Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Raaj Kumar, The Betaaj Badshah Of Bollywood - Part I

True to his name Raaj Kumar, the Betaaj Badshah of Bollywood from the 60’s to 90’s dominated Indian Cinema with his majestic personality and his mind blowing dialogues. 

Remember his super hit dialogue in Kamal Amrohi’s mega hit PAKEEZAH - "Aapke paon dekhe. Bahut haseen hain. Inhe zameen pe mat utariyega. Maile ho jaayenge (Your feet are beautiful. Do not let them on the floor. They will get soiled)." Or his other peerless dialogue from B.R.Chopra’s super hit film WAQT - "Jinke ghar sheeshey ke hote hain woh doosron ke ghar pe patthar nahin phenka karte (Those whose houses are made of glass don't throw stones)."

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3rd July marks the death anniversary of the great actor. Raaga.Com remembers him and enlightens the younger generation about this legendary actor. 

Born as Kulbushan Pandit on 8 October 1926 he rechristened himself as Raaj Kumar after he quit his lucrative job as sub-inspector of Mumbai police in the late 40’s and plunged into the uncertain profession of cinema, thanks to passion for acting. 

After a lukewarm start in Bollywood, Raaj Kumar hit Jackpot when he got the role of Nargis’s husband in Mehboob Khan’s Oscar-nominated 1957 film MOTHER INDIA. Interestingly the role was actually written for thespian Dilip Kumar, who was suppose to play a double role in the movie that of Shamu, Nargis husband and Birju, her rebellious son. But Dilip Kumar declined the role as he felt the audience might not accept him as Nargis’ son. Hence came in Raaj Kumar in the role of Shamu and Sunil Dutt for Birju. 

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The movie brought Raaj Kumar fame as an accomplished actor and he became a sought after actor. But still stardom eluded him. The next movie that won him critical acclaim as an actor par excellence was DIL EK MANDIR in which he played the poignant character of a cancer patient who is on the verge of death. The role had great intensity and Raaj Kumar brought out the emotions and the pathos of the character exceptionally well through his gloomy eyes and his husky baritone. 

The movie won Raaj Kumar his first Filmfare award as Best Supporting Actor and established him as a star to beacon. 

NOTE: In the next issue read Raaj Kumar’s raise to stardom


Haven’t places always fascinated us? Don’t we all love to travel? We guess that is also the reason why music composers have also made use of various country’s names in various songs that they compose. If you think it is not true, here we have few wonderful examples.

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If ever one wants to travel, they always want to go to Europe. Ofcourse the serene beauty always looks welcoming and one such famous place in Europe is Germany. And which songs pops into your head? ‘Germananiyin sen thaen malare’ from the movie Ullasa Paravaigal is a beautiful composition of Illayaraja. Moving ahead to the US, which is the most famous place? Well isn’t it New York? And needless to say, the A.R.Rahman composition from the movie Sillunu oru kaadhal strikes us and ofcourse the song is ‘New York Nagaram Urangum Neram’ starring our wonderful actors Surya and Jothika which is still considered as one of the best songs to listen to while one is lonely.

Another important continent in this world is ofcourse Africa and what is the song that strikes you? Well we think the best bet is ‘Africa kaatu puli, Aal thinum vettai puli’ from the movie Aalavandhan.The credits should go to the composer ofcourse who relates the vengeance of the hero with that of this animal’s qualities.

Moving forward, isn’t Singapore a wonderful place? Well ‘Singapore Selai’ became quite famous, thanks to the wonderful song from the movie Kalki directed by K.Balachander

Australia has always been an important tourist place and Melbourne ofcourse scores amongst all the places. ‘Telephone manipol siripaval ivala, Melbourne Malarpol meliya magala’ says it all, describing the beauty of the flowers in the place too. This track sung by Hariharan is composed by A.R.Rahman for the movie Indian. To wrap up, ‘Thuppaki’ starring Ilayathalapathy Vijay and Kajal Agarwal has the song ‘Antarctica’, which is ofcourse a fun to listen song.

Newcomers Command In The First Half Of 2014 In Bollywood

With the first half of 2014 over, Raaga.Com analysis, the hits and misses of Bollywood movies released from January till June 2014. The good news is that this year has seen the revival of small budgets movies doing excellent business at box office. Thus reviving alive the era of 70’s when the so-called parallel cinema had made its dint thanks to ‘Thinking Filmmakers’ like Shyam Benegal, Girish Karnad, Govind Nihalani etc. 

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This years’ surprise package has been Hansal Mehta’s CITYLIGHTS featuring Rajkummar Rao and Patraleka in lead roles. Other movies that were different from the league and won appreciation include Mrityunjay Devvrat's 'CHILDREN OF WAR' that threw light on the terrifying time in 1971's Bangladesh. Besides Ashim Ahluwalia's MISS LOVELY and Feroz Abbas Khan, DEKH TAMASHA DEKH too proved that there is hope for ‘Thinking Cinema.’

The other highlight of the first half is that the regime that superstars Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar and Hrithik Roshan who held sway over box office till now has been broken by the upcoming breed of newcomers like Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra and Arjun Kapoor. A pointer to this is that despite Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor being comparatively new in the industry, their film, 2 STATES, has crossed the Rs 100 crore mark. Likewise GUNDEY Starring Arjun Kapoor, Ranveer Singh and Priyanka Chopra crossed Rs 100 Crore. 

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And what’s more Kangna Ranaut-starrer QUEEN broke all box office records of five year by amassing around Rs 60 crore! In addition the fantastic collections of RAGINI MMS2 proved the notion wrong that women oriented movie do not do well at the box office. 

The years other hits too had new comers winning the race for example HIGHWAY featured Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda, HEROPANTI saw junior Jackie Shroff making debut (Tiger Shroff) opposite Kriti Sanon. Likewise Divya Kumar’s YAARIYAN proved hit despite a group of youngsters. 

According to Prabhat Choudhary of Spice, a marketing communication agency the stage is set for newcomers to conquer. He said, “GUNDAY, 2 States, and Heropanti show a definitive change in the way young names are now perceived. There has been considerable excitement around the new brigade for a while now but in the last six months, they have started showing their box office viability.’’