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 PRAN – UNFORGETTABLE

 

WRONG-DOERIN TINSEL WORLD

lesson 20:

BY K.V. VENUGOPAL

The villains in tinsel world were looked at as untouchables in yester-year. But Pran was an exception. During his chequered career from 1940s to 1990s, the versatile actor had carved out a niche for himself. Though he started his career as a hero in 1940, he became a popular wrong-doer in 1942 and subsequently became a character artiste.

Pran never believed in artificially shouting like villains. He gave a decent image to his roles. He more than once proved beyond doubt that the villains too, can be silent killers. However, the film lovers still remember the famous dacoit ‘Rakkha’ in Raj Kapoor’s ‘Jis Desh Mein Ganga Bahati Hai’. The actor created a terror, not only in the minds of the hero, but also of the audience with his immaculate performance. Many people threw slippers on the screen while witnessing the movie.

Pran in his own inimitable style and in a subtle language explain the importance of stealing and eliminating the people for personal gains. The people watched with bated breath when Raj Kapoor convinces him to be a good-Samartian when an array of police force moved around to nab him in the back-ground music and song of “aa abu lotu chale” sung by Mukesh.

The manner in which Pran expressed his dialogues in Sheesh Mahal , a series of disguises he made in Adalat and the rapport he shared with vamps like Kuldip Kaur in Jashan showcased his versatility in 1950s. Pran adopted different mannerism for different films. Even Shatrugan Singh and Rajanikanth admitted that they followed the nuances of villainy from Pran. Who can forget his tossing the coin in ‘Kab Kyon aur Kahan’, ‘Ish, Ish, Ish’ in Kashmir Ki Kali. It is also well-nigh-impossible to forget his dialogue after imprisoning the princess  “Maharani Kalavati” with a tinge of sarcasm in ‘Rajkumar’. 

 

Pran brought villians on par with the heroes.  His cunning role in Madhumati is talked about even today. As per the film, Pran was the boss of Dilip Kumar and could not digest his love with Vyjyantimala. He scuttles the regular meeting between the lovers and approach the heroine with “tum ho Raman Babuki Kalpana” in a hush-hush tone.

In ‘Pyar hi Pyar’, Dharmendra was no match for Pran. He plays his card close to his chest and welcomes the hero with “aaye Diwan Saheb” and goes on to narrate the flashback with an aristocratic approach. In ‘Do Badhan’, he regrets the death of heroine Asha Parekh due to his wicked nature with a unique style. In Ek Gulistan Hamara, he adopts a diplomatic strategy to overrule Dev Anand in his refreshing voice: “Ham thume school kulne ki ijaathat dethe hain”.

The late actor also excelled in comedy. If ‘Victoria No.203 became a box office, the credit to a great extent must go to Pran.  In a particular scene, the character Rana informs his friend Ashok Kumar “jaan dediya, lekin chavi nahi diya, nakli ball, asli chavi”. When Premnath confronts him in ‘Sanyasi’, he retorts” “main bakthon ka bakth hoon. Jo hona tha who hagaya, jo hona hai, oh ab hoga”.

In Parichary, the moment Pran comes to know that his Sanjeev Kumar got married to a poor girl without his permission, he politely inform him “kaana kaliya, almirah kula hai, jitena chaaye, utna leloo”.The famous twisting of nose in ‘An evening in Paris” is still remembered by the film-goers. The actor's baritone and good looks helped him bring charm to his villainy which was very unique to Pran. Such was the magic of his onscreen roles that parents stopped naming their children 'Pran' at the height of his fame.

Pran’s chameleon-like ability transformed himself from most hated onscreen villains to one of the  most beloved character actors -- be it the ‘Mangal chachain ‘Upkar’, ‘ Sher Khan in Zanjeer. The noted film actor Nadikavel M.R. Radha lauded his performance in ‘Aurat’, a remake of ‘Chitti’ in Tamil and said “Pran sir simply outclassed me and gave a new image to the film in Hindi. Even M.N. Nambiar felt that Pran gave a different dimension in ‘Ram Aur Shyam’ a remake of Tamil film ‘Enga Veetu Pillai’.

The former Prime Minister Manmohan Singhcalled him an “icon”. Amitabh Bacchan regards him as a "magnificent pillar" of the film industry.

Rapper-composer Yo Yo Honey Singh, who is making his debut in “the Xpose, says he is following the footsteps of the legendary actor.  The veteran actor Prem Chopra hailed Pran with “Pran Saheb was a fatherly figure for other villains”.

                                                                                                                                                              Pran as Villain

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