Director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee; Writer: Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Gulzar, Bimal Dutt, D.N. Mukherjee; Producer: Hrishikesh Mukherjee, N.C. Sippy, Romu N. Sippy; Cinematographer: Jaywant Pathare; Editor: Hrishikesh Mukherjee; Cast: Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Sumita Sanyal, Ramesh Deo, Seema, Asit Sen, Dev Kishan, Atam Prakash, Lalita Kumari, Savita, Brahm Bhardwaj, Lalita Pawar, Gurnam Singh, Durga Khote, Dara Singh, Johnny Walker, Moolchand
Duration: 02:02:08; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Hue: 18.494; Saturation: 0.048; Lightness: 0.287; Volume: 0.147; Cuts per Minute: 6.730; Words per Minute: 64.204
The Khanna hit which launched the 70s melodrama formula of endowing the central character with a terminal disease. In this way, a typical emotional highlight of the melodramatic genre, the death of the hero could be spun out across the entire length of the film. Anand (Khanna) zestfully fights intestinal cancer, determined to extract as much pleasure from his remaining lifespan as possible despite the physical pain. The moral of the story is emphasised via the recording of the hero’s voice, replayed minutes after his actual death, enjoining the audience to value a large-hearted life over a merely long one. The film retained a commercial repeat value as one of Bachchan’s early starring roles. He plays the brooding Dr Bhaskar who tends to Anand in his last days and then writes a book on him which wins a literary prize. The award ceremony provides the framing narrative of Anand’s story told in flashback. Choudhury’s music also contributed to the film’s success e.g. Kahin door
sung by Mukesh. Mukherjee cast the popular Bengali actress Sanyal (Ashirwad
, 1968; Chena Achena
, both 1969; and esp. Guddi
, 1971) in her first major Hindi role. He remade the film, with less success, as Mili
(1975), featuring a terminally ill heroine, Jaya Bhaduri, opposite a cynical and alcoholic Bachchan.