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‘Dilip Kumar Hero of Heroes’: Reliving the acting genius on birth centenary

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Mumbai, Dec 11 (PTI) Dilip Kumar’s “Aan”, a swashbuckling action and romance-packed film, was the most expensive and highest grossing film of the year 1952. As the Hindi classic returned to theatres 70 years later, the charm of the cinema legend and his irresistible sway remains intact.

To mark the birth centenary of Kumar, “Aan” is being screened at PVR Cinemas and INOX theatres across the country along with “Devdas” (1955), “Ram Aur Shyam” (1967) and “Shakti” (1982), as part of a two-day film festival — ‘Dilip Kumar Hero Of Heroes’.

Organised by Film Heritage Foundation in collaboration with PVR Cinemas, the movie gala opened at PVR Juhu on Saturday evening with the screening of Mehboob Khan-directed “Aan”, attended by Kumar’s wife Saira Banu, Waheeda Rehman, Asha Parekh, Prem Chopra, Farida Jalal, R Balki and Ramesh Sippy.

Banu, who was 12-year-old when she first saw “Aan”, said it was an emotional moment to watch Kumar on the big screen again.

“It was wonderful to be there and watch the film (again). There were so many who had come and it felt good,” the veteran actor told PTI.

“Aan”, also starring Prem Nath, Nadira and Nimmi, was the first Indian film to have a worldwide release in 17 languages and 28 countries. It was also dubbed in Tamil and released under the same title.

Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, the founder of the Film Hertiage Foundation, said about 300 people attended the screening of “Aan” and it was a delight to have some of the biggest names from the industry as well as young movie enthusiasts witness the magic of Dilip Kumar.

“It’s a festival to remember Dilip Kumar sahab, who was from a different generation. There are many young people coming to watch these films… We saw ‘Aan’ yesterday and we were moved. Dilip sahab is still a modern contemporary actor. He was so natural and stood out,” Dungarpur told PTI.

With the festival, the filmmaker-archivist said, the not-for-profit organisation aims to introduce the younger generation to the history of Indian cinema.

“I am happy. We set out to bring back these films and make the younger generation realise the importance of history. Unless you go back in the past, you will not know what to do in future. The young generation needs to see all this,” he added.

Prem Chopra, Kumar’s co-star from films such as “Bairaag”, “Dastaan” and “Kranti”, said it was a “great experience” to see his frequent collaborator on the big screen after so many years. The duo have also worked together in “Duniya” and “Ram Tere Kitne Naam”.

“It was a great experience watching ‘Aan’. Dilip Kumar sahab is superb in the film. He was contemporary even at that time… I had seen the film earlier once or twice and now I wanted to see it again,” the actor told PTI.

The opening ceremony took place at PVR Juhu here. And the second film to be screened was Sippy’s 1982 crime drama “Shakti”.

Sippy introduced the film, also starring Amitabh Bachchan and Smita Patil, to the crowd.

An avid cinema-goer Harsha Seta, who first saw “Shakti” 40 years ago, said the film brought back so many memories.

“Dilip Kumar is my favourite actor and so is Smita Patil. It is a delight to watch their film ‘Shakti’ in a theatre after 40 years. My husband and I are big film buffs and we would watch many films together then. It is like reliving our old days of our favourite film again,” Seta told PTI.

Veteran actor Waheeda Rahman said it was Kumar’s sincerity as a performer that made him one of the greatest Indian actors of all time.

“He had an amazing quality. Even if he was not ok with a scene, he would perform it with full dedication and sincerity. That’s what made him Dilip Kumar,” Rahman said during the event.

Parekh added she was always in awe of Kumar but regrets not working with him in a film.

“I’ve always been in awe of him. I was supposed to work with him in a film but it got shelved. It’s my bad luck. I’ve always been a great fan of Dilip Kumar sahab,” she said.

Kumar’s last acting appearance was in 1998’s “Qila”. The actor passed away last year in July. PTI KKP SHD RB SMN

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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