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 fuitfulpair, specially in the films that they did together for Hrishikesh Mukherjee. ButGaram Dharam and Seductive Sharmila did other interesting works together too.
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 Dharmendra looking dapper in a dhoti , was a poet and a writer who tried to bring the shy withdrawn Uma out of her shell. Thirperformances 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 outfitSharmila 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 Devdashad happened no doubt Dharmendra and Sharmila would have given a new lease of life to Saratchandra’s doomed lovers.