1982 was the farewell year for Raj Kapoor as an actor as his last two movies were released in this year. Gopichand Jasoos was his penultimate movie which was released on 19th February, 1982 and his last movie was Vakil Baboo which was released on 9th April, 1982. Coincidentally, both these movies starred Zeenat Aman as the leading lady. Other than his last acting performance, Vakil Baboo has the distinction of presenting Raj Kapoor with his younger brother Shashi Kapoor for the first time as well as the last time (though decades back, Shashi Kapoor had performed the role of Raj Kapoor’s childhood version in Awara).Vakil Baboo is a murder mystery cum court-room drama. Blind sculptor Shekhar (Shashi Kapoor) marries gorgeous Kalpana (Zeenat Aman) and the newly wedded couple moves on their honeymoon through a cruise. On the cruise, Kalpana happens to come across Prem (Rakesh Roshan) who blackmails her. The twist in the tale comes when Prem is found murdered with Shekhar being near to his dead body. Shekhar confesses for the murder and urges the court to hang him. Kind-hearted Justice Rajvansh (Kishore Sahu) feels that the accused is innocent and needs help. So he urges advocate Satya Prakash Mathur (Raj Kapoor) to act as his defense lawyer. Now our Vakil Baboo (respected advocate), i.e., Raj Kapoor who has earned a repute of always fighting for the truth, comes in action. How he unearths the mystery behind the murder of Prem and how he proves Shekhar innocent in the court, forms the remaining part which is, in fact, the main part of the story.Director Asit Sen has ably directed the suspense story written by Inder Raj Anand albeit I feel, he could have done a better job. Since Raj Kapoor is in the title role, maximum footage has been given to him and he has been kept in the limelight throughout once introduced. Except some regular Bollywood formulae, the movie is engrossing and keeps the viewer glued to the screen as it is very difficult to guess the real murderer. Interesting court-room scenes involving the pleas of the public prosecutor (Rehman) and the defense lawyer, i.e., advocate Mathur aka Vakil Baboo are also the highlight of the movie. The final court-room drama in the climax in which Raj Kapoor exposes the real murderer, is damn impressive.Raj Kapoor has performed brilliantly in the title role and thereby made his last on-screen performance as a memorable one. He had to retire from acting because of getting overweight, else he could have acted throughout his life. Shashi Kapoor also has done well as the blind sculptor. Zeenat Aman as the heroine, Rakesh Roshan as the blackmailer and the other supporting actors also have done their parts well.Music of this movie (composed by Laxmikant Pyarelaal) is so-so and therefore, forgettable. Technically the movie is okay. Length is also not much because the momentum of suspense is maintained after the murder till the final revelation. It’s definitely a good suspense thriller.I had seen this movie on Doordarshan years back and I don’t find it being telecast on any satellite channel. The sadder thing is that its VCD / DVD is also not available. I urge the makers of this film to release its VCD / DVD and satellite telecast rights so that the fans of Raj Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor are able to see their only joint screen appearance as well as the last acting performance of the great showman Raj Kapoor.
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