When it comes to portraying romance on the big screen, none can beat Yash Chopra. The man exactly knew how to tug at our heartstrings with his tales of love and sacrifice on the big screen. Known for films like 'Deewar', 'Silsila', 'Ittefaq', 'Chandni', 'Lamhe' and many others, the filmmaker always succeeded in evoking a gamut of emotions in his audience.
While Chopra helmed many romantic films in his career, his most poetic work is the 1976 film, 'Kabhie Kabhie'. A love story panning over two decades with a stellar star cast which included Amitabh Bachchan, Rakhee, Shashi Kapoor, Waheeda Rehman, Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor. In one of his later interviews, the filmmaker confessed, "'Kabhie Kabhie' was the most enjoyable film I have made. It was like a picnic."
On his 87th birth anniversary today, we walk down the memory lane and revisit the iconic film, which continues to hold a special place in our hearts.
The Film Reinvented Amitabh Bachchan As A Romantic Hero
Until then, the superstar was known for his 'angry young man' roles like 'Zanjeer' and 'Deewar'.
Speaking about casting Big B, Yash Chopra revealed in one of his old interviews, "Amitabh Bachchan is a very good artiste. But unfortunately, he has got himself typed today as an angry young man. Of course, I do not deny that I am also partly to be blamed, because I had cast him as an angry young outlaw in Deewar which gave a fillip to his career after Zanjeer which resurrected him in the industry.
In Kabhi Kabhie, Amit is breaking new grounds. He is underplaying his role. You will be able to see the romantic as well as the serious side of Amitabh's facet. I know that it is risky to cast Amitabh in a different mould after he has acquired for himself a star image, but then I am of the opinion that it is a thrill to risk and succeed." (sic)
Had Rakhee Turned Down The Film, 'Kabhie Kabhie' Would Have Never Been Made
Recalling the experience of working with Yash Chopra, the actress revealed, "When I married Gulzar, Yash became our neighbour. He then offered me Kabhie Kabhie after my marriage. I think it was conceived keeping me in mind. Gulzar and I used to regularly visit Yash's home. This was during those times when I was pregnant with my daughter Meghna and Yash's son Adi was a child.
One day in the presence of Amitabh Bachchan, they played a song and Pam said, 'This song is for Raakhee'. That's how Kabhie Kabhie was offered to me. Yash Chopra told me that he'd drop the film. But he won't make it with any other heroine."
Rishi Kapoor Had Initially Turned Down The Film
Yash Chopra recalled, "I understood that he was persuaded by his friends in the industry not to work in my film, since mine was a multistar cast venture and his role would but naturally be an insignificant one. I asked Rishi to hear the story and his role before saying yes or no to my offer. He agreed and when he read the compete script at a meeting arranged by publicist Bunny Reuben at the latter's residence, Rishi was game for the role."
How Laxmikanth-Pyarelal's Loss Became Khayyam's Gain
One of the best things about 'Kabhie Kabhie' is Sahir Ludhianvi's poetic words and Khayyam's sublime music.
"After I had sighed LP for the music, Sahir Ludhianvi recommended that the job of composing music be given to Khayyam since the subject needed a poetic touch and complete concentration which only a veteran composer like Khayyam would be able to give. I explained the reason to Lakshmikant and he very kindly agreed to walk out of the film and let me sign Khayyam," Chopra revealed. (sic)
Meanwhile, have you folks watched this classic? What are your thoughts on it? Do let us know in the comment section below.