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Dev Anand: The Oldman Who Kept Keeps On Driving

I have to confess that Dev Anand was the first oldie star whose movies I truly enjoyed watching. As, I grew older and Dev Anand grew into “evergreen” oldman, his newer movies grew unbearable. Many years ago, I read an essay by film critic Maithili Rao. This is what she had to say about Dev Anand:

After the early straight dramatic roles, Dev Anand’s debonair narcissism degenerated into the Noddy land of toothy smiles and a body balanced at an acute, gravity – defying angle.

It’s true at times he is indefensible (aren’t we all), and at times he needs no defense. Either you accept him, or you don’t. Where is the need for an 84/85 old filmmaker to defend his movies(altleast he knows that the minds of remake directors are bankrupt), choice of actress (people forget that Tabu got her first big break with him) and even personal life? (I am saying this after reading the review of his book Romancing With Life: An Autobiography in Hindustan Times dated 30th September, 2007 )

I have even seen a lot of his later year movies too. They didn’t seem as bad at that time because I saw them in the 90s; those were the time when every second movie was a bad movie. He movie were still different…not the best at the production level. But then, at that time only Yash Raj and some other houses had the production standards and terms like that. I don’t know about marketing, but with right kind of people around, he could have certainly made better movies. When old production houses like RK Studios were making Aa Ab Laut Chalen with Aishwarya Rai, Dev Anand was making Main Solah Baras Ki with unknown actress like Shaista Usta . Frankly, I don’t see the difference between the two.
When younger people like Mansoor Khan, (who incidentally wasn’t making movies based on any original idea) got disillusioned with the process of making a Hindi movie and quit because of the toll it took on personal; when people like Mahesh Bhatt decided to stop making movies and proclaim that people weren’t ready for his kind of cinema. Older Dev Anand seems to be the only one having real passion for cinema.

Just enjoy his old classic movies and hope that at the age of 80, you are half as much passionate about something, as Dev Anand is about making movies.

Image: Dev Anand in the movie Taxi Driver(1954)
Courtesy: Wikimedia


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