42 Years Of Deewar

Yash Chopra has an extra ordinary body of work, but “Deewar” will always be the shining gem in his career as a filmmaker.

“Deewar” is and always be an iconic movie for Indian movies, whether it is the script, the dialogues, the ensemble star cast, the performances or the direction, “Deewar” scored in all the departments.


But what made the movie the huge success, is its strong writing by the duo writer Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar , popularly known as Salim-Javed. The story & screenplay mirrored the sentiments of the masses then who were disappointed due to the unfulfilled promises which were made after independence and the corruption which was brewing, and that struck the right chord with the masses. The story was of two brothers Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan) and Ravi (Shashi Kapoor), one brother Vijay chooses the wrong path to earn his living and becomes a smuggler, on the other hand   the younger brother Ravi chooses the path of righteousness and joins the police force. The tussle between ideologies of the two brothers and their mother becomes the crux of the story.

The impactful dialogues were like the cherry on the cake, some of the dialogues are still so famous like the iconic “Mere Pass Ma Hain” or the climax temple scene “Khush To Bahut Hoge Tum”. Each character was written with precision and made an impact on the audience. It is believed that Vijay’s role was loosely based on then Don Haji Mastaan who was also a coolie in the docks initially..

The casting of the movie went through a lot of changes, the original cast comprised of Rajesh Khanna playing the role of Vijay and Navin Nishchol playing the role of Ravi and Vijayantimala was cast in the mother’s role, but writers Salim-Javed insisted on Amitabh Bachchan being cast as Vijay as they had some problems with Rajesh Khanna in the past, so Amitabh Bachchan was signed up for the role of Vijay, due to which both Navin Nishchol and Vijayantimala refused to be part of the movie so subsequently Shashi Kapoor was signed to play Ravi and Nirupa Roy was signed to play the mother’s role. It is said that Yash Chopra almost finalized Waheeda Rehman to play the mother’s role after Vijayantimala exited, as he wanted a strong actor to play the role as it was a crucial character of the movie, but since Yash Chopra was simultaneously making “Kabhie Kabhie” wherein Waheeda Rehman was playing Amitabh Bachchan’s wife, so he thought that the casting Waheeda as Amitabh’s mother would be detrimental for “Kabhie Kabhie”, hence he dropped the idea and finally Nirupa Roy did the iconic role and she is still remembered for this role and later Nirupa Roy played Amitabh Bachchan’s mother in multiple movies.

Music was one of the strong points of any Yash Chopra movie but the plot did not have too much scope for songs, still two romantic songs were included which were shot on Shashi Kapoor and Neetu Singh were included, they were “Maine Tujhe Manga Tujhe Paya Hai” and “Keh Doon Tumhe”, both became popular, but the producer still though that song wise the movie lacked the punch, hence though shooting was over, a mujra song “Koi Mar Jaaye” was added and shot on Aruna Irani. The music was rendered by R D Burman.

The iconic look of Amitabh Bachchan of a knotted shirt was a result of an error by the tailor who made Amitabh’s shirt too long, and in order to camouflage the error it was knotted, which became a rage.

“Deewar” was released on 24th Jan 1975, and was a super hit, and ran for 100 weeks earning  1 crore from each territory and making it the 4th Highest grosser Bollywood movie of 1975..

It earned the highest no. of Filmfare awards for the year beating the iconic movie “Sholay”. It received 7 Filmfare Awards which was record and was broken by “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” winning 10 awards in 1995..

“Deewar” remains in the heart of cine lovers till today, and will remain so till eternity….


Flashback : Do Bigha Zameen

“Do Bigha Zameen” released in 1953 and is considered as one of the early movies in the parallel cinema genre in Indian Cinema. Bimal Roy got so impressed after watching Vittorio De Sica’s, 1948 classic “Bicycle Thieves” that he also decided to make a neo-realistic cinema and that is how “Do Bigha Zameen” was conceptualized. Based on the problems of farmers and their struggle to survive “Do Bigha Zameen” became a cult classic.

The casting of the movie was also unique, Balraj Sahani who was a handsome polished guy and so was his image in Indian cinema, Bimal Roy cast Do Bigha Zameenhim as the poor farmer Shambhu Mahato. Nirupa Roy who only played Goddess in every movie was chosen to play the poor farmer’s wife Parvati, a complete change in the image that Nirupa Roy had. It is said that to get his act of a Rickshaw Puller Balraj Sahani actually practiced pulling a rickshaw in the city of Calcutta and interacted with the local rickshaw pullers to get the body language correct, he even lost weight to look authentic as a starving farmer.

It had a story of a farmer Shambhu Mahato (Balraj Sahani) who due to famine had to mortgage his land to the Zamindar Thakur Harnam Singh (Murad) in lieu of money. Harnam Singh wants to start a factory on the agricultural lands of the village and Shambhu’s land poses a problem since it is in the middle of the plan of the factory, in order to confiscate his land the Thakur wants his money knowing that Shambhu cannot pay. But Shambu as a last attempt to save his land goes to Calcutta to earn money to pay back the Thakur. He becomes a rickshaw puller, and how he and his wife Parvati (Nirupa Roy) struggle to save money forms the rest of the story.

The movie had Jagdeep as a child artist playing the role of a polish boy; it had Mehmood as a background artist or extra playing candy vendor and Meena Kumari in a cameo as a Thakurian. Though it was a realistic movie but still Bimal Roy gave songs and the music was composed by Salil Choudhury and it had some memorable songs like, “Dharti Kahe Pukar ke” sung by Manna De and the famous lullaby sung beautifully by Lata Mangheshkar “Aaja ri Aa nidya tu aa”.

Bimal Roy had shot the climax wherein the farmer’s wife Parvati dies at the end and Shambhu gets back his land. But after watching the preview Bimal Roy’s wife thought that the climax was too brutal and morose and the audience will not accept the end, so Bimal Roy reshot the climax wherein Parvati recovers from the accident and Shambhu loses the land.

The movie was a moderate success but critically acclaimed. It won many awards like the Filmfare Award for best film and Best Director and the National Award for Best Film. Internationally it won the Prix International Award for Best Film in Cannes Film Festival making it the second Indian Film to win an award in Cannes Film Festival after Neecha Nagar.

Though the movie was released in 1953 which is 61 years back, but the subject still has relevance in today’s India what with village youth migrating from villages to city to earn and farmers committing suicide as they are unable to pay the debts due to famine and the farmers are still dependant on rains for their crops.

This is one of Bimal Roy’s best work, and the performances by both Balraj Sahani and Nirupa Roy is to watch out for. “Do Bigha Zameen” is definitely a must watch for a true movie buff.