Irresistible Combo of Hrishida, Utpal Dutt & Amol Palekar
By MovieTalkies.com, 03 October 2007
Hrishikesh Mukherjee (September 30, 1922 – August 27 2006), a disciple of the late Bimal Roy, has made some of the most endearing and moving films ever made in the history of Hindi films. At least one of his films would definitely figure in any list compiled of all time great Hindi films by any generation today. Hius filmography as director includes films like Musafir, Anari, Anuradha (1960), Anupama 1966), Satyakam (1969) Abhimaan 1973), Anand (1970), Namak Haram (1973), Mili, Chupke Chupke (1975), Chaitali (1975), Arjun Pandit (1977), Guddi (1971), Aashirwaad (1968), Bawarchi (1972), Golmaal (1979), Alaap(1976), Jurmana (1979), Bemisaal (1982) and Khubsoorat (1980) among others.
The young Hrishikesh taught mathematics and science for some time, but then switched to films, working initially as a cameraman, and then as film editor in New Theatres in Calcutta. His association with Bimal Roy brought him to Mumbai and he assisted the master and also worked as editor for him from 1951 onwards till Musafir happened in 1957. Hrishida was the editor for Bimalda's landmark films Do Bigha Zameen and Devdas. Musafir, which was Hrishida's first movie, had an offbeat story, actually three stories of different tenants who live in a house. The film starred Kishiore Kumar, Usha Kiron and the legendray Dilip Kumar is believed to have sung a song in his own voice for the film. Hrishida's next film, Anari, starring Raj Kapoor and Nutan won him a lot of critical acclaim and he lost the Filmfare Best Director's Award to his mentor Bimal Roy.
To Hrishida goes the credit of giving Dharmendra a break in a comic role and the masterpiece Chupke Chupke took place. To him also goes the credit for giving Jaya Bhaduri her first break with Guddi. He was the first to gve the Big B, Amitabh Bachchan an opportunity to act opposite reigning superstar Rajesh Khanna in Anand. The rest, as they say is history.
Hrishida's films were realistic and generally took a gentle, good humoured look at the middle class. His plots were simple and only dealt with human relations. His films have a poignancy which is unsurpassable. Hrishida showed his genius while making comedies like Khubsoorat, Chupke Chupke or Golmaal or even love stories like Mili, or even films Jurmana, Bemisaal, Namak Haram, Satyakaam or even Anand, one of his most loved film. In his hey days, the director worked with all the leading actors of his time – Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna, Ashok Kumar, Dharmendra and of course, Amitabh Bachchan..
His talents as an editor, writer and director have won him many accoldaes and award. Hirishikesh Mukherjee won the Filmfare award for Best Editor for Madhumati, Naukri, Anand; Best Screenplay for Anokhi Raat, Best story for Anand and Best Movie Award for Anand and Khubsoorat which he shared with NC Sippy.Hrishikesh Mukherjee was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1999. He also held the post of chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification and of the National Film Development Corporation. He has also been awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2001. The director passed away on August 27, 2006 and is survived by three daughters and a son.
Golmaal, made in 1971, saw the coming together of an irresistable combination of Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Utpal Dutt and Amol Palekar. Despite repeated viewing, Golmaal has a charm to it which is difficult to supress. The film definitely belongs to the genre of ligh-hearted comedy, kind of which we saw with Chipke Chupke, another venture by Hrishida himself. What's so great about Golmaal, a very simple film about simple lives, is that we have a good, wholesome, sparkling comedy.
Golmaal is about Ram Prasad Sharma (Amol Palekar), a chartered accountant, who is really into cricket and hockey. Unemployed, he desperately needs a job to support himself and his sister Ratna. His family friend (David) tells him about an opening at a company which is owned by Bhavani Shankar, an eccentric man to say the least. He has very strong likes and dislikes besides certain very definite idiosyncracies. Having been warned beforehand, Ram Prasad lands up for the interview suitably tutored. Bhavani Shankar has some out-dated ideas on what young men should behave and look like. He has a strong prefernce for moustaches and believes that young men should have high ideals and there should be no space for pastimes like music and sports in their life. With the help of his false credentials, Ram Prasad gets the job. The only problem is that Bhavani Shankar is a little too impressed by him. Life is smooth till Bhavani Shankar spots Ram Prasad watching a football match. Ram Prasad slips out of the sticky situation by stating that he has a twin brother, Laxman Prasad, who must be at the match. Ram creates an entire personality for Laxman Prasad, who is supposed to be the spoilt young man and clean shaven as well. He portrays him to be a burden on the family. So Bhavani Prasad decides to employ Laxman Prasad as a music teacher for his daughter Urmila (Bindiya Goswami). Ram Prasad is now forced to live a dual life, that of Ram Prasad and Laxman Prasad. He also invents a mother for himself in one of his many stories to Bhavani Shankar, but is caught in a mess when the latter insists on meeting her. He now has to find a mother and his actor friend, played by Deven Verma helps him find an actress who takes on that role. Dina Pathak plays the role of the actress who impersonates Ram Prasad's mother. Events keep threatening to spin out of hand and it is total golmaal.
The actors are absolutely brilliant. The late Utpal Dutt had craved his reputation as a serious actor and Hrishikesh Mukherjee was able to bring out a totally different aspect of his personality in the role of Bhavani Shankar. His accented pure Hindi is hilarious. In fact the chemistry between him and Amol Palekar is sizzling. Palekar is another suprebly natural actor, who best represents everyman, making it easier to relate to him and his predicament. Providing great comic support to the Utpal-Amol duo are Dina Pathak, Deven Verma and Om Prakash. The heroine, Bindiya Goswami provides the romantic interest.
The scenes have been masterly crafted, be it the one where Bhavani Shankar first comes to Ram Prasad's house to meet his mother or when he pays them a surprise visit after spotting Dina Pathak's character at a party. Hrishikesh Mukherjee is able to keep the fun going right till the climax when the game is finally out. The comedy is all situational and comes out best in the dialogues. Kudos to Dr Rahi masoom Reza for his dialogues and the great screenplay by Sachin Bhowmick.
Adding to the film's magic is the music by Rahul Dev Burman. The titel song of Golmaal and ‘Aaane wala pal jaane wala hai' are quite memorable though each has its own magic. Actor Amitabh Bachchan also makes a guest appearance in the film as himself.
Golmaal remains one of the most loved comedies of Hindi cinema. You could watch it many times and still enjoy Utpal Dutt and Amol Palekar's acting and the ridiculous situations that Amol Palekar's character finds himself in. Hrishida's comedies were steeped in life always and that's what makes Golmaal so close to our hearts, all the while tickling our funny bone as well.