Monday, March 10, 2008

Mehmood – the versatile comedian of bollywood.

Mehmood – the versatile comedian of bollywood.

MehmoodMehmood had been an indispensable comedian of the 60s and 70s and most of the bollywood films made during that era became successful due to his brilliant performance. He started his career by performing in small roles and even negative roles like the one he played in Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa in 1957, where he played the role of the brother of Guru Dutt, who was only interested in money.

But with the early 60s, he got roles in probably every alternative film. He performed well in the film Ziddi, with Subha Khote, where the main role was played by Joy Mukherjee and Asha Parekh. Manna Dey’s song “mai tere pyar me” composed by SD Burman became a big hit. Even in Love In Tokyo, Mehmood and Subha Khote supported Joy Mukherjee and Asha Parekh.

In Gumnaam, he got a typical role of a South Indian cook and he created relief scenes in the otherwise crime thriller. Rafi’s song “hum kale hai to kya hua dilwale hai” composed by Shankar Jaikishan was picturised keeping Mehmood in mind. Many actors later on imitated him in similar type of roles.

Mehmood played the role of a Kashmiri boatman in the film Aarzoo. Amidst romantic performance of Rajender Kumar and Sadhna, he played his serio-comic role very well. In Parosan, he played the role of a music teacher who taught music to Saira Banu. But he entered into music contest with Sunil Dutt, where the songs were sung by Kishore Kumar. Manna Dey’s song “ek chatu naar”, “sawaaria”, had become immortal with passage of time.

Even in Pyar Kiye Jaa, he acted in the role of the son of Om Prakash and selected Mumtaz for his film. Shashi Kapoor and Kishore Kumar were the other heroes. No-one sponsored his films. Manna Dey’s song “o mere naina” became superduper hit.

It is difficult to highlight the notable films of Mehmood who had acted in more than 100 films, including Bombay to Goa, Do Kaliya, Kunwara Baap, etc. His films should be restored for new actors to learn the variation in comedy acting.

By: Rumi Chatterji.


A S MURTY said...

What a tribute to Mehmood, one of the finest artists that Bollywood can boast of. No inhibitions whatsover in any kind of role. Very energetic and a great personality. Although he was a comedian, he produced some of the best tragic movies - Do Kaliyan for instance. If my memory serves me right, one song from the movie - MAINE MAA KO DEKHA HAI, MAA KA PYAR NAHI DEKHA - is so touching that it brings tears in our eyes. Sung by Lataji ofcourse, it was the marvel of story telling and direction, besides the best composition by LP. It goes to the credit of Mehmood that he could bring tragedy and laughter together with his skilful acting. Rightly pointed out in the article, Mehmood was there in almost every alternate movie along with Pran as Villian. Like Kishore Kumar, Mehmood was a multi-talented artiste and always burstling with energy. His picturisation of the song - HUMEIN KAALE HAI TO KYA HUA DILWALE HAIN - and another great song - MEHBOOBA MEHBOOBA BANADO MUJHE DULHA JALA DO MERA CHOOLHA - typified ala Hyderabadi flavour and accent. You have done an immense service by writing about such a great personality, lost between the unwarranted glamour of the half-clad 'item-girl heroins' of today. Even the heroes take to do the comedian roles and Amitabh started it in the first place, but there was an era when Mehmood and his ilk were indispensable to Bollywood.

Unknown said...

Brilliant reflection by Mr. Murty. Mehmood did act in serious roles and made people cry. His lips in the song "mai rickshawwala" sung by Rafi, reminds us of his tragic impulses also. He had a good combination with Dhumad as seen in Gumnam, Love in Tokyo, Pyar hi Pyar, etc.
CR Chatterji.