice.Interestingly Mehmood spoofed  Prithiviraj, Raj and  Randhir playing all three roles  himself  a year later in the Jeetendra starrer  Humjoli.
  2. Rampur Ka Lakshman(1972): A  year after his debut Randhir Kapoor featured in Manmohan Desai’s  potboiler a   superhit with chartbuster songs composed  by  Rahul Dev  Burman for Randhir to sing:  Rampur ka vasi hoon main laxman  mera naam and  Ghum hai kissike  pyar mein being the two biggest hits. Randhir had his pal Rekha for company in this  film where villain Shatrughan Sinha stole the show.The two actors  played  brothers at loggerheads.
  3. Hamrahi(1974):  One of the most  under-estimated   films of  Randhir’s career  Hamrahi  directed by Anand Sagar was a load of fun and  a source of inspiration for  Priyadarshan’s Hera  Pheri. Known  for his   comic virtuosity Randhir  got tit  for tat  from the  spontaneous  and vivacious Tanuja. One wonders why these two were  not cast together again. They seemed  to have  so  much fun together.Their repartees  sparkled, and why not! The  dialogues were  written by eminent Hindi  litterateur Kishan Chander.Later  Kishan Chander also wrote  Ram Bharose  for Randhir.
  4. Jawani Diwani(1972):  Randhir  Kapoor shared a  very  warm and close  bonding with  filmmaker Ramesh Behl who cast  the  actor with Amitabh Bachchan in  Kasme  Vade and with  Jaya Bachchan in  this sparkling musical  college comedy with R D Burman  belting  out hit after hit…. Yeh jawani hai diwani,Jaan-e-jaan,  Agar saaz  chheda  taraane banenge…..take your pick.A  superhit the same team  tried to encore the success in  Dil Diwana two years  later, but failed.
  5. Dharam  Karam(1975): Ek din  bik jayega  maati ke mol…Majrooh Sultanpuri’s words reverberate  across the universe. Alas, the song  has far outlived  the  film which was  a  forgettable  mess.It  brought together father Raj Kapoor and  son Randhir in a muddled potboiler  inspired  by Raj Kapoor Awara.The narration is scattered  all over the place.  The father-son equation  was  much better  tapped  in Kal Aaj Aur Kal.

Fun Facts About Randhir Kapoor:  He  worked  in 15 films with Rekha and they remain friends  to this day….Raj Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor appeared in  a film together called  Do Ustad when Randhir was 12 but they did not play father and son….Randhir  worked in a  surprisingly large  number  of  hit films  including  Haath Ki Safai(1974), Chacha Bhatija(1977),Rampur Ka  Lakshman(1972) and Jawani Diwani(1972) but  was  never taken seriously as  an actor; maybe because he  never took  himself seriously.

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