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Best Bollywood Suspense Thrillers ever made (20+1list)

Best Bollywood Suspense Thrillers ever made.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best Bollywood Suspense Thrillers ever made – Exciting thriller movies crafted in India, specially in Bollywood are always difficult to
find. Let’s admit, over the last five decades our priority has been Bollywood-Suspense-Thrillersconsistently making romantic dramas and thus the evolution of all the other genres were somewhat delayed and neglected.

But that doesn’t mean Bollywood have not churned out quite a few quality suspense thrillers, good stories, intense and unpredictable endings, often punched with some comedy and song sequences – but pretty much effective and focused for our Indian audience.

Listed below are some of the Best Bollywood Thrillers ever made. Enjoy the thrill.

20. Mahal (1949)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgevPWAKRqI

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersAshok Kumar visits an old palatial building to claim his inheritance but soon encounters a mysterious woman Madhubala who seems to be the ghost from a portrait.

“Ayega.. ayega… aanewala, aayega….” unforgettable music by Khemchand Prakash, lyricist Nakhshab Jarchavi and sung by 19 year old Lata Mangeshkar.

Directed by Kamal Amrohi (his debut film), a trend-setting thriller that changed the fate of Bollywood suspense movies forever!

19. Woh Kaun Thi? (1964)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u574BjGyrOY

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersIn a stormy night the doctor gives a lift to a white-sareed-lady to the graveyard! She was singing the famous song ‘Naina Barse’ (Lata Mangeshkar). But then his mother selects a girl for his marriage and she turns out to be the same one from the graveyard!

Starring Sadhana and Manoj Kumar in the lead, supported by K.N. Singh, Prem ChopraHelen among others; directed by Raj Khosla who also directed Mera Saaya (1966), another brilliant thriller! 

18. Howrah Bridge (1958)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjZ0DCaPSP0

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersTo investigate his brother’s death a man comes to Kolkata, he soon falls in love with a dancer who helps him solve the mystery.

Melodious evergreen songs like ‘Aaiya Meharbaan’ sung by Asha Bhosle and music by O.P. Nayyar.

Directed by Shakti Samanta, starring Madhubala, Ashok Kumar, K.N. Singh, Om Prakash and Madan Puri, a superbly entertaining thriller adored till date.

17. Gumnaam (1965)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQDuQxxMLg4

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersAdopted from a famous Agatha Christie novel, eight people stranded on an island, a butler ready to serve them but then they start dying one after another. And the killer must be one of them!

Directed by Raja Nawathe, starring Nanda, Manoj KumarHelenMehmood, Pran and Madan Puri among others.

The famous song ‘Gumnaam Hai Koi’ sung by Lata Mangeshkar, music by Shanker and Jaikishan is still one of the most popular suspense music – a classic!

16. Bees Saal Baad (1962)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHNb5uypKvA

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersThe grandson of the ill-fated Thakur family, returns from abroad to claim his legacy but all his ancestors were killed and now his life is at risk too!

Directed by Biren Nag, starring Biswajeet, Waheeda Rehman, Manmohan Krishna and Madan Puri. The haunting yet soulful song ‘Kahin Deep Jale Kahin Dil’ sung by Lata Mangeshkar and music by Hemanta Mukherjee is from the same movie.

15. Teesri Manzil (1966)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOgirs8vE_A

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersA girl is murdered and an investigation is going on, the only clue being a button from an expensive coat of a killer!

Directed by Vijay Anand, starring the famous pair Shammi Kapoor and Asha Parekh, supported by Prem Chopra and Iftekhar.

A milestone for Bollywood murder mysteries with brilliant songs that shot Rahul Dev Burman into stardom.

14. Ittefaq (1969)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XssGa12LF4

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersOn a stormy night, an accused murderer escapes from a mental hospital and seeks refuge in a woman’s home. But then there is another murder in the house- did he do it?

Directed by Yash Chopra, and superb performances by Rajesh Khanna and Nanda.

13. Dhund (1973)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SI9oPHDbn38

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersA traveller takes refuge in a home where he finds an attractive woman involved in a murder. He falls for the girl and decides to help her, protect her from the police but then things are not as clear as they seem.

Directed by B.R. Chopra, a much underrated suspense thrill that deserves much more recognition and popularity. Navin Nischol, Zeenat Aman, Sanjay Khan and Danny Denzongpa at their best.

12. Khamosh (1985)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hFnEAAT3yo

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersDirected by Vidhu Vinod Chopra (one of his earlier films), and undoubtedly the best suspense thriller of the 80s.

A film-shoot location where murders are committed one after another and the audience will keep guessing the killer till the very end.

Superb cast including Naseeruddin ShahShabana AzmiAmol PalekarPankaj Kapur and Sudhir Mishra among others.

11. Aankhen (2002)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBRv4P-sHQQ

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersAn eccentric bank manager sacked from his job seeks revenge by training three blind men to rob that same bank. ‘A dangerous game is about to begin’

Directed by Vipul Amrutlal Shah, a crazy heist thriller starring Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Arjun RampalSushmita SenParesh Rawal and Bipasha Basu. One of the most entertaining suspense thriller from Bollywood!

10. 100 Days (1991)

Film trailer/film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFgh9XR-7zk

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersThis film directed by Partho Ghosh makes me nostalgic since as a kid it was my first experience of a typical Bollywood-thriller!

Starring Jackie ShroffMadhuri Dixit and Javed Jaffrey, it’s about a woman who has visions of murders being committed. And when she wants to find the truth behind her nightmares her own life comes in grave danger.   

9. Khiladi (1992)

Film trailer/film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQxA21_PFmQ

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersAbbas Alibhai BurmawallaMastan Alibhai Burmawalla (as Abbas-Mustan), the director duo famous for their thriller films with numerous plot twists and this film was their first major success. 

Akshay Kumar starts his hit run of Khiladi-series, also starring Ayesha JhulkaDeepak Tijori and Sabeeha. A perfect who-done-it that can’t be missed.

8. Gupt: The Hidden Truth (1997)

Film trailer/film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSuuFvgI09k

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersDirected by Rajiv Rai, one of the most popular films of the late 90’s not only for the thrilling story line but for it’s brilliant music as well.

The governor is found murdered and the prime suspect is his own son who is desperate to prove himself innocent. 

Bobby DeolManisha Koirala and Kajol all entangled in a dangerous love triangle that threatens everyone around them. 

7. Kaun? (1999)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqtSQ6KWRSg

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersBack in the days when director Ram Gopal Varma belted out one hit after another.

One of the most innovative film of the time; a woman alone in the house and the a serial killer is on the loose. And then the door bell rings!

Urmila MatondkarManoj Bajpayee and Sushant Singh – such brilliant performances!

6. Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0DopZosR84

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersDirected by Priyadarshan, this film is undoubtedly the most entertaining one in the list.  

A newly married man returns to his ancestral palace along with his wife, ignoring the various ghost stories rumored about the palace. But then the stories seems to be true!

Akshay KumarVidya BalanAmeesha PatelShiney AhujaParesh RawalRajpal Yadav – all at their very best. A thrilling story told in style.

5. Manorama Six Feet Under (2007)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocT2Wrq3v9Y

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersDirected by Navdeep Singh, a classy thriller that tells a slow gritty tale – a series of murders, a young man who investigates, but soon finds himself sucked into a deadly web of lies.

One of Abhay Deol‘s earlier films before he shot to fame with Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! and Dev.D.

Also starring Gul PanagRaima SenSarika and Vinay Pathak.

4. Aamir (2008)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHgYGTvMpBw

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersA fast and speedy thriller that races the audience through a series of chaotic events that happens to an innocent man, who is forced to take part in dangerous illegal activities.

Directed by Raj Kumar Gupta, this one is a pulse racing thriller, that too almost in real time and with some amazing plot twists. 

Rajeev Khandelwal at his best and look out for superb soundtracks.

3. A Wednesday (2008)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGfwASavWNQ

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersA brilliant script and perfect execution by director Neeraj Pandey (his first film). 

On a Wednesday a common man threatens the police chief and make demands to release some terrorists. The power of a common man is finally unleashed.

Superb performances by Anupam Kher, Naseeruddin Shah and Jimmy Shergill

2. Johnny Gaddaar (2007) 

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZCxKgD5yiw

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersWhen the protagonist Neil Nitin Mukesh is seen reading a James Hadley Chase novel we get a hint of his own fate in the film – aiming for a short cut to riches, falls for the wrong woman and then a series of betrayal, lies, deception  that finally decides his destiny.

Directed by Sriram Raghavan, one of the most stylish thriller of our times. Dharmendra, Vinay PathakZakir HussainRimi Sen, Dayanand Shetty and Ashwini Kalsekar.

1. Kahaani (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1wEeuAosNM

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersAnd the latest and probably the best by none other than Sujoy Ghosh.

A unique tale of a pregnant woman searching for her missing husband in Kolkata, but the search becomes difficult when every one denies her husband’s existence!

Vidya BalanParambrata ChatterjeeNawazuddin Siddiqui and also the famous Bob Biswas a.k.a Saswata Chatterjee.

and now, (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch).

+1. Karthik Calling Karthik (2010)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIZ2OwW7HJU

Bollywood-Suspense-ThrillersDirected by Vijay Lalwani, this one is the story of some mysterious calls that helps a lonely man to gain confidence in himself. He soon excels in his job and also wins the heart of a co-worker but the calls doesn’t end there. But then who is calling whom? 

Farhan Akhtar and Deepika Padukone have great chemistry but the real winner is the great story line full of suspense and thrill. One of the very few good psychological thrillers from Bollywood. A must watch!

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Thrillers of 2016

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Thrillers of 2015

Similar Interest: Best Psychological Thrillers

Similar InterestBest Spanish Thrillers of Recent Times

Similar Interest: Best South Korean Thrillers of recent times

Similar Interest: Best French Thrillers of Recent Times

poster curtsey: www.webmallindia.comcomedy-movie-download.orgwww.impawards.comimdb.com, www.bollywoodmdb.com

18th JIO MAMI Opening Ceremony 2016 – the glamour and the glitz!

18th JIO MAMI Opening Ceremony 2016 – the glamour and the glitz!

written by Souranath Banerjee

JIO MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival 2016, it’s happening right now, right here and it’s a heaven for film lovers!

And this time MAMI had one of the most grand Opening Ceremony ever!

The Venue:

Mumbai, October 20, 2016: Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star kicked off its 18th edition with a grand ceremony at the iconic Royal Opera House as world-renowned filmmakers, talent and 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016Bollywood stars walked the red carpet to celebrate the city’s very own film festival.

The Royal Opera House is the last standing Baroque building in Mumbai. The royal family of Gondal – the owners of the venue – have worked towards ensuring the complete restoration of this centre under the watchful eye of conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah. The iconic structure has a long standing association with art, literature, theatre, music, and has hosted operas and live performances of many celebrated artists.

The stars:

Bollywood came in full support at the 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016 Red Carpet which was attended by Amitabh 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Poonam Dhillon, Ayan Mukerji, Vinod Chopra, Genelia Dsouza, Shabana Azmi , Zoya Akhtar, Kalki Koechlin, Shobha De,  Rajeev Samant,  Reema Kagti, Ashutosh and Sunita Gowariker, Huma Quershi, Rahul Bose, Harshvardhan Kapoor,  Kunal Kapoor, Nandita Das, R Balki, Abhishek Kapoor, Mini Mathur, Imran Khan, Diya Mirza, Richa Chaddha,  Abhay Deol, Vicky Kaushal and many more.

Jacqueline Fernandez hosted the event. Also present were Festival Director Anupama Chopra, Co-Chairperson Kiran Rao and other 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016Board of Directors including Anurag Kashyap, Rohan Sippy, Riteish Deshmukh, Siddharth Roy Kapur and Vikramaditya Motwane.

Star quotes:

Mrs. Nita Mukesh Ambani, Festival Co-Chair said, “We are all privileged to be here at the resurrected Royal Opera House in its new avatar, a quintessential Mumbai Icon that has been lovingly brought to life for all of us. We really could not have asked for a more befitting venue to open this festival. In the true tradition of the Mumbai, Jio MAMI continues to delight us and surprise us.  Each year they are raising the bar higher and higher for themselves. The festival has put together a truly 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016incredible program and a stellar line-up of films this year. Today is my proud privilege to announce and introduce a new category of award- ‘The Jio MAMI Award for Excellence in Digital Narrative Content’. Through this award we want to discover and celebrate, the talent and potential of our youth. This award will be presented from next year onward. We hope this award will encourage young talent to reimagine their creative promise and take Indian cinema to newer and greater 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016heights, especially in the digital space. Jio MAMI is of Mumbai, by Mumbai and of Mumbai.”

Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India said, “Mumbai Film Festival stands out as a more celebratory event than a ceremonial one. It celebrates great stories and serves as a podium for young talent. In our third year of association with MAMI, our endeavour is to make world-class cinema an accessible and organic experience to the people of Mumbai – a city with deep roots in cinema and its 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016history.”

Festival Director, Anupama Chopra said, “The 18th Edition of the festival will celebrates stories and cinema traditions from around the world. We hope that people enjoy this film feast.”

Creative Director, Smriti Kiran said, “Dazzled by the elegance and grandeur of the Opening Ceremony of the festival at the Royal Opera House. At one point I think I was not even breathing. Over 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016500 film lovers ringing in the festival for 2016. It was a dream come true.”

The Award for ‘Excellence in Cinema-India’ was presented to Director and screenwriter Sai Paranjpye by Mrs. Jaya Bachchan. Paranjpye has won numerous awards, both National and International for her writing and films. She was conferred with the prestigious Padma Bhushan in 2006 and has served on numerous juries and has been the Chairperson of the Children’s Film Society of India.

On receiving the Award for Excellence in Cinema-India, Filmmaker and Screenwriter Sai Paranjpye said, “It is wonderful to see the program being made here, encouraging new directors and women directors. I really feel privileged to receive this award from Mrs. Jaya Bachchan 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016in the magnificent Royal Opera House.”

The Award for ‘Excellence in Cinema- International’ was presented to Chinese Filmmaker, Jia Zhangke known for his cinematic representation of his country’s post-Mao and post-globalization cultural history. His recent films A Touch of Sin, 2013; Mountains May Depart, 2015), has offered a unique perspective on a transitional generation whose commonplace lives evoke universal resonance. The award to Jia Zhangke was presented by Actor Aamir Khan.

On receiving the Award for Excellence in Cinema- International, Chinese Filmmaker Jia Zhangke said, “It is the first time I am coming to Mumbai and India and really thankful to MAMI film festival and the film fraternity.  No matter if its China or India, we have really good 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016audience and we should continue to produce good movies for them.”

Also present at the Opening Ceremony were the esteemed jurors of India Gold section – Head of Jury Reha Erdem, Mychael Danna, Stephanie Zacharek, Yonfan and Tomasz Wasilewski. Head of International Competition Jury, Miguel Gomes was present along with other jurors Tala Hadid, Chris Mcdonald, Anurag Kashyap and Christine Vachon.

The special guests of the evening were nine delegates from Bhutan who were especially flown down to Mumbai to experience this 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016festival. The Hon’ble Secretary of Ministry of Information and Communications – Mr. Dasho Karma W Penjor, Librarian, Department of Information and Media – Mr. Thinley Dorji, Assistant Information and Media, Department of Information and Media- Mr. Phub Wangdi, and other members from the Bhutan Film Association were present to grace the evening.

Four-time National Award winner, Shankar Mahadevan gave a mesmerising performance at the opening ceremony!

Photo courtesy: mumbaifilmfest.com

Neerja (2016)

Neerja review

written by Souranath Banerjee

A biopic that speaks of bravery, of courage, of Neerja Bhanot!

My Ratings: 4.1/5.

‘Let me do my duty as you are doing yours’ – a line told by a purser (air hostess) of Pan Am Flight 73 to a group of armed terrorists who had highjacked the airline at the time, while she wanted to provide water to all the terrified passengers!

Neerja-poster3How many people have the nerve to stay calm in front of some extremist gunmen and have the audacity to ask to let her serve the people and eventually save 359 lives by sacrificing her own?

Well, Neerja Bhanot had it in her and that’s why though she is no more among us but her legacy still inspires millions across the world.

22 year old Neerja was just like any another girl of her age, originally from Chandigarh but settled in Mumbai with her two caring brothers, a motivating father and a typical over protective mother – a perfectly bonded Know-Neerja2Indian family. By profession she was an air-hostess who loved her job, and also a part time model. She was young, she was vibrant, she was a Rajesh Khanna fan; she was enjoying her life, she was in love.

And unfortunately on 5 September 1986 she was in that fateful Pan Am flight boarded to fly USA from India via Karachi where it was hijacked by some terrorists who were backed by Abu Nidal Organization (Libya).

Directed by Ram Madhvani, the biopic Neerja, highlights the Neerja-poster4particular events of that tragic day, how a young girl almost singlehandedly managed to stop the flight from taking off which spoiled the highjaker’s plans and eventually saved many lives by displaying exceptional valor and heroism.

Interestingly at the very beginning of the film, there is a dialogue reference from the film Anand (1971), a past Bollywood classic where the jovial, spirited protagonist dies in the end. This is probably an indirect hint to the audience, a message that foretells the fate of the bubbly and cheerful leading lady Neerja herself.

Sonam Kapoor brilliantly portraying the role of Neerja Bhanot, her performance being to the point and natural, I guess she has finally proved all her critics wrong about her acting capabilities.

Neerja-poster1Also supported by great performances of Shabana Azmi (as Neerja’s mother Rama Bhanot) and Yogendra Tikku (as Neerja’s father Harish Bhanot). Even the terrorists and the crowd in the flight, the allover level of performance was spot on and most essentially believable.

The cinematography by Mitesh Mirchandani needs a special mention because it gives the film the much needed realistic feel.

Know-Neerja3Neerja Bhanot (1963 – 1986) as we all know did sacrifice her life while shielding three children from the bullets of the assassins.

The film Neerja is undoubtedly well made and does justice to one of the youngest brave-heart of India, but more essentially it helps Neerja’s valiant story reach more people than ever.

A salute to the youngest recipient of the Ashoka Chakra Award.

Poster courtesy: www.bollywoodmdb.comunimotions.com

An Actor – Farooq Sheikh

Writing about Farooq Sheikh has been the toughest. Despite being, one of the greats Hindi Cinema has produced, there is so little to read about him, either in books or even on the internet. All that you know about this gifted actor is through his films and the characters which he played. Farooq Sheikh was one of the pioneer actors in the New Indian Cinema along with Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri. Yet he was not them.Farooq was one actor who had always underplayed himself. When he was asked once, that what he thinks of himself as an actor, he replied saying that he is a very lazy actor who hasn’t achieved much but is happy for what he has achieved. His brutal honesty towards himself is what people loved in him. He never ever got ambitious in his life.

Farooq was labelled as an actor who never had any commercial viability. But he had no regrets accepting this tag. In an interview, he had even accepted his failure at being ‘not so famous’, and still be proud of what he was. He had told, “I have never been commercially viable: People recognise me, smile and wave at me — but I have never received marriage proposals written in blood. In his heydeys, when Rajesh Khanna drove down a street, the traffic stopped — I don’t mind not receiving this kind of adulation. But I do miss not having been able to command the kind of work I wanted. I miss not being 100 per cent commercially viable.

He was a gem in the art film corridors of our industry. Yet, he was different in the way other actors of the same genre went about themselves. Farooq didn’t do an ‘ArdhSatya’ or an ‘Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyo Aata hai’, yet he was present with his own finesse and style in films like ‘Chashme Buddoor, Kissi Se Na Kehna’.

Farooq Sheikh_Chasme Buddoor_Ravi Baswani_Rakesh Bedi_Bollywoodirect

Farooq Sheikh in Garam Hawa_Balraj Sahni_M S Sathyu_Bollywoodirect

Those who adore Farooq, are normally the ones who have seen ‘Chashme Badoor’. His absence from the film scene in the 90s almost made him forgotten for once and all. Television and theatre had then kept Farooq going. His, first love, was theatre. IPTA came as a breath of fresh air in his life after his short stint as a lawyer began to frustrate him. His acting prowess was seen at IPTA and then came the big break with M.S. Sathyu’s Garam Hawa for which he did not take a single penny.

Ironically,  ‘Garam Hawa’ proved to be the cool breeze every young actor needs at the start of his or career. What followed was something that even Farooq had not expected of himself. Satyajit Ray offered him to play Aqeel in ‘Shatranj Ke Khiladi’. This was not one of the best Satyajit Ray had filmed, as per the critics but this film definitely fulfilled Farooq’s dream to work with the legend Satyajit Ray himself.

Rekha_Farooq Sheikh in Umrao Jaan_Bollywoodirect

Farooq was a brave actor back then; he would choose movies no other actor would dare to say yes to. A case in point is ‘Umrao Jaan’. This film was all about Rekha and in those times when male-dominated films existed, I am sure it was a tough call as a male actor to do Nawab Sultan. Even the poster of the film had Rekha all over it.

With ‘Noorie’, he announced that he could deliver single-handedly. ‘Noorie’ went on to become the seventh highest-grossing film that year. For someone like Farooq, this would be a straight jacket entry into mainstream cinema as ‘Noorie’ was a Yash Chopra film. But he never let anyone categorised him. He did whatever came his way and this is why we see such diversified roles done by him in such a short period of time. If in ‘Katha’, he was the ‘Hare’ who liked chatting a lot and boasting about himself to woo people then in ‘Sath-Sath’, he played a stern man who could not sacrifice his principles. Then, in Bazaar, he was entirely in a  different story. This versatility in him created an image for himself in the industry. Farooq Sheikh could do a ‘Siddharth’ in Chasme Buddoor with the same ease he did ‘Basu’ in Katha. All these films became classics with time. and Farooq had a major role to play in making them one.

But despite these great performances, what he got were just appreciations in the form of good reviews and the tag of ‘good actor’. It was, finally, in the year 2010 that we saw him getting the National award for the best actor in a supporting role for ‘Lahore’ – a film that won several accolades around the globe. This recognition came much later to Farooq who deserved more than what he got. But as he was Farooq  Sheikh, these things – awards and recognition- never mattered to him.

I have written how he wasn’t an ambitious man. It was for this reason that he did even the smaller roles with the same excitement and vigour. Despite him being lost from the film scene in the 90s, he had no ego whatsoever to do serials like ‘Chamatkaar’ and ‘Ji Mantri Ji’.

And who can forget ‘Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai’, one of the best show Indian Television has produced and undoubtedly, the main reason for the show to get engraved in our memories was Farooq Sheikh. He wasn’t very glamorous and fizzy in the way he anchored. He was simple, genuine, calm in the way he handled the guests at his show. In two simple words, he was just Farooq Sheikh. Clad in Kurta and Pyjama, a dress he wore the most in his last 15 years of life, Farooq made sure there was no boredom in the show.

farooq sheikh_Deepti Naval_Bollywoodirect

It is not correct to say that he wasn’t an aware star. Those who knew him on- screen, they loved him. And those who know him off-screen, they adored him for being a person that he was. Deepti Naval remembers him as a man who was part of her career. She acted with him in as many as nine films. For her, he was a constant part of her professional as well as personal lives.

After his funeral procession was over, teary-eyed Shabana Azmi came out and said, “There will be no ‘Tumhari Amrita’ Without Farooq. The curtains have fallen.” ‘Tumhari Amrita’ was one play which both of these greats had been performing for the last twenty years till 2013. In early December of 2013, Shabana and Farooq had performed the play in Agra and after the completion of play, Shabana had told him, “Let it be our last play, Farooq. I believe this should be the end of ‘Tumhari Amrita’ to which he resisted, “Why! I think we should do this role for another 20 years to come!” After two weeks or so, Farooq Sheikh left the world leaving everyone shocked.

Written By: Shubham Pandey 

Caution: The opinion expressed in this article are the personal opinion of the author. Cinemaforensic/Bollywoodirect is not responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of any information in this article. The information/Opinion, facts appearing in it do not reflect the views of Bollywoodirect & Bollywoodirect doesn’t assume any responsibility or liability of the same.

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Smita Patil – a powerhouse of talent

Smita Patil – a powerhouse of talent.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Numerous popular stage performances, more than 80 films in Hindi, Marathi and other regional languages, a torchbearer of the Indian parallel cinema, two National Awards as ‘best actress’, many Filmfare Awards and also the recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri – all-that in a career which spanned only over a decade as Smita Patil passed away at the young age of 31!

Smita-pic1In the early 70s Smita Patil used to be a television newscaster for Doordarshan when acclaimed filmmaker Shyam Benegal took notice of her and gave her the first role in his film Charandas Chor (1975).

Mr.Benegal who later worked with Smita in numerous other films recalled the first time he met her ‘She had a presence which I felt could be well utilised in cinema’. And indeed so.

Smita patil’s performance in Bhumika (for which she received her first National Award at the age of 21) impressed Jaya Bhaduri so much that she commented ‘makes you sit up and take notice. Her reflexes are uninhibited and she has a face with tremendous mobility’. 

A few starting scenes from Shyam Benegal’s Bhumika.

The most expressive eyes ever to have graced the celluloid; her dusky and sensuous looks and the capability to play any character (no matter how challenging) with extreme ease and perfection soon established Smita Patil as one of the most talented actress of Indian Cinema.

A scene from Mahesh Bhatt‘s precious film Arth (1982).

In the early years of her career she concentrated only on art cinema.

Along with Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri, Smita Patil formed the four essential pillars of the then popular parallel cinema.

A beautiful song sequence from the film Jait Re Jait (1977) along with Mohan Agashe

Smita Patil being an activist for women’s rights became particularly famous for her roles that portrayed women as capable and empowered.

Smita-pic2She was probably the first actress who gave the directors enough
courage to make films with female lead characters in mind, something refreshingly different from the conventional male-dominated cinema that existed in Bollywood.

In films like BhumikaUmbarthaBazaar and Mirch Masala Smita Patil’s performances were intensely appreciated both by the critics and the audience. 

A scene from Ketan Mehta‘s brilliant film Mirch Masala (1987) with Naseeruddin Shah as the notorious Subedar and Smita Patil as the daredevil Sonbai.

On the occasion of 100 years of the Indian cinema, in honor of Smita Patil a postage stamp bearing her face was released by the Indian government.

Probably the only actress who could do justice to critically acclaimed films like ChakraSadgati, Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Ata Hai, Ardh SatyaMandiAakroshChidambaram and on the other hand be equally comfortable with hardcore commercial films like Namak HalaalKasam Paida Karne Wale KiShakti and so on. 

In Smita Patil’s own words:

‘I remained committed to small cinema for about five years … I refused all commercial offers. Around 1977-78, the small cinema movement started picking up and they needed names. I was unceremoniously dropped from a couple of projects. This was a very subtle thing but it affected me a lot. I told myself that here I am and I have not bothered to make money. I have turned down big, commercial offers because of my commitment to small cinema and what have I got in return? If they want names I’ll make a name for myself. So I started and took whatever came my way.’

Picture curtsey: www.filmimpressions.com.