Today is 14th September, known as the Hindi Day as per the Indian constitutional provisions. I have already written a blog on this occasion. Besides, I am reviewing a classic comedy whose theme is the usage of the two languages – Hindi and English whose propagators are mostly seen at loggerheads in India. Yes, no prizes for guessing. It is Chupke Chupke (1975) which is unarguably one of the best Bollywood comedies of all times.
Chupke Chupke (quietly) is the story of Parimal Tripathi (Dharmendra), the professor of Botany who falls in love with a student of Botany – Surekha (Sharmila Tagore). After marriage, he comes to know of her fondness towards her brother-in-law or Jijaji (elder sister’s husband) – Raghavendra (Om Prakash) who has not been able to attend their marriage. Just to prove himself before his wife, he masquerades as a driver speaking pure Hindi (without any use of English words) and enters Raghavendra’s household. What follows is a two hours long laugh-riot for the audience in which, in addition to the mentioned ones, several characters get involved viz. Parimal’s friend – Sukumar (Amitabh Bachchan), his another friend – Prashant (Asrani), Prashant’s sister-in-law (wife’s sister) – Vasudha (Jaya Bhaduri) and many more. Comic situations keep on coming before the spectators till the finale is reached with the truth being revealed before Raghavendra who acknowledges the wittiness of his brother-in-law, i.e., Parimal.
Legendary director Hrishikesh Mukherjee has directed this movie whose script and dialogues have been written by another Bollywood legend – Gulzaar. It’s not a slapstick comedy. It’s a situational one whose brilliant script makes it a winner. Right from the very start to the very finish, there is no dearth of laughs for the audience. And the perfect comic timings of the lead characters, especially Dharmendra complement the script to serve its purpose of making the audience laugh again and again.
The inherent message is no less useful and worth remembering. No language is superior or inferior to any other one. Language is a medium of communication for the human-beings who have no business making fun of any language. The way Hindi is respectable, the same way English is. Each one of the two has its own positives (and negatives too) and it’s in the interest of the Indians to appreciate the worth of both without mocking any of them.
Sachin Da (S.D. Burman) has composed pretty good music for the movie. The best song is – Abke Sajan Saawaan Mein sung by Lata. Chupke Chupke Chal Ri Purvaiya is another song of Lata that stands out. Other songs are also apt according to the mood of the movie. Anand Bakshi has penned appropriate lyrics for them.
Performance wise talking, this movie is definitely one of the best movies of Dharmendra. This versatile actor has proved quite emphatically that he is not only skilled in serious roles but he has no match in comedy also. Interestingly, Bollywood’s most popular movie – Sholay which contains Dharmendra’s another memorable comic performance, was released in the same year. Dharmendra has left no stone unturned in making the audience laugh right from the beginning to the end. In my view, Om Prakash has been the second best and Amitabh Bachchan has been the third best in this field (behind Dharmendra). Asrani, Sharmila Tagore, Jaya Bhaduri, David, Keshto Mukherjee etc. all have done their parts well and generated showers of laughter for the viewers.
The technical and production value aspects of the movie adhere to the simplicity doctrine of Hrishi Da. Editing is good. Length is also perfect. Summing up, Chupke Chupke is a flawless movie.
Surprisingly, Chupke Chupke was not a box office hit when released. However, now it is considered a classic comedy which has unlimited repeat value. The way the admirers of Sholay can watch it umpteen number of times, the same way Chupke Chupke can also be watched countless number of times and every time laughter is guaranteed for the viewer.
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