Rishi Kapoor, the great actor of Indian film, would light up 70mm screens in split seconds with his presence – such was the persona of a man who remained active in the film industry for decades. Today would have been his 69th birthday (September 4).
On April 30, 2020, at Mumbai’s Sir HN Reliance Foundation hospital, the legendary Bollywood star succumbed to Leukemia (blood cancer) and passed away. The legendary actor underwent a year of treatment in New York for the deadly cancer, but lost the battle when it resurfaced last year.
Today, let’s take a look at some of his classic films and remember the legendary actor.
Mera Naam Joker (1969):
Rishi Kapoor’s incredible path as a star-actor began here. Rishi, who was 14 at the time, received his first National award for playing an adolescent who has a severe infatuation on his schoolteacher Simi Garewal. Even now, you can see in his performance, directed by his father Raj Kapoor, that he caught the confusions of sexual awakening in his character spot on.
Rishi’s effort to make his presence felt in a heroine-driven picture starts here. The directors focused on the heroine, whether it was Bobby or Barood, while Rishi did his utmost to make his presence felt. Rishi was excellent in his confidence level while portraying the privileged introverted ignored child of irresponsible parents, while Dimple Kapdia performed the author-backed character.
Subhash Ghai’s full-length musical features the ultimate rockstar act. Rishi Kapoor was the only one who could take to the dance floor like he did. Not even his brilliant son. Rishi gained sweet revenge on his schoolteacher from Mera Naam Joker Simi Garewal in this film about reincarnation.
Prem Rog (1982):
Another heroine-centric film, this time directed by Raj Kapoor and focusing solely on the misery of young widow Padmini Kohapure. Rishi, on the other hand, excelled much beyond the script as her silent supporter and sympathiser. During Padmini’s wedding, watch his face during the song Yeh pyar ttha ya kuch aur ttha. You’d understand why many people believe Rishi to be the best actor in the Kapoor family.
Amar Akbar Anthony (1977):
Rishi’s Qawwallis Parda hai parda and Taiyyab alipyar ka dushman stole the show as Akbar in a film where Amitabh Bachchan’s Anthony definitely had the upper hand. Rishi enjoys any role he plays, no matter how minor.