There is a distinct quality in Dilip Kumar that still doesn’t have a human equivalent in the industry. That smile of his! If it can light up your day, it can also give you a window into what’s going behind that beautiful face. His smile reached up to his eyes and so, whether it was sad or joyful, it always hit the right chord. It’s that or how do you explain the charm of a person which lasted more than 50 years on celluloid? Dilip Kumar is called the tragedy king because of his many tear-jerker performances but this man never shied away from challenging his image again and again. Pakistan Govt Decides the Price of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor’s Ancestral Houses in Peshawar
Dilip Kumar has done some roles which many of you may not associate him with. Yes, there’s Devdas and Mughal-E-Azam but there’s also Andaz where he played the second to such finesse that you would hate the fact that he didn’t get the girl. On his birthday today, let us tell you about 10 of his classics.
Andaz is a triangular love story between Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Nargis. But rather than hopelessly pine for the woman who has her heart set on another man, he adds a certain grey essence to the character. It will leave you with two minds whether or not to go with the hero.
Kumar played a blind singer searching for his childhood love. Isn’t it completely unusual? He played the character with utmost sincerity.
Daag is the film that won Kumar his first Filmfare trophy. A toy-seller who becomes an alcoholic and listless as his love doesn’t get fulfilled. He kind of get the loverlorn image so bang on!
Bollywood was always chronically star-driven but that happened because stars like Dilip Kumar delved into meaningful cinema and not mediocrity. For example Footpath, a vastly underrated film of his, has the actor play a journalist who gets into illegal stuff due to poverty. But his conscience finally kicks in and he confesses all his crimes. The honesty with which he played the character could become a bible for the journalists of today.
Dilip Kumar played a man who lets lust take over him when he spends time with a village belle but doesn’t take responsibility for it. He even hides it from his would-be wife but the guilt rips him apart. The actor portrayed the visible dilemma of the character so well that it stays with you for long.
It will be a crime to not mention Devdas in a list of Dilip Kumar classics. We all know what the story is here but Kumar slipped into the character’s egotistical attitude so well that he bared the flaws of Devdas Mukherjee out in the open without glorifying them.
Naya Daur (1957)
Naya Daur as the name suggests, means moving with changing times. Dilip Kumar played a tanga driver who decides to prove its worth against the machines. The movie shows a range of emotions and Kumar gets them all right!
Mughal-E -Azam (1960)
The lore that could have been an epic romantic tale but ended in a walled tragedy. Dilip Kumar as Shehzada Salim was deeply in love and yet he never slips out of the persona of a Prince – stoic, poised, calm yet glorifying.
Ram Aur Shyam (1967)
Dilip Kumar was both sweet and sassy in this drama of twins that saw many remakes. But nobody could project the pains of the tortured and the flamboyance of the free so aptly on screen, be it Hema Malini, Sridevi or Anil Kapoor.
What helped Dilip Kumar never lose his fandom was the understanding to know when to make the switch from hero roles to character-driven ones. Given his stature, he would always get author-backed roles and given his talent, he aced nearly all of them. The scene from Mashaal where he is pleading dashing cars to help him take his wife to the hospital still haunts us.
(The above story first appeared on Onhike on Dec 11, 2020 10:10 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website onhike.com).