Sunday, 9 October 2016

RAJ KAPOOR - THE GREATEST SHOWMAN OF INDIAN CINEMA



Raj Kapoor – The greatest showman of Indian Cinema






Ranbir Raj Kapoor (14 December 1924 – 2 June 1988), also known as "the greatest showman of Indian cinema", was a noted Indian film actor, producer and director of Hindi cinema.   Raj Kapoor was the son of well-known Indian actor Prithviraj Kapoor, who acted both in film and on stage.

His films had great entertainment value, emotional and tender love portrayal and master craftsmanship of the medium of cinema.  RK was the doyen of Hindi Cinema.  His films offered guaranteed entertainment value and beautiful depiction of song sequences with magnanimous sets.  Raj Kapoor had great sense of music and the music of his films was very popular not only in India but in countries like Russia too.

He was a multitalented artiste – an actor, director and producer.  His films portrayed the struggle of common man even though he himself led a luxurious and lavish lifestyle in real life.

His name is famous in Africa, the Middle East, China, Turkey, Southeast Asia and Russia.  In Russia uncensored version of “Bobby” with intimate scenes were shown to audiences during the time of release of the movie there.

Raj Kapoor passed away on the day he was honored with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest national award for contribution to Indian Cinema.

Despite being in a very bad health, RK agreed to come personally to Delhi to receive the big award. The ceremony was held at the Sirifort Auditorium and due to security reasons, his oxygen cylinder wasn't allowed inside. When his name was announced, he felt a chest pain and asked his wife to go on the stage. Seeing this, the then President of India R. Venkataraman broke the protocol and walked down the stage himself for RK. But by then his condition began falling and RK had to be rushed to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) located in New Delhi, India. He was admitted with an advanced stage of trachea obstruction, and after a month of battling for life on artificial respiratory system, he succumbed to "multiple organ failure leading to cardio-respiratory arrest".

Raj Kapoor hailed from the second generation of Bollywood's film family. Son of Prithviraj Kapoor, he had more to what met the eye. Well, he began as a clap-boy for director Kidar Sharma. RK used to comb Kidar's hair. Once Kidar even slapped Raj when he accidentally pulled off his fake beard! 

RK initially wanted to become a music director.  By the age of 24 he established his own studio, R.K Films, and began his directorial career, starting with Aag. He went on to direct, produce and act in many box office hits.
Raj Kapoor set up RK Films in 1948. But it was Barsaat that became the first hit of his studio. Remember the scene wherein he and Nargis are holding a violin? That went on to become the logo of RK Films.








If you saw his film “Mera Naam Joker” in your childhood, chances are that you won't realize the depth of it. Why we call the movie, a piece of art is because of its relevance in any time period. The film is one of the most iconic films in India. It is said the film was so heavy on its subject, that it was the first Hindi movie to have two intervals. And it was four and a half hours long !












The scene where Rishi meets Dimple Kapadia in her house in his film “Bobby” was picked from RK's real life meeting with his favorite actress Nargis.






Raj Kapoor had a fascination for white saree or dress and almost all his heroines he directed had worn the same in his films.  Also his penchant for female bosom was talk of the town and his heroines were made to expose bare boobs in his movies and he got away with censors at that time and the movies were released with such scenes in-tact.  Remember the fact that it was the time when India was more conservative and social media was not popular as it is today.

              




                                                            Dimple Kapadia in “Bobby”  
                            





                                                 Mandakini in “Ram Teri Ganga Maili”
    
                                                                                                                                                                          


                                                  Zeenat Aman in Satyam Shivam Sundaram
                                                                                                                          






                                                             Vyjayantimala in “Sangam”

     
   




                                                     Simi Grewal in “Mera Naam Joker”      

              

Simi Grewal gave such nude scenes in “mera naam joker” which are incomparable till today in Bollywood.

“Mera Naam Joker” was RK’s most ambitious film and it was like his second skin he wanted to portray his close to heart emotions in Joker.  However, the film bombed in Box Office and RK suffered huge losses.  It was “Bobby”, a teenage romantic film that put him back as a successful producer and director.   He made a dream caste with his second son Rishi as the hero and the debutant actress Dimple Kapadia as the heroine in Bobby.  Dimple Kapadia with this film became a national heartthrob and stolen the hearts of millions of young cine-goers.  “ BOBBY ”   was a super duper hit in India as well as abroad.  In the history of Indian cinema, Dimple’s marriage to the then reigning superstar Rajesh Khanna and her subsequent retirement from films broke the hearts of many an Indians.  The second time such a heart breaking marriage of film artists happened was when the most beautiful actress and former Miss World Aishawarya Rai married actor Abhishek Bachchan.

His successive films were handled with great sensuality like in Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Ram Teri Ganga Maili and Prem Rog.
RK is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers and actors in the history of Indian cinema.  He was the winner of several accolades including 3 National Film Awards and 11 Filmfare Awards in India. The Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award is named after Raj Kapoor. He was a two-time nominee for the Palme d'Or grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival for his films Awaara (1951) and Boot Polish (1954). His performance in Awaara was ranked as one of the top ten greatest performances of all time by Time magazine. His films attracted worldwide audiences, particularly in Asia and Europe. He was called the Clark Gable of the Indian film industry.
The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 1971 for his contributions to the arts




















He enacted the role of a tramp in “Awara” and won accolades for his Chaplinesque histrionics. His act imitating the Legend Charlie Chaplin was noteworthy.

Brief biography: 



























Raj Kapoor was born in Dhakki Munawwar Shah near Qissa Khawani Bazaar in Peshawar, then India (modern day Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan) into a Punjabi Hindu family to Prithviraj Kapoor and Ramsarni Devi Kapoor. He was the eldest of six children in the family. He was the grandson of Dewan Basheshwarnath Kapoor and great-grandson of Dewan Keshavmal Kapoor, part of the famous Kapoor family. His brothers are actors Shashi Kapoor and the late Shammi Kapoor. He also had a sister named Urmila Sial. Two other siblings died in infancy. They later on moved from Peshawar into present-day India for residence and for education.
Raj Kapoor attended Colonel Brown Cambridge School, Dehradun in the 1930s and St Xavier's Collegiate School.

At the age of ten, he appeared in films for the first time, in 1935's Inquilab. After acting in several films over the next 12 years, Raj Kapoor's big break came with the lead role in Neel Kamal (1947) opposite Madhubala in her first role as a leading lady. In 1948, at the age of twenty-four, he established his own studio, R. K. Films, and became the youngest film director of his time making his directorial debut with Aag starring himself, Nargis, Kamini Kaushal and Premnath. In 1949 he co-starred alongside Dilip Kumar and Nargis in Mehboob Khan's hit film Andaz which was his first major success as an actor. He had his first success as producer, director and star of Barsaat released later that year.
He went on to produce and star in several hit films made under his R.K. Banner including Awaara (1951), Shree 420 (1955), Chori Chori (1956), Jagte Raho (1956) and Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai (1960), the last was directed by Radhu Karmakar, his longtime cinematographer, and which won Filmfare Award for Best Film. These films established his screen image modeled on Charlie Chaplin's most famous screen persona of The Tramp. Outside of his home productions, his other notable films as a leading actor included Anhonee (1952), Aah (1953), Anari (1959), Chhalia (1960) and Dil Hi To Hai (1963). He also produced the hit social films Boot Polish (1954). and Ab Dilli Door Nahin (1957).
In 1964, he produced, directed and starred in the romantic musical Sangam alongside Rajendra Kumar and Vyjayantimala which was his first film in color. This was his last major success as a leading actor as his later films like Around the World (1966) and Sapnon Ka Saudagar (1968) with younger starlets Rajshree and Hema Malini were box office flops. In 1965 he was a member of the jury at the 4th Moscow International Film Festival.
In 1970 he produced, directed and starred in his ambitious film Mera Naam Joker which took more than six years to complete. His son Rishi Kapoor made his debut in this film playing the younger version of his character. When released in 1970, it was a box office disaster and put Kapoor and his family into a financial crisis. In later years it was acknowledged as a cult classic. In 1971, he launched his eldest son Randhir Kapoor in the family drama Kal Aaj Aur Kal starring himself, his son Randhir, his father Prithviraj Kapoor as well as Randhir's would-be-wife Babita. He launched his second son Rishi Kapoor's career in 1973 when he produced and directed Bobby which was a huge box office success and introduced actress Dimple Kapadia, later a very popular actress; it was the first of a new generation of teen romances. Dimple wore bikinis which was quite unique for Indian films then. In 1975 he acted alongside his son Randhir again in Dharam Karam, which Randhir also directed.
In the latter half of the 1970s and early 1980s he produced and directed films that focused on the female protagonists: Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978) with Zeenat Aman, Prem Rog (1982) with Padmini Kolhapure and Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985) which introduced Mandakini. He acted in fewer films by the late 1970s and early 1980s but played a notable supporting role alongside Rajesh Khanna in Naukri (1978) and as the titular character alongside Sanjay Khan in Abdullah (1980). He played a detective in two comedy films directed by Naresh Kumar Do Jasoos (1975) and Gopichand Jasoos (1982). In 1979 he was a member of the jury at the 11th Moscow International Film Festival.  Raj Kapoor's last major film appearance was in Vakil Babu (1982) where he appeared with his younger brother Shashi. His last acting role was a cameo appearance in a 1984 released British made-for-television film titled Kim.
He was set to direct Henna starring his son Rishi and Pakistani actress Zeba Bakhtiar before his death in 1988. His son Randhir directed the film and it released in 1991.
Raj Kapoor is appreciated both by film critics and movie fans. Film historians and movie buffs speak of him as the "Charlie Chaplin of Indian cinema," since he often portrayed a tramp-like figure, who, despite adversity, was still cheerful and honest. His fame spread worldwide. He was adored by audiences in large parts of Africa, the Middle East, Russia, China, and Southeast Asia; his movies were global commercial successes. Raj had the knack of getting the best out of any one, since he had mastered all departments of film making and even marketing them. His films reflected the Era in which it was made.
Many of Raj Kapoor's movies had a patriotic theme. His films Aag, Shree 420 and Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai (In the country where the Ganges flows) celebrated the newly independent India, and encouraged film-goers to be patriots. Raj Kapoor commissioned these famous lyrics for Mera Joota Hai Japani, a song from the movie Shree 420:
Mera joota hai Japani (My shoes are Japanese)
Ye patloon Inglistani (These trousers are English)
Sar pe lal topi Roosi (The red cap on my head is Russian)
Phir bhi dil hai Hindustani (But still, however, my heart is Indian)
The song is still extremely popular and has been featured in a number of movies since Shree 420 was released. Indian author Mahasweta Devi stopped the show with her inaugural speech at the 2006 Frankfurt Book Fair when she used these lyrics to express her own heartfelt patriotism and debt to her country.
Raj Kapoor was a canny judge of filmi music and lyrics. Many of the songs he commissioned are evergreen hits. He introduced the music directors Shankar-Jaikishan and the lyricists Hasrat Jaipuri and Shailendra. He is also remembered for his strong sense of visual style. He used striking visual compositions, elaborate sets, and dramatic lighting to complete the mood set by the music. He introduced the actresses Nimmi, Dimple Kapadia, and Mandakini, as well as launching and reviving the careers of his sons Rishi, Randhir and Rajiv. He was also famous for making his actresses wear revealing clothing which was not very common in Indian cinema.







A postage stamp, bearing his face, was released by India Post to honour him on 14 December 2001. To honour him, a brass statue of his was unveiled at Walk of the Stars at Bandra Bandstand in Mumbai in March 2012.
















In 2014, Google commemorated his 90th birthday.


In 1946, Raj Kapoor married Krishna Malhotra, who was his first cousin once removed. The news of his marriage was reported in the cine-magazine Filmindia June 1946 issue as, "Raj Kapoor, the talented and versatile son of Prithviraj Kapoor ended his career of wild oats by marrying Miss Krishna Malhotra in the second week of May at Rewa".  Krishna's father was Raj Kapoor's father's maternal uncle. It was a match arranged by the family, and Krishna proved to be a wife and mother in the traditional mould, which is what the family wanted. Krishna's brothers, Rajendra Nath, Prem Nath and Narendra Nath, later became actors, and her sister Uma was married to the Film villain Prem Chopra.
RK was rumoured to have had a longtime romantic relationship with the renowned actress Nargis during the 1940s and 1950s, despite RK being a married man, although neither ever publicly admitted to this.  The couple starred in several films together, including Awaara and Shree 420. As Raj would not leave his wife and children, Nargis ended their relationship after Chori Chori and married Sunil Dutt with whom she fell in love after met on set of Mother India (1957).  RK is also said to have had an affair with renowned actress Vyjayantimala during the shooting of Sangam. Vyjayanthimala has denied that she was ever involved with RK. She deemed the whole thing a publicity stunt by RK to promote his film.  RK  has also been linked with the southern actress Padmini.
 
Both of  RK’s brothers, all three of RK’s sons, two of RK’s daughters-in-law and three of RK’s grandchildren have been active at various times in the film industry. His granddaughter Kareena (daughter of  RK’s eldest son Randhir) and grandson Ranbir (son of RK’s second son Rishi) are the latest Bollywood superstars from the Kapoor family.


His film “Awara” featured 3 generations of  RK clan -






RK had received many awards throughout his career, including 3 National Film Awards, 11 Filmfare Awards and 21 nominations. His films Awaara (1951) and Boot Polish (1954) were nominated for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. His acting in the former was rated as one of the "Top-Ten Performances of all time", by the Time Magazine.  His film Jagte Raho (1956) also won the Crystal Globe award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
The Government of India honored him with the Padma Bhushan in 1971 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1987 – the highest award for cinematic excellence in India. In 2001, he was honored with "Best Director of the Millennium" by Stardust Awards.  He was named "Showman of the Millennium" by Star Screen Awards in 2002.
In June 2011, Noah Cowan, Artistic Director of TIFF Bell Lightbox, and Sabbas Joseph, Director, Wizcraft along with members of the Kapoor family came together to pay tribute to the life and work of Indian actor, director, mogul and legend Raj Kapoor, as presented in partnership by TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA), and the Government of Ontario.  Indian Mirror Reports suggest RK will be inducted onto the Brampton Walk of Fame in Ontario, Canada.

Filmography

Title
Year
Credited as
Director
Notes
Ref.
Actor
Producer
Other
Role(s)
1935
Yes


Unknown
Debaki Bose
Child artist

1943
Yes


Unknown
M.I. Dharamsey

1943
Yes




1946
Yes



Bhalji Pendharkar

1947
Yes




1947
Yes


Madhav (Madho)
Mohan Sinha

1947
Yes



Mohan Sinha

1947
Yes


Madhusudan

1948
Yes


Mohan
Mahesh Kaul and Latika

1948
Yes



N. M. Kelkar

1948
Yes
Yes
Director
Kewal Khanna
Himself

1949
Yes


Premendra
Satish Nigam

1949
Yes



N. R. Acharya

1949
Yes


Rajan

1949
Yes
Yes
Director
Pran
Himself

1950
Yes



P L Santoshi


1950
Yes



V. M. Vyas

1950
Yes


Anil
Fali Mistry

1950
Yes


Raj

1950
Yes


Chand

1950
Yes



Raghupat Roy Kapur

1951
Yes
Yes
Director
Raj Raghunath
Himself

1952
Yes


Raj
M L Anand

1952
Yes


Raju
B. Trilochan

1952
Yes


Rajkumar Saxena

1952
Yes


Raj

1953
Yes


Raju / Swami Satyananand
Chandulal Shah

1953
Yes



M. Kumar

1953
Yes
Yes

Raj Raibahadur

1954
Yes
Yes

Man asleep on train
Prakash Arora
Uncredited
Winner, Filmfare Best Movie Award
1955
Yes
Yes
Director
Ranbir Raj/Raj Kumar of Pipli
Himself

1956
Yes
Yes

Peasant
Sombhu Mitra and Amit Maitra
1956
Yes


Sagar/Sultana Daku
Anant Thakur

1957
Yes


Chiranjeev / Shekhar

1957

Yes

None
Amar Kumar

1958
Yes


Ram Babu
Ramesh Saigal
1958
Yes


Raja J. Singh
S. Bannerjee

1959
Yes


Ram Das Khanna
Naresh Saigal

1959
Yes


Kanhaiya
Om Prakash

1959
Yes


Raj Kumar (Rajan)/Himself
Tara Harish

1959
Yes


Govinda

1959
Yes


Raj Kumar
1960
Yes


Vijay
S M Abbas

1960
Yes
Yes

Raju
1960
Yes


Chhalia
1961
Yes


Rajesh

1962
Yes




1963
Yes


Shekhar
R.C. Talwar

1963
Yes


Yusuf/Chand/Khan Sahib
C.L. Rawal

1964
Yes
Yes
Director, editor
Sundar Khanna
Himself

1964
Yes


Raj Kumar
Ravindra Dave

1966
Yes


Hiraman/Meeta

1967
Yes


Pyarelal
Mahesh Kaul

1967
Yes


Raj Singh
Pachhi

1968
Yes


Raj Kumar
Mahesh Kaul

1970
Yes
Yes
director, editor
Raju (Joker)
Himself
1971
Yes
Yes

Ram Kapoor

1973

Yes
Director, editor
None
Himself
1973
Yes




1975
Yes


Dharamchand Jasoos
Naresh Kumar

1975
Yes
Yes

Ashok Kumar

1976
Yes


Ramdin Pandey
Dulal Guha

1977
Yes


Gypsy singer

1978

Yes
Director, Narrator, editor
None
Himself
1978
Yes


Swaraj Singh


1980
Yes


Abdullah
1981

Yes

None

1982
Yes


Gopichand Jasoos
Naresh Kumar

1982
Yes


Advocate Mathur

1982

Yes
Director, editor
None
Himself
1984
Yes


Policeman
John Davies


1985

Yes
Director, editor, writer
None
Himself











Association with other artists

Shankar-Jaikishan

Shankar-Jaikishan were Raj Kapoor's music director of choice. He worked with them in 20 films in all including 10 of his own films from Barsaat until Kal Aaj Aur Kal. (Jagte Raho with Salil Chowdhury and Ab Dilli Dur Nahin being two exceptions in this period). Only after Jaikishan died, did he turn to a different music director – Laxmikant-Pyarelal for Bobby, Satyam Shivam Sundaram and Prem Rog (later on, his children used Laxmikant-Pyarelal for Prem Granth as well), Rahul Dev Burman for Dharam Karam, and Ravindra Jain for (Ram Teri Ganga Maili and Henna). It is interesting to note that Raj Kapoor acted in a movie with music by Madan Mohan only once(twice) i.e. Dhoon (1953) & Aashiana (1952) which featured duet Hum Pyaar Karenge by Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar, only instance Hemant Kumar giving playback to Raj Kapoor, and did only one movie with O. P. Nayyar (Do Ustad).
List of films with Shankar-Jaikishan: (18 Films)

Nargis

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Raj Kapoor and Nargis worked together in 16 films including 6 of his own productions.

 

Mukesh and Manna Dey

Mukesh was Raj Kapoor's almost exclusive singing voice in almost all of his films. Also, when Mukesh died, Raj had said, Main ne apni aawaaz ko kho diya... (I have lost my voice...).
However Manna Dey has also sung many notable and super-hit songs for Raj Kapoor, for instance in Shree 420 and Chori Chori. Examples of such Manna songs are best illustrated by the following list:
  • "Laga Chunri Mein Daag" (Dil Hi To Hai)
  • "Ae Bhai Zara Dekh Ke Chalo" (Mera Naam Joker)
  • "Dil Ka Haal Sune Dil Wala" (Shree 420)
  • "Aaja Sanam Madhur Chandni Mein Hum" (Chori Chori)
  • "Jahan Mein Jati Hoon Wahin Chale Aate Ho" (Chori Chori)
  • "Yeh Raat Bhigi Bhigi, Yeh Mast Fizayen" (Chori Chori)
  • "Masti Bhara Hai Samaan" (Parvarish)
  • "Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh" (Shree 420)
  • "Chalat Musafir" (Teesri Kasam)
  • "Belia Belia Belia" (Parvarish)
  • "Lallah Allah Tera Nigehbaan" (Abdullah)
  • "Mama O Mama" (Parvarish)
  • "Ye Bhai Zara Dekhein Chalo" (Mera Naam Joker).
I would like to present below two of his famous quotes on friendship -







  


RK studio in Chembur, Mumbai is famous for their “ HOLI” and “GANESH FESTIVAL” celebrations.






Raj Kapoor continues to remain an inspiration and a benchmark for every Indian filmmaker. His films spoke about love, life and struggles of a common man. Despite living a lavish life himself, his films spoke of reality and real suffering of every Indian. Be it Boot Polish, Shree 420, Jagte Raho or Anari, all of his 72 films are an entire library of filmmaking in itself. His last film on paper was Ram Teri Ganga Maili. But his impact on future generation of directors still reverberates in the films of today. 
In my profile I always mentioned that I am a movie buff and a cricket enthusiast who is to identify with today’s Indian citizen.  In India cinema is the staple diet and cricket is Religion.  All Indians are crazy about both these entertainments and sometimes movies are thought provoking than mere visuals.  My blogs are studded or sandwiched with film personalities both native and international.  Sometimes movie reviews also find a place in my writings.  

 
Hence, it is not surprising that Raj Kapoor found a place in JOHNNY’s BLOG as I love both popular entertainments and off-beat movies alike.  

Adieu! RK, the doyen of Bollywood.  We bow to the true showman of India.

  

1 Comments:

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