Saturday, August 1, 2015

Meena Kumari -The Ultimate Tragedy Queen of Indian Cinema

Whenever Indian cinema will remember powerful actresses in tragedy roles yesteryear actress Meena Kumari’s name will top the list unanimously because she was undisputedly the Tragedy Queen of Indian Cinema. 

August 1, marks the death anniversary of this great actress Raaga.Com pays our humble homage and looks at career in films where she excelled in ‘Tragedy’. 

Though Meena Kumar was specialized in ‘Tragedy’ and she did many movies like Dil APNA AUR PREET PARAYI, DIL EK MANDIR, CHIRAG KAHAN ROSHNI KAHAN, BHABHI KI CHUDIYAAN, KAAJAL etc. Yet the movie that brought her melancholy to the hilt was indeed Guru Dutt’s black and white classic SAHIB BIWI AUR GHULAM


Film historians say the reason why Meena Kumari excelled in SAHIB BIWI AUR GHULAM was related to her personal trauma in marriage. Hence after her rebellious outbreak from film maker Kamal Amrohi, Meena Kumari took to heavy drinking and poetry to solace herself. 

Film legend Guru Dutt, who was close to Meena Kumari and was witness to her agonies hence while planning SAHIB BIWI AUR GHULAM, he had just Meena Kumari in mind to play the character of the tragic wife neglected by her affluent husband. 

And as expected when Meena Kumari faced the camera she made her loneliness hauntingly vivid on the screen recollecting her personal sufferings in details. 

Thus for SAHIB BIWI AUR GHULAM she deservedly won the Best actress Filmfare award. In fact that year she made a kind of history at Filmfare Awards, as she was the only actress to be nominated that year - the other two nominations were for her performance in AARTI and MAIN CHOOP RAHOONGI, incidentally both tragedies.

After this Meena Kumari went strength to strength representing a rarefied concept of a traditional womanhood that was divested of all its physical antecedents with movies.

Finally with PAKEEZAH she became epitome of ‘Tragedy’ and registered her name in the annals of Indian Cinema as Tragedy Queen.

South Indian superstars always have an upper edge over Bollywood actors in South remakes!

Whenever a South Indian film starring versatile actors like Kamal Haasan, Rajnikanth, Mohanlal or Mahesh Babu is remade into Hindi with top notch Bollywood actors, it is frequently observed that the South Indian superstars have always stolen the action and have had an upper edge over their Bollywood counterparts. 

Remember Vinod Khanna in DAYAVAN, remake of Kamal Haasan’s NAYAKAN; Anil Kapoor in EESHWAR, remake of Kamal Haasan’s SWATHI MUTHYAM, Arjun Kapoor in TEVAR, remake of Telugu film OKKADU, starring superstar Mahesh Babu etc. The recently released Ajay Devgn starrer DRISHYAM is also the best example.


DRISHYAM which is a remake of the South superstar Mohanlal’s Malayalam blockbuster by the same name, written and director, Jeethu Joseph. The same movie has also been remade into Tamil as PAPANASAM by Jeethu Joseph with Kamal Haasan in the lead role. 

While both Mohanlal and Kamal Haasan have won the hearts of the cine buffs and critics alike by their mindboggling poignant performances alas Ajay Devgan fails to recapture the versatility of his South equivalents. 

What is amazing is that these so-called Bollywood Superstar candidly acknowledge too that the South Stars are better than them. 

In an interview Ajay frankly accepted, “Mohanlal and Kamal Haasan are fabulous actors and veterans. I'm not scared if people come and tell me that they're better actors because I know there are.”


However what is painful is that instead of learning from them Ajay Devgan has just discarded these veterans quoting, “I am not afraid of Mohanlal and Kamal Haasan because I have no fear from them. They are not my not my contemporaries and I'm not competing with them.” 

Ajay Devgan makes this statement so effortlessly that as if Mohanlal and Kamal Haasan would have been his contemporaries and if he had to compete with them then he would have sharpened his skills and easily outscored the two legendary maestros with his histrionics!!! 

One wonders why these Bollywood stars make such lame excuses if they do not have the ability to stand in front of such legends.