Most Indian filmmakers now hope to cross over. Excerpts from Sidharth Bhatia’s ‘Cinema Modern: The Navketan Story’ reveal how Dev Anand made Guide for US audiences with Nobel Laureate Pearl Buck as writer, hiring an American filmmaker, in 1965. Dev, actor-producer, always ahead of his time…
The differences between the two films and their treatment are immediately apparent. The Hindi version stands out for two important changes that make the film completely ‘Indian’ in its sensibility. First, unlike in the book and in the English film, a strong justification is created for Rosie to move away from her husband and towards Raju. In the English version, the wily Raju sees a chance and seduces Rosie when her husband is away, while the Vijay Anand version has Rosie finding her husband cavorting with a local prostitute and being disturbed at his infidelity. Till then she is amused and charmed by Raju’s attempts but holds back. She even tolerates her husband’s eccentric and somewhat cruel behaviour. But once she finds out that her husband has gone astray, it doesn’t take her long to leave him. ***
I refuse to shed tears for Dev saab: Boman Irani
A few days ago, I had called Dev saab to invite him for my son’s wedding. A friend of his told me that he was in London and wanted to stay there for a few extra days. But honestly speaking, he was such a positive and fantastic personality that it never struck me that he could be in London for a medical check-up. It was simply impossible to think of Dev saab and doctors at the same time.
I don’t know what his condition was, but Dev saab denied the doctors a chance of treating him. He lived and left us the way he wanted to, without anyone of us mourning and crying over his death. I refuse to shed even a single tear on his passing away because Dev saab stands for celebration of life.
I met him last when I had gone to dub something at a studio. I saw him sitting there waiting for his actors to get ready. When I saw him, I asked him if I could sit with him. So, he replied, ‘I am always working, it doesn’t mean I won’t have time to sit with my friends.’
As a person too, Dev saab was always bubbling with energy. He always wanted to keep working. I remember once I saw him sitting with his eyes closed. I thought he was taking a nap. So, I tried to go past him making sure he isn’t disturbed. But when I went past him, he turned out and called out to me, ‘Boman, why are you sneaking away?’ He used to be so attentive and aware of everything in life.
As a filmmaker, when I worked with him on Mr Prime Minister, I saw his enthusiasm from close quarters. In one of the scenes, we both were supposed to reach the door at the same time and open it in a huff. But the moment the shot would start he would outpace me and reach before. He had so much energy; I couldn’t match his speed.
And during the same schedule, I remember one day’s shoot got cancelled. Instead of just saying a random ‘sorry’, Dev saab got someone to send flowers to my room for the cancellation. At that time also, I had thought, ‘who am I to get flowers from Dev Anand?’ But that’s how magnetic and stylish his personality was.
He really lived his life king size: Anil Kapoor
I was shocked when I heard the news. Deep down inside, I always believed Dev saab was ageless and that at some level, he could actually defy death. His energy, enigmatic persona and never-give-up attitude had everyone feeling he would never leave. Almost like he was immortal.
Even though he is no longer with us, Dev saab will always remain in our hearts and minds. Be it through his films, songs, good looks and style, he was the master of it all. For me, he was the first Indian actor to go international. His film, Guide (1965), had gone to Cannes. Besides, Gregory Peck used to love him and I remember coming across his picture with Shirley McClaine and Peck.
He was one person, who really lived his life king size and fulfilled whatever he dreamt of achieving in life. From him, I have learnt to be positive and to never look back. I would always see him and feel, ‘if in his 80s, he can be like this, then I am almost half his age’.
I remember when my father passed away he called me to pay his condolences. But at the same time, he sounded positive about life. He would always say, ‘let’s move on, what’s next?’ Jo ho gaya so ho gaya (what’s done is done).’ That’s what I have learnt from Dev saab. He was a phenomenal personality and full of positivity, to say the least.
Dev saab would never bother about what people said or wrote about him. He always lived the life the way he wanted to. I last spoke to him around the release of Chargesheet. And he invited me for the premiere. He was so full of life even then. He would always talk about his next film or a subject he is thinking of. He was Mr Evergreen in the true sense.