Remember the vanishing acts of Mr India around the wicked old Mogambo? Just how long has it been since that film released?
Mr India was released on May 29, 1987.
How long ago is that? Has it really been 30 years? If the upper limit of a millennial’s age stretches back to the mid-80s, then 1987 seems an ideal year to take stock of the situation. Those of you teetering close to or having just passed 30 can sit back and lose yourself in a time warp: here are the Bollywood flicks that released exactly 30 years ago. This is how time passes.
One of the largest multi-starrers of 1987 was Watan Ke Rakhwale, and the cast should give you an idea of just what era we are talking of here: Sridevi, Ashok Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Mithun Chakraborty, Dharmendra, Moushumi Chatterjee, Prem Chopra, Shakti Kapoor and Kader Khan. It’s packed with action, you’ll see a truck driving a car off a cliff within the first one minute. Let’s just say it was an action-packed era where scenes blinked past rapidly.
Dharmendra was in his funny avatars already. He released 12 films that year, including such gems as Loha, where he played a cop, Aag Hi Aag where our man was an army officer, and the highest-grossing film of the year – Hukumat, where he became a cop again. This latter film had Jugal Hansraj in one of his early child roles. Of the three films released that year with the word ‘Insaaf’ in their titles, Dharmendra starred in two.
1987. When Chunky Pandey was huge, Sanjay Dutt was young, lanky and cute and still huger than Chunky, Dance Dance showed Mithun smooching his lead actress, the Sita-Gita kind of stuff was still around – the same year was released Sitapur Ki Geeta starring Rajesh Khanna and Hema Malini – and Jackie Baba was doing quite well for himself, moustache thick and sexy, starring opposite Dimple Kapadia in a Mahesh Bhatt film called Kaash, possibly the only serious domestic drama of the year.
Jeetendra, by the way, was still around and kicking as well. White pants et al. One of the Insaf films had him – Insaf Ki Pukar – where he starred as Dharmendra’s brother, both playing thieves. Another film he was seen next to Dharmendra in the same year was Jaan Hatheli Pe, where he wooed Rekha and the old man got Hema Malini and things ended happily enough.
My personal favourites – besides the wonderfully modern Mr India in that year of strange releases – were two very interesting films. The first was Daku Hasina, starring by-now-kinda-old-but-still-hot Zeenat Amat as Roopa Saxena (that, is undoubtedly out of fashion). To avenge her parents’ death, she turns to Rajnikant for help in transforming into a dacoit. A daku, that’s right.
The second was Ramsay Brothers’ Dak Bangla, where you can see dead bodies being sewn like kerchiefs. And if you think you’re old, you have to see this film to believe how old 1987 is!