Each of them has directed dozens of movies but their best creative efforts came during the 1970s. Chatterjee's list of wholesome entertainment (at least the ones I've enjoyed) include Hamari Bahu Alka, Khatta Meetha, Chhoti Si Baat, Baaton Baaton Mein, Chitchor and more touching/'arty' fare like Rajnigandha, Apne Paraye, Piya ka Ghar and Ek Ruka Hua Faisla.
Hrishi-da (as he is fondly known) cooked up equally delicious fare, entertaining us with the likes of Chupke Chupke, Gol Maal,
Movies today are slick, thrilling, entertaining, but you're unlikely to carry away a part of them with you when you walk out of the multiplex. I wonder if it's the fact that there are many more avenues of entertainment available to us today, diluting the allure of the silver screen. I can't remember the last time I was able to identify with a lead character - not in the past 15 years, anyway. Compare that with Jaya Bhaduri as Mili, living in an apartment building and ganging up the children. Or Utpal Dutt as Bhavani Shankar - the rather strict father of the heroine in Gol Maal. For me, Rekha at her exuberant best as Manju in Khoobsurat beats the sensuous and picture-perfect Chandni of Silsila any day. (Mind you, I have a soft spot for Yash Chopra's films too, but they've rarely, if ever, had people-next-door characters.)
To cut a long story short, my son sat through Khoobsurat even though I kept asking him if he was getting bored. He loved Gol Maal, though, and I'm hoping he'll like a few of my other favorites, too! Here's to hope...
Gol Maal VCD cover image © Shemaroo
Anand Poster © flixter