At 87, Dev Anand carries
on, a vital link between the present and the past. The versatile
and young-at-heart hero will have two releases this year.
V Gangadhar about the remarkable actor
are the famous film studios in the US and India which had
churned out thousands of films? In Hollywood, Warner Brothers,
Columbia, Paramount, RKO and Universal International are vague
memories now. The biggest of them all, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, too,
recently filed for bankruptcy and was taken over by dozens of
creditors. No one knows if it will survive in its new avatar.
It is the same in
India. How many among the present generation have heard of
Ranjit Movietone, Prabhat, Filmistan, Filmalya, Rajkamal or
Mehboob Studios, which dominated the film world, making India
the largest film producer in the world. Many of these studios
lie in ruins; though a few of them may still offer limited
facilities for shooting films and TV serials.
R. K. Studios is
still remembered because there is a young generation of actors,
who represent the Raj Kapoor legend (Rishi, Ranbir and Kareena).
In this dismal
scenario, there is one unit, which still produces films, though
not many of them have been successful. Dev Anandís Navketan
turned 60 recently and its presiding deity, 87-year-old Dev
Anand is still running around making films and starring in them.
A true Bollywood
wonder, Dev Anand, this year,will have two additional
feathers in his cap. A new film, Charge Sheet, will be
released shortly and as also the colour version of one of the
Navketan classics, Hum Dono, which was a big hit during
A temporary shift
of office to suburban Khar from his penthouse-cum-studio in Pali
Hill, now undergoing repairs, has not impaired Dev Anandís
zest for life and he sounds as chirpy as ever on the phone as he
talks about Charge Sheet. It is a taut, modern, political
crime thriller, where the producer-director-actor has taken care
to include themes, which will appeal to present-day audiences.
For once, the film, unlike normal Navketan productions, has an
impressive star cast ó Naseeruddin Shah, Jackie Shroff, Divya Dutta and Dev
Anand himself. He has high hopes
from newcomer Debashi, who, he hopes, could be the next Zeenat
Ever ready to
experiment, Charge Sheet may present some new aspects of
our legal and policing systems. Describing himself as a
law-abiding citizen, Dev Anand explains his role does have some
shades of grey, but that is because he has always experimented
and is ready to tackle anti-hero roles.
A still from the classic Guide
Dev Anand essayed some of the great roles in films like
Baazi, Taxi Driver and Jewel Thief
instance, some of the great roles in the past from films like Baazi,
Taxi Driver, Jewel Thief and Guide. Of course, the
hero did sing, dance and romance lovely heroines, yet he did
have some dark shades in his character. The hero did associate
himself with undesirable elements but managed to break free from
their clutches and bring them to book. Evil never triumphed in
Dev Anand is frank
enough to admit that many of his films dealing with new ideas
have not clicked in the past. "That is the hazard of
experimenting," he explains. "Sometimes, you fail, but
you can make it big if you hit the jackpot." Some of his
more recent films, which had only fleeting appearances in
theatres, have been far ahead of their time and perhaps,
that was why the audience did not accept them.
He is particularly
fond of Hum Dono, particularly its patriotic theme and
incomparable music score by Jaidev. Will the colour version come
up to expectations when similar experiments with hit films like Naya
is how Dev Anand explains his Hum Dono.The filmís
theme of war and morality could never become out of date.
Released some 50 years back, the film appealed to the aesthetic
and critical faculties of audiences. Songs like "Abhi
najao chhodkar, ke dil abhi bhara nahin" and "Main
zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya" penned by poet
Sahir, are hummed even today. No wonder, Hum Dono has a
special place in the heart of Dev Anand. He has one regret,
though. Heroines Sadhna, Nanda are no longer working in films,
others have died.
But Dev Anand
carries on, a vital link between the present and the past. Often
he feels like a child discovering many new and beautiful things
in life. He has achieved everything, scaled new peaks, won
acclaim and honours`85but still will not quit. "I have seen
and experienced everything," he agrees. "But there
is much more in the world and movie-making." He calls
himself a happy and contended man.
Though there is no
need to exert oneself physically to make a movie now as one can
direct a movie just by sitting on a chair. India is now a world
power and Indian films are seen all over the world. Todayís
films are now crossing geographical barriers and he will like to
be part of this exciting process. Donít be surprised if in
days to come, Navketan announces an international film with the
87-year Ďyoungí director-actor firmly on the saddle.
In Hum Dono, Dev Anand was in a double role opposite Nanda and Sadhana
are already afoot to bring out Dev Anandís classic hit Hum
Dono (1961) in colour. Now, the evergreen star just
might literally pop out of the screen and stroll in the
theatre, a cigarette dangling from the corner of his lips,
when it is converted into 3D.
process is currently being considered for the conversion
of Hum Dono Rangeen, which will further
enhance the value of this invaluable Bollywood classic,
giving it new life for future generations of
audiences," says Barry Sandrew, the founder of Legend
Films that specialises in colouring Hollywood black and
Retitled as Hum
Dono Rangeen, the hit that saw Dev Anand in a
double role opposite Nanda and Sadhana 50 years ago, will
first release overseas January 28 in its digitally
re-mastered coloured version before hitting the Indian
screens on February 4.
also remembered for its musical lighter, has been coloured
using 65,000 shades. It will be released with Dolby
Digital Ex-surround sound. Sandrew has colured the movie
with state-of-the-art advanced technology in the US.
Dev Anand and the movieís "spectacular" new
look, Sandrew is now contemplating converting it into 3D.
Dev Anand is
happy with the fact that the young generation will get to
see the film.
nostalgic to even think about Hum Dono. I still
remember the kind of response we got when it was released
way back in 1961. I am happy that people would be able to
relive the experience in a better way and hope the younger
generation, who has not seen the film, will also love it
the way the film was loved 50 years back," says Dev
Vijay Anand and directed by Amarjeet, Hum Dono was
the last black and white offering from Navketan Films,
which has produced cult films like Baazi, Guide, Prem
Pujari, Tere Ghar Ke Samne and Hare Rama Hare
Krishna to name a few.
international films that have been colourised films
include Holiday Inn (1942), Reefer Madness
(1936), Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959), Night of
the Living Dead (1968) and other movies owned by the
likes of 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures Entertainment,
Universal Pictures and Paramount Home Entertainment. ó