Joie De Vivre Of Hindi Screen – Shammi Kapoor
He belonged to the first family of Hindi cinema. So it wasn’t surprising when Shammi Kapoor joined the film industry in 1953 at the age of 22. His on screen image then was that of a gawky, thin man, with a pencil-thin awkward moustaches, oily hair combed back. He was amidst a series of flops too – Rail Ka Dibba, Thokar, Gul Sanobar, Khoj, Shama Parwana, Mehbooba, Ehsan, Chor Bazar and the list goes on including a role with grey shades in Memsahib (1956). It was not before Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957) that people took notice of him. A new made over, flamboyant Shammi Kapoor arrived on the silver screen and how!! He never looked back after that. He changed the template of the on screen hero. He was tagged as the Rebel Star in the era of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand.
He was free from the hangover of the colonial past and he was zestful. He became the poster boy of the urban westernized youth, jigging at the nightclubs and wooing his lady love. Though he was compared to Elvis Presley, he had his own unapologetic, body jerking style of dancing that brought an abandon. He even broke the sound barriers with his yahoo, suku suku, tally ho, etc.
Far from his contemporaries, he wasn’t at all gentle in wooing his ladies on screen. It was rather a rag kind of charade for him. He represented a new persona of maleness. He was adored for his rakishness. Being gentle wasn’t his style. Hanging from a helicopter, yelling in the snow, serenading in the middle of the night, monkey jumping in a shikara, was what Shammi Kapoor was made of when it came to charming, wooing and romancing. He had a penchant for doing something new and thus he created his own space. His zest for life and energy was infectious. There’s never a dull moment when Shammi Kapoor is on screen and better if he’s romancing. Those songs where he is set to charm his heroines were full throttle and audiences loved it. He wooed his heroines and audiences alike. Dancing his way into millions of hearts and breaking the stereotypes, Shammi Kapoor is the original flamboyant, joie de vivre of Hindi cinema!!
Enjoy wooing and romancing through some of his cheerful, lively numbers.
1. Tumsa Nahi Dekha (1957) – With this film began the journey of the flamboyant Shammi Kapoor. He became an overnight sensation and the songs of the film clicked with the audience. OP Nayyar at his very best with Mohammed Rafi.
2. Dil Deke Dekho (1959) – Another Nasir Hussain beauty, which marked the debut of Asha Parekh as a heroine and debut of music director Usha Khanna too.
3. Dil Tera Deewana (1962) – Wooing a girl?? Mehmood?? Enjoy this hilarious song, rendered beautifully by Mohammed Rafi.
4. Professor (1962) – Directed by Lekh Tandon, the film had Shammi Kapoor imposing as an old professor, creating some hilarious scenes. No one can be so romantic even while teasing!
5. Kashmir Ki Kali (1964) – Another top of the charts music by O P Nayyar and debut of Sharmila Tagore. Shammi Kapoor brimming with all the vivacity, the song became a cult song to appreciate a beauty.
6. Janwar (1965) – While Laal chhadi maidan khadi from the film became an iconic number, in this particular song Shammi Kapoor is at his teasing best too. No one, but him, could have imagined to wear a blanket in a gown style and become footloose bare feet.
7. Teesri Manzil (1966) – A musical thriller directed by Vijay Anand, remains a cult film till date. Topping the popularity charts of Shammi Kapoor films, Teesri Manzil has a fabulous soundtrack by R D Burman and some of the best Rafi songs!!
8. Budtameez (1966) – A beautiful Sadhna, fretting and fuming and an exuberant Shammi Kapoor wooing her with all the crazy faces he could make!! The song is delight to watch.
9. An Evening In Paris (1967) – Pairing opposite Sharmila Tagore once again, the energetic and an animated faced Shammi Kapoor is trying to woo her through Rafi’s full throttle voice, in the romantic city of Paris.
10. Prince (1969) – An effervescent Shammi Kapoor paired opposite the Southern beauty Vyjayanthimala. Prince is about a drama set in the times of resurgent India. The song has Vyjayantimala fussing over romantic pursues by Shammi Kapoor.