The man who need no Rishi Kapoor was truly the acting powerhouse of the Bollywood Industry.
With a currently active film career spanning more than six decades (his first cameo role being in ‘Shree 420’ as a child artist.
It is followed by his mainstream debut in ‘Mera Naam Joker’ as an adolescent Raju), and with a legacy that pioneered the Indian cinema (his grandfather was Prithviraj Kapoor who acted in ‘Alam Ara (1931)’).
As difficult as it may seem, we’ve seen him portray character-roles across various genres and sub-genres like comedy, action, drama, romance, and suspense, and even negative roles with an inexplicable ease.
Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor has died at 67 after a two-year-long battle with cancer. The 67-year-old actor was admitted in H N Reliance hospital, where he breathed his last today morning.
The legend has given us so much to look after in this 21st century. Let’s remember him and watch 10 of his best films from his endless journey.
Mera Naam Joker (1970):
Rishi Kapoor in this phenomenon called ‘Mera Naam Joker’, who is a splitting image of his father Raj Kapoor, also the protagonist of the movie. Raju, a teenager, develops a likeness for his teacher Mary and often stalks her in secret.
Raju’s journey from one heartbreak to another with many women in his life but none to die for, forms the crux of this cult classic. And hell, it is Raj Kapoor’s genius we’re talking about. ‘Mera Naam Joker’ has to be one of the milestones of the glorious 105 years of Indian cinema.
Rishi Kapoor first mainstream break as an actor after cameo roles in ‘Mera Naam Joker’ and ‘Shree 420’. It is directed by Raj Kapoor, featuring debutante Dimple Kapadia and a charming Rishi Kapoor in leading roles.
The story revolves around two teenagers – Raj and Bobby. While Raj belongs to a well-to-do family, Bobby is the daughter of Raj’s governess. Societal issues form a huge chunk of Raj Kapoor’s narrative like the caste-religion divide, the rich and the poor gap and the simmering love, which is evident in the movie.
Laila Majnu (1976):
Rishi Kapoor’s outstanding performance as the heartbroken “Majnu” and Ranjeeta’s portrayal of a wonderstruck eternal beauty that was “Laila”. The story revolves around Kaish and Laila, who were born in the rival clans of the Amaris and the Sharwaris respectively. As it pans out, Kaish and Laila were meant to be together, for one’s pain was another’s wound.
Amar Akbar Anthony (1977):
Amar Akbar Anthony is the story of three brothers who get separated in their childhood days and were brought up by three different families belonging to different faiths – Hindu, Islam, and Christianity respectively. Years later, Amar Khanna becomes a police officer, Akbar Ilahbadi a Qawwali singer, and Anthony Gonsalves a liquor dealer.
The popular song “Daafli Waale” hails from ‘Sargam’, a smash box office hit of its time. The song eventually became so famous that the posters and pictures of the movie could be seen with Rishi Kapoor playing his signature “Dafli” – the handheld tabla.
The story revolves around a deaf and mute lass Hema, who is ridiculed by her stepmother and stepsister and who finds her solace in a musician Raju who helps Hema accomplish her dreams of becoming a dancer. As it is, they both fall in love with each other.
The ‘Karz’ referred to here is the debt from a past life. Rishi Kapoor is seen yet again sporting the dual role of Ravi, and twenty years later as Monty. Ravi, who owns a sprawling estate in Coonoor along with her mother is forced by his girlfriend Kaamini into getting married, who later pushes him off a cliff to death at the behest of Sir Juda, a cunning business partner of Ravi’s deceased father.
Twenty years later, Monty, an orphan who was raised in the same vicinity starts getting visions from his past live (which is nothing but that of Ravi’s) and he does a grand exposé in the end by uncovering truths about Kaamini and her vile deeds.
Prem Rog (1982):
Dev and Manorama, two neighbourhood friends, get separated in their childhood owing to Dev’s dream of pursuing his higher studies in Bombay at the blessings of Rama’s affluent father. As Dev returns home after a few years, he falls for Manorama, but Manorama, in turn, is married off to a rich man thus shattering Dev’s dreams. The twist in the tale comes when Dev learns about Manorama’s tragedy post her marriage and tries to bring cheer to her life again.
‘Chandni’, a blockbuster hit of its time. Sridevi plays ‘Chandni’ alongside Rishi Kapoor and Vinod Khanna in supporting roles. Rohit (Rishi Kapoor) and Chandni are deep in love and are set to marry each other.
Chandni starts working under Lalit, a widower himself, who falls for Chandni. As things turn out, Rohit, who is now recovering befriends Lalit and they are in love with the same woman.
Bol Radha Bol (1992):
Another crown jewel of Juhi Chawla’s career, ‘Bol Radha Bol’ became more famous for its soundtrack and the foot-tapping numbers than anything else.
Rishi Kapoor could be seen sporting a dual role in the film as Kishen/Tony. Kishen, a morally upright business magnate is taken aback by the incompetence and treachery of his cousin Bhanu, who is also his business partner and throws him out.
As the story pans out, Kishen falls for a village girl named Radha, while behind his back, a doppelganger has taken over the house and business and eventually Kishen gets banished from his own house as he is unable to prove his identity.
102 Not Out (2018):
Kapoor’s latest addition to his incredible career graph, ‘102 Not Out’ also featured Amitabh Bachchan as one of the protagonists and the duo shared screen space after a hiatus of 27 years. ‘102 Not Out’ is all about a father-son duo, the father being Dattatraya, a 102-year-old man, who is still young at heart and the son being a 75-year-old Babu, a disciplined man who likes following schedules and fitness routines.
We have grown up watching his films and his journey can never be forgotten. A big salute to the legend on his sad demise.
Do let us know your favourite film of Rishi Kapoor in the comments section below.