Amol Palekar is considered to be a strong presence in independent cinema throughout the 70s and 80s. Beginning his acting career with theatre, Palekar started with Marathi experimental theatre with Dubey, and later started his own group, Aniket, in 1972. So, his image as a “serious” actor is well established in the masses, which may appreciate a film with serious concerns every now and then, but can’t find pleasure in it. And Amol Palekar has to his name some commercial successes as well that all of us would find soothing.
So, here is a list of 7 such films that are just a delight to watch.
Directed by Basu Chatterjee, Rajnigandha was released in 1974 and was based on a short story written by Manu Bandari titled “Yehi Sach Hai”. Rajnigandha a low-budget hit went on to win the Best Picture, the Popular Award, and the Critics Award at the Filmfare Awards in 1975. The film is lauded for its realistic representation of the middle class and love and relationships and a constant conflict between past and present. The film was Amol Palekar’s debut in Bollywood.
The 1979 Hrishikesh Mukherji directorial, was the highest-grossing film of the year. It was not only a commercial success but also went on to win several awards as well. The film is a hilarious story of Ram Prasad Sharma who tries to appease his boss, tells him a series of lies, pretends to be his twin, and does everything cover it all up.
Choti Si Baat
The 1976 film directed by Basu Chatterjee is a romantic-comedy and is considered one of the best comedies of the ’70s. Amol Palekar’s representation of the meek Arun is as adorable as it is comic. Arun’s lack of confidence is not only a source of entertainment but also provides an insight into people’s struggle with the deficiency of confidence.
Baton Baton Mein
This is a 1979 romantic-comedy also directed by Basu Chatterjee. The film encompasses the themes of love and heartbreaks. Nancy who’s been recently dumped by her boyfriend finds it difficult to reciprocate Tony’s love whom she meets on a train.
The 1981 film, directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, is about a young woman Kusum played by Swaroop Sampat, and her father, played by A.K Hangal for the non-payment of debt. They seek help from a fried Ramprasad played by Amol Palekar, who loves Kusum but is apprehensive about marrying her since he isn’t financially strong. He very wittingly wins the approval of his employer’s for their stay on his estate. But everything does not quite go as planned and he keeps landing in trouble.
You must have seen the 2003-high-on-endorphin Rajshree production Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon, well, it was a remake of a very subtle romantic musical Chit Chor that was released in 1976. The film also served as an inspiration for 1997 Shubhash Ghai directorial Pardes. The film features the story of 2 young individuals having contrasting nature and interest falling in love with the pretext of arranged marriage.
Rang Birangi was released in 1983 and is based on a short story written by Kamleshwar. It was directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. The film flaunts an extremely talented cast with names like Uttpal Dutt, Parveen Babi, Deepti Naval, Farooq Shaiek, Devan Verma, and Om Prakash. The film is a hilarious comedy involving Ajay’s secretary, Anita, and her boyfriend, Jeet, and a re-enactment of the 1978 B.R Chopra directorial Pati, Patni Aur Woh which was a comical take on married individuals being fascinated to others on account of being bored in the relationship.