Today is the day to celebrate love and companionship. Yes, today is the Valentine’s Day. And here we have ace director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra talking about his two favourite romantic films of all time.
“Raj Kapoor’s Bobby and Guru Dutt’s Pyasa are the two romantic films that shaped and moulded my view of love and life. Actually, I first saw Bobby at the Regal theatre in Connaught Place in Delhi in 1973 when I was 10 with my family. Movie-going was always a big event for the family. My father was great fan of Raj Kapoor. And Raj Saab was launching his son in Bobby. So it was a important film for our family. I must have seen Bobby at least ten times when it first had its golden-jubilee run. Each time, it was in the theatre and not on the small screen. I remember falling in love with the film and with Dimple Kapadia. That was a child’s amazement at a film that shaped his romantic perceptions. Then later when I grew up I saw Bobby with the eyes of a filmmaker. And then I saw what great filmmaking skills had gone into it. Somewhere deep down Bobby remains entrenched in my heart. And then as filmmaker nobody can beat Raj Kapoor Saab. The whole treatment of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet was totally RK. And Dimple Kapadia completely changed our lives. She changed the way we looked at a Hindi film heroine. She defined the very concept of a ‘breath of fresh air.’ She was so comfortable with her sexuality. We had never seen anything like her. And what songs by Laxmikant-Pyarelal! Lataji at 40 sang like a 16-year old for Dimple. Music today in our films has become a tool for marketing and not a tool for creative expression. The only better interpretation of Romeo & Juliet than Bobby is Titanic. The sacrifice of love at the end worked for me. The forced happy ending in Bobby spoilt it for me. For me the film ends when Rishi and Dimple jumps into the river.”
“The treatment of love and romance in Guru Dutt’s Pyasa greatly influenced my style of filmmaking. In that one song Aaj sajan mohe ang lagalo janam saphal ho jaye the way in which Waheeda Rehmanji looked at Guru Dutt...I don’t think there can be any better definition of love....Or the expression of ecstasy and exultation when Waheedaji sees Guru Dutt alive in the Jinhe naaz hai hind par woh kahan hai...no one can equal that expression of romantic joy. And when she sings Jaane kya tune kahi she is singing the lines of a poet she doesn’t know personally. She is celebrating the idea of the man, and not the man himself. Every moment of Pyasa breathes romance for me.”
Good choice, indeed!!!