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Prakash Mehra: Creator of a brand of angry young man bows out in anonymity

Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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In passing away of Prakash Mehra one more vital foundation stone of the Hindi cinema has chipped away. It is a moot point whether his going away would be felt immediately or not, but in his death an era of Hindi cinema has come to an end. As the dialogue in SHARAABI, which he had himself written and which Amitabh Bachchan had told to Om Prakash 'Meri Zindagi ka tamboo do bambooon par khada hai'. Big B must be feeling that god has pulled the tent of his film carrier, which was hoisted on two pillars in the shape of Man Mohan Desai and Prakash Mehra, away.

Were it not for Prakash Mehra the world would not have come to know about the 'Angry-young Man', which is an iconic brand image in Hindi cinema, would not have been created, and Amitabh Bachchan would not have become the phenomenon that he is now. Manmohan Desai came to be associated at a later stage in Amitabh Bachchan's career, and the real break through that was provided to Big B was through across of films that Prakash Mehra made starting from ZANJEER and including MUQADDAR KA SIKANDER, LAWARIS, NAMAKHALAL, SHARABI, HERA PHERI and JAADUGAR, which was the only film that could not succeed at the box office.

While Manmohan Desai may have presented to the public the humorous side of Amitabh Bachchan, it was Prakash Mehra who exploited it to the hilt in NAMAKHALAL. He was also the director, who had the guts to leave Amitabh Bachchan and make a film with Shatrughan Sinha, JWALAMUKHI and showed to the world that he had a grip on the audience.

He made his debut with the film HASEENA MAN JAYEGI, but came into his element with MELA, the film that brought together Feroze Khan and Sanjay Khan on the silver screen for the first time. Very few people would be aware that Prakash Mehra had a great sense of poetry, which found its profoundest manifestation in SHARABI.

Another characteristic streak of nearly all the films was that his hero, mostly played by Amitabh Bachchan was a character who was orphan and the angst of being orphan growing alone on the streets found expression in the shape of an angry young man. Here he was different from Manmohan Desai in his approach as for him the family was not of a much consequence, but the family that he showed in most of his films constituted of friends and acquaintances.

He had the ability to bring out the subtle nuances in portrayal of a character and his characters had a real life to them, as he himself hailed from a small town Bijnor in UP. His films also exploited the emotional aspect to the hilt and had it not been for Prakash Mehra the evolution of Amitabh Bachchan as an actor par excellence would not have been achieved at all. He had a great sense of music as well and all his films had super hit songs, which is a rare feat to achieve.

His films would form a part of study of the manner in which Hindi films evolved and for this sheer contribution he would be remembered as long as Hindi cinema continues to mesmerize with its magic.

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