JYOTHI VENKATESH recollects the initial struggling days of Om Puri who passed away on Friday morning and says that with his demise, the industry has lost a towering icon who just can never be replaced.
Om I just cannot believe that Om Puri is no more. A severe heart attack has snatched the genial soul away from us today morning as I am writing this piece to pay my homage to the great thespian. 66 is not an age where you should depart from the earth. I shared more than just a personal equation with Om right from the days he had come down to Mumbai to act in films and we often used to bump into one another at actress Rameshwari’s house. Om was very fond of Rameshwari and in those days he was in love with writer Ismat Chugtai’s daughter.
Om did not have a car in those harrowing days of struggle of his and quite often I used to travel by train from Bandra where Rameshwari stayed with her boy friend Deepak to Churchgate where Om stayed as a p.g in second class. Om used to narrate me anecdotes about his stint as an actor in theatre before he started getting good roles in films in Bollywood.
A happy go lucky guy, Om used to love his glass of rum, though very rarely we used to sit over drinks as he was awfully busy most of the times, agreeing to do films for friend’s sake even if the money offered was too little, because he had never learnt the fine art of saying No to any producer who approached him. Om did not have the trappings of a star and liked to often go on vacations with his only son from his wife Nandita who he doted, though he had separated form her and started living with his director-wife Seema, who was his first love.
In my last meeting with my dear friend Om Puri, at a party hosted by the producer of the film Rambhajjan Zindabad in which he plays a stellar role, he admitted that as an actor, he enjoyed playing his part in both ‘East Is East’ as well as ‘West Is West’. “The audiences could not brand me as a villain in ‘East Is East’ because they could not pin point whether I was black in East Is East, since they could see a certain amount of emotion in me. I like playing serious as well as comic characters. What I like the best about ‘West Is west’ is that though there is no deliberate humor in it, there is situational comedy.
Om laments the fact that character actors today do not get to play meaty roles, because films are being written basically keeping in mind the stars and the poor character actors are just fitted in unlike in the West where even middle aged characters can be called leading actors. “I felt that after Ardh Satya and Aakrosh, I would be offered roles in that age group but unfortunately I did not get good roles. The only exception among the actors is Amitabh Bachchan who has survived for 45 years and people keep him in mind when they set out to write the role. Dabangg, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Sultan were big hits, like Aamir Khan’s Dangal is now. Though I wish Salman gets yet another hit in Tubelight too, you just cannot deny the fact that even films starring the biggest of the stars have fallen by the wayside recently.”
Om admits that filmmaking has indeed changed over the years in a big way. “I am a trained actor who has survived for 40 years in this industry after investing my time for five years and learning at The National School of Drama for three years and The Film & Television Institute of India, Pune for two years. Earlier I was never given the script in advance and only the story and the character were narrated to me. I was never told what the climax will be. Nowadays, we get typed script well in advance and technically good films are also being made, though subject-wise, films leave a lot to be desired. There are brilliant directors like Prakash Jha, Vishal Bharadwaj, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rajkumar Santoshi, Raju Hirani, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Sudhir Mishra and Dibakar Banerjee who make different films though unfortunately they only opt for stars.”
Om used to work sincerely in every film of his by taking it up as a commitment whether he was working in a film like Khap or Singh is Kinng and make it a point to reach the sets on time and quite often, he compromised on his price when he got offers to act in films like Khap. However the tragedy is that he never got roles like in Khap where he felt that he can sink his teeth into all the time, because the industry “does not have the balls to use actors like me and Naseeruddin Shah. It is sad that the film industry does not have the guts to make good films like Tamas, Akrosh and Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro.I did not stray but was offered only senseless films which I had to do, because I had no other alternative, to run the choolha at home.”
Om did not lie through his teeth when he admitted that he was not happy with the way his career had progressed. “ I am very unhappy for the first time now in the Hindi film industry, because besides stray films like say Khap, it is the bitter truth that I am not getting the kind of work from producers for which I was trained. Naseer and I are the only actors who have taken the profession seriously like doctors and engineers and architects take their professions. We both went to the Drama school for two years and the film institute for two years to learn our craft. Till today people remember me, though I have not made money. I do not get the kind of work which I think I deserve, because I am not all considered a star. I do not want to do the main role but give me good role in a good film. The tragedy is that the number of good films made in Bollywood today is less and we have to put up with a lot of crap which is passed off as films.”
When I asked Om what ails Indian Cinema today, he candidly confessed, “ The tragedy with Indian films is that most of the filmmakers with the exception of Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalani etc have erratic ways of making films without having the scripts ready. Abroad they use the money at their disposal well. Here instead of changing the color of the shirt, one tends to change the color of the wall because the color of the shirt does not gel with the color of the wall and the shooting budget too shoots up automatically. Bollywood has survived the onslaught of American Cinema. We aren’t dependent on the International market for our revenue. I think it was after the 70’s that our cinema’s values had started falling. In the past ten years Hindi Cinema has become very stagnant. Even the so-called mega stars have not been able to deliver hits. Yet it is creditable that Bollywood has survived the onslaught of American Cinema. We aren’t dependent on the International market for our revenue.”
When asked to what extent had he evolved as an actor over the years in Bollywood, Om quipped, “ As an actor, I keep on growing as I work, getting enriched with the experience. I can now afford to experiment more as an actor. I have also grown as a person at the same time. Earlier I used to be very shy and withdrawn. I was a very big introvert. I have opened up now. I think I have also developed more sense of humor of late, which I did not have when I had come down to Mumbai. I am now in much more control of my emotions and have an overall awareness of Cinema now”
Om concluded, as a matter of fact. “I have absolutely no qualms at all to admit that filmmaking has indeed changed over the years in a big way. I am a trained actor who has survived for 35 years in this industry after investing my time for five years and learning at The National School of Drama for three years and The Film & Television Institute of India, Pune for two years. Earlier I was never given the script in advance and only the story and the character were narrated to me. I was never told what the climax will be. The silver lining is that nowadays, I get typed script well in advance and technically good films are also being made, though subject-wise, films leave a lot to be desired.
All that I can pray to God is to let the soul of Om rest in peace.
Bollywood Loses One More Star As Sushanth Singh Rajput Commits Suicide
As Bollywood was coming to grips with the tragic loss of two of its finest actors Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor, tragedy struck once again as news broke out about the death of Sushanth Singh Rajput. The news left everyone shell shocked as news reports about police finding his body at his Bandra residence in Mumbai. Sushanth Singh Rajput committed suicide according to the police and further reports are awaited following the post mortem autopsy.
Sushanth Singh Rajput was a brilliant method actor who performed in some memorable movies like Kai Po Che!, Shuddh Desi Romance, M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story and his last film Chhichhore. Sushanth was working on his next project Dil Behcare, which is a remake of the Hollywood movie and the best selling novel, The Fault In Our Stars. As news about Sushanths demise came out, shocked celebrities reacted with disbelief and offered their condolences.
Sushanth Singh Rajput is believed to have taken the extreme step due his battle with depression. Incidentally, in the last movie he was seen in Chhichhore, he gives the message that suicide is not an option for anything and that there is so much in life to look forward.
We at Mango Bollywood extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Sushanth Singh Rajput as they cope with the loss.
Rishi Kapoor- A Remembrance Of Bollywood’s Heartthrob And Legend
Rishi Kapoor is known as one of the legends of Bollywood who was responsible for making Bollywood what it is today. As the entire nation is coming to grips with the sudden demise of Irrfan Khan, Rishi Kapoor’s untimely demise is a heavy blow to the movie industry as well as the nation. Fans and celebrities are still in shock from the news of Rishi Kapoor’s demise and it will surely take a while for the news to sink in. Rishi Kapoor passed away in a hospital in Mumbai after losing a long battle with cancer.
Rishi Kapoor hails from a clan who made its mark in Bollywood beginning with his father Raj Kapoor, who is revered as one of India’s most greatest and influential actors and filmmakers. Rishi Kapoor is the second generation Kapoor to make his mark in the movie industry. Rishi won a National Award for his debut role as a child artist in Mera Naam Joker (1970,) a movie which starred his father Raj Kapoor. Rishi Kapoor was known as a heartthrob for playing romantic roles on the silver screen and has racked up some impressive hits as the lead actor like Rafoo Chakkar (1975,) Laila Majnu (1976,) Sargam (1979,) Karz (1980,) Prem Rog (1982,) Nagina (1986,) Chandni (1989,) Heena (1991) and Honeymoon (1992.)
ALSO READ: Irrfan Khan- An Ode To The Gentleman Actor
Rishi Kapoor moved on to playing supporting roles in the latter part of his career and gave us many notable performances. Hum Tum (2004,) Fanaa (2006,) Namastey London (2007) and Love Aaj Kal (2009) are some of the famous films in which Rishi Kapoor’s performances are still cherished to date.
Rishi Kapoor left a proud legacy and his son Ranbir Kapoor will continue to carry the torch through his films. India and Bollywood will miss its charming heartthrob Rishi Kapoor, but there is no doubt his family, friends and fans will continue to remember him through his films.
Irrfan Khan- An Ode To The Gentleman Actor
Irrfan Khan is one of Bollywood’s finest actors whose career spanned almost three decades. Irrfan Khan brought multiple accolades to India and Indian cinema throughout his career by acting in Indian, British and Hollywood movies. The Angrezi Medium actor, sadly passed away in Mumbai owing to a sudden colon infection. Khan recently battled with a neuroendocrine tumour and has announced his success against beating the cancer.
Irrfan Khan is known for his offbeat and slice of life movies which make the viewers deeply reflect on life and philosophy. Having made his debut with the Academy Award nominated movie Salaam Bombay! (1988,) Irrfan rose to prominence with his wide variety of roles he essayed throughout his career. However, Irrfan Khan’s talent gained recognition with his portrayal of Paan Singh Tomar (2011) in the biopic movie of the same name. Khan won the National Film Award for the best actor for his performance in Paan Singh Tomar.
Over the course of his career Irrfan Khan appeared in several Hollywood films like The Warrior (2001,) The Namesake (2006,) The Darjeeling Limited (2007,) the Academy Award-winning film Slumdog Millionaire (2008,) New York, I Love You (2009,) The Amazing Spider-Man (2012,) Life of Pi (2012,) Jurassic World (2015) and Inferno (2016.)
Some of Irrfan Khan’s best works came late into his career and they include movies like The Lunchbox (2013,) nominated for a BAFTA Award Haider (2014,) Gunday (2014,) Piku (2015) and Talvar (2015) and the critically acclaimed Hindi Medium (2017) which went on to become one of the biggest grossing movies of Bollywood before Irrfan Khan was diagnosed with cancer in 2018.
Irrfan Khan’s last movie was the recently released Angrezi Medium which hit the theaters earlier this year. With the untimely and unfortunate demise of one of India’s finest actors, Irrfan Khan will leave a huge void in Indian cinema but there is no doubt that Irrfan Khan immortalized himself on the silver screens. Indian Cinema will miss the maverick actor of modern Bollywood classics.
Nishabdham Trailer – Madhavan Starrer Promises An Intense Thriller
Nishabdham is an upcoming multilingual movie which stars Anushka Shetty and Madhavan in the lead roles. Directed by Hemant Madhukar, this film is jointly produced by T.G. Vishwa Prasad, Vivek Kuchibhotla and Kona Venkat.
The trailer begins with an intense and ominous shot in the basement of a house in the U.S., showing a dead body and a terrified Sakshi (Anushka Shetty) turning towards the camera. The next shot shows a news anchor outside the house which is being referred to as a haunted house. A visibly injured Sakshi is seen in a hospital bed trying to convince Maha (Anjali,) a cop that it was a ghost who committed the murder. Maha believes it is Sakshi’s best friend Sonali (Shalini Pandey) who committed the crimes but it turns out she is already deceased and cremated. The plot of the movie can be deduced from the rest of the trailer. Nishadham will be a movie where Sakshi and Maha race against time to connect the dots and uncover the killer.
Watch the trailer here:
Madhavan will be seen in an upcoming bilingual movie Rocketry: The Nambi Effect in which he will star alongside Simran Bagga. The movie is based on the life of Nambi Narayan, a former scientist and aerospace engineer of the Indian Space Research Organisation who was accused of espionage.
Nishabdham stars Anushka as a mute artist and Madhavan as a musician in the lead roles while Hollywood’s Michael Madsen, Anjali, Subbaraju, Shalini Pandey and Srinivas Avasarala will appear in supporting roles. Nishabdham is slated for a release worldwide, on April 2nd, 2020.
Hrithik Roshan Credits Ranveer Singh For Fashion Inspiration, Ranveer Responds
Hrithik Roshan delivered one of biggest hits of 2019 with War, a movie jam packed with action, fights and beautiful visuals. Following the movie, Hrithik Roshan seems to have taken some time off to vacation with friends.
Hrithik Roshan posted a picture from his vacation where he can be seen walking barefoot on a grass lawn wearing a red t shirt and a white towel wrapped around like a ‘lungi.’ The actor credited Ranveer Singh for the fashion inspiration.
It is well known that Ranveer Singh has a fondness to make style statements through his eccentric dressing styles. Ranveer Singh earlier paired a white t shirt with a green lungi and Hrithik Roshan’s credit was a subtle hint towards that.
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Needless to say, Ranveer Singh immediately responded with a comment on Hrithik’s Instagram post saying ‘sax’ god, a subtle nod to Hrithik Roshan’s popularity and being on the list of the world’s sexiest men.
Hrithik Roshan will be working on Krrish 4, the next instalment of the Krrish franchise while Ranveer Singh will be seen in the upcoming Kapil Dev biopic 83.
- Bollywood Loses One More Star As Sushanth Singh Rajput Commits Suicide
- Rishi Kapoor- A Remembrance Of Bollywood’s Heartthrob And Legend
- Irrfan Khan- An Ode To The Gentleman Actor
- Nishabdham Trailer – Madhavan Starrer Promises An Intense Thriller
- Hrithik Roshan Credits Ranveer Singh For Fashion Inspiration, Ranveer Responds
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