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Raj Kapoor, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and their ANAND (1971) - Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing

02 Nov, 2017 | Articles on Cinema / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / A

In the present age, every new film on the plot of ‘terminal illness’, unanimously makes us recall the one iconic creation that literally immortalized the subject, written and directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. The film aptly titled ANAND, representing both the protagonist’s identity and his spiritual state of mind, had a unique and unusual cast, presenting Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan enacting two of the most adorable characters of our Hindi Cinema.
The film is now unanimously included in the list of thoughtfully conceived, influential cult movies inspiring the next generations. Plus, one must have read many articles mentioning its various timeless qualities, including the heart-warming dialogues by the one and only Gulzar besides enlightening lyrics by both Gulzar and Yogesh for the outstanding music composed by Salil Chowdhury. In fact, its soundtrack plays a significant role in the overall emotional impact of the film and ANAND can easily be quoted as one of those inspiring creations - having the most famous or quoted ‘Life teaching dialogues' in the history of Hindi Cinema.
There have been several stories in circulation about the role that was originally written for Raj Kapoor being offered to Shashi Kapoor and then Kishore Kumar before it finally got lapped by Rajesh Khanna (even when it didn’t have any romance, heroine  or romantic songs the superstar was famous for). Reportedly at one point of time, Mehmood was to play the character of Dr. Bannerjee (along Kishore) that finally got enacted by Amitabh Bachchan.
Recalling the backstage story behind its making, Hrishikesh Mukherjee revealed in his interview given to SCREEN that actually no one was willing to take up this subject due to the absence of a heroine in the script. So he himself decided to produce it and after listening to the story, Rajesh Khanna was more than keen to do the project, and that too on the director’s terms and conditions, which was an unheard kind of commitment made at that particular time period by the Superstar.
Rajesh at first gave around 20 days in the next three months for ANAND, but then got so involved in the project that was willing to offer the dates when it was not even possible to shoot. In the director’s own words, “The most amusing aspect was that where producers often have to chase heroes for dates, I would avoid Rajesh for fear of being offered dates, when I wasn’t ready for it. I used to tell my colleagues, “Bhago! Rajesh aa raha hai date dene ke liye”.

And in this kind of excitement the film’s shoot was amazingly completed in just twenty-eight days.

However, what I personally love the most about ANAND is the reason it got conceived in the heart and mind of Hrishikesh Mukherjee while thinking about his dear friend Raj Kapoor. A Punjabi Kapoor became a fast friend of his Bengali director during the making of their film ANARI and this loving relationship eventually became the base of two key characters in the classic ANAND, as the Punjabi Anand Saigal (Rajesh Khanna) and the Bengali Dr. Bannerjee (as Amitabh Bachchan). Furthermore it was Raj Kapoor only who used to call Mukherjee as “Babu Moshaye” which was kept as it is in the film inspired from their real life interaction.
And how the story got conceptualized…!

Though Kurosawa’s IKIRU is also widely mentioned as the inspiration behind ANAND based on the similar subject. But that might have been just a reference source for the writer-director at that particular point of time. In reality, Mukherjee himself mentioned the inspiration behind the story (in one of his interviews) as his personal relationship with Raj Kapoor and his fear of losing Raj as a dear friend to some chronic illness all of a sudden.

As a matter of fact that remains the reason why a film which was conceptualized much earlier (more than a decade before), was dedicated to the City of Bombay and Raj Kapoor when it finally got made and released in 1971.
And that’s indeed a heartfelt, backstage story of a selfless bonding between two exceptional creators of Hindi Cinema, inspiring one and all!
(Note: The article in a short edited from was also published on UC-News Mobile App in November 2017)

Tags : Raj Kapoor, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and ANAND By Bobby Sing at bobby talkscinema.com, Articles on Inspired Cinema by Bobby Sing, Inspired Movies, Anand and Ikuru
02 Nov 2017 / Comments ( 4 )

Amazing story. I love reading your blog esp when you explain the references for wonderful movies. Thats makes the movie more admirable. Thank you.

Bobby Sing

The pleasure is truly mine Purnima.
Keep Visiting and Writing In,

Vasant Thakkar

I am just reading Shashi Kapoor's biography there is an interesting information about Anand, he was signed by N C sippy and Hrishikesh Mukherji for the title role and when he reported for the shooting on the very first day he was told by the production manager that he is replaced by Rajesh Khanna! He was shocked and went back and returned back the signing ammont! 

He has further mentioned that after the box office failure of Prem Patra Bimal Roy assured him that he will do one more film and he did that film also didn't work!

But because he kept his word Shashi Kapoor writes that Hrishikesh Mukherji is not Bimal Roy!!!!!

Bobby Sing

Thanks Vasant Thakkar for this valuable information.
Ironcially I have the book but still havent read it so was not aware of this important mention.
Will surely include this in the article in the next update.
Do Keep Visiting and Writing In,

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