The Director with Midas Touch – Vijay Anand

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“If the director understands his subject, story and characters well, he will not compromise in any aspect”.
– Vijay Anand ( In an interview with Nasreen Munni Kabir)

This is what Vijay Anand did in his extremely impressive journey as director/writer, he never compromised in any sense. His accomplished grasp on the subject and form had a multifarious career. Vijay Anand brought out the best in his actors, cinematographers, composers, lyricists and choreographers. He delivered a masterstroke, embellished with magnificent show of songs which decorated his stylish, flawless entertainers.

The youngest of four brothers — Manmohan, Chetan and Dev , Vijay Anand was affectionately called Goldie. He wrote brilliant plays with college friend Satyadev Dubey and earned awards at youth festivals. Literature always fascinated him. Born on 22nd January 1934, Vijay Anand, who lost his mother at the tender age of 6, was raised by Uma Anand (Chetan Anand’s wife). When Vijay Anand joined Navketan Films, it was in deep financial trouble after Aandhiyan and Humsafar flopped. Vijay Anand, along with Uma Anand penned Taxi Driver (1954). It was she who discovered his writing skills and encouraged him to continue. Directed by Chetan Anand, Taxi Driver, set the box office on fire and thus began the golden journey of Goldie Anand.

3 of the Anand brothers directed films for their home production house, Navketan, but it was Vijay Anand who was way ahead of his brothers or even the rest of his counterparts. Vivid sets, memorable songs, engaging plots came together to make a crisp Vijay Anand film. What is one supposed to do if asked to make a choice between Jewel Thief and Johny Mera Naam? One had feral sets and outdoors as heavenly as Sikkim while the other had lavish sets with superb songs. Not to forget, charismatic Dev Anand in his top form and his charming best in both!! Or can you choose between Teesri Manzil and Guide? Both chic in their own genre. He knew how to treat the crime thrillers to make it Indianized version. He was greatly influenced by Hollywood but he never blatantly copied anyone and set his own standards.

He had special talent for song picturisation. He gave songs a midas touch, turning them into gold forever. Trying out new thing with every song picturisation. He knew songs served as an adhesive with the Indian audiences. Unlike other Hindi films, his films had songs which carried the story further instead of just halting the story for the song. That is the reason people never get tired of watching his films. “Hum hain rahi pyar ke……..” from Nau Do Gyarah was the first ever song he picturised. From then onwards, growing in leaps and bounds, his songs got special treatment, making them the most cherished ones in the history of Hindi Cinema. Dil ka bhanwar kare pukar, Honthon pe aisi baat, O haseena zulfon waali……all different,graceful,romantic in their own way and cannot be reproduced.

His works have given him a special place in Hindi Cinema. The whiz kid who directed his first film at the age of 22.
Tribute to this cinematic genius and a delightful storyteller!!

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan

1 Comment

  1. Rajendra

    January 24, 2021 at 6:32 am

    Great! I am a fan of Vijay Anand’s style of film-making. He did have panache!

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