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New film reunites 'Bobby' pair

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS

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Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia, who created cinematic hysteria and history 31 years ago in Raj Kapoor's "Bobby", are being paired again in Hriday Shetty's "Pal Tham Gaya".

Rishi and Dimple play two ageing people who find comfort, solace and love in each other, even though they have gone beyond the "permissible" age of romance.

"Pal Tham Gaya" is produced by Percept Pictures, Sahara India's film production house, which recently came out with the commendable "Phir Milenge".

"I fell in love with the subject the minute I heard it. And I'm so happy Dimple is in it. We were together in "Bobby" as teenagers. Then we did a mature love story: Ramesh Sippy's "Sagar", when she staged a comeback. Now, when we're both getting on, we're doing this 'maturer' love story," enthused Rishi Kapoor.

One of India's most versatile actors, Rishi shot to fame, with Dimple, in his father Raj Kapoor's film "Bobby". Both newcomers became instant stars and won popular awards.

The two were even believed to be passionately involved, until Dimple, at age 16, unexpectedly married superstar Rajesh Khanna.

"All that's in the past. We've moved on. We've got families now," Rishi brushed off memories like so many snow flakes.

"In 'Pal Tham Gaya', which goes on the floors this month, we don't just play parents, but also grandparents," he chuckled.

This film with its theme of redemptive love echoes "Kabhi Kabhi", the film Yash Chopra made 29 years ago. In that momentous film, the characters seemed to play a game of romantic musical chairs.

Amitabh Bachchan represented the older generation, while Rishi Kapoor played the rebellious youngster, who defiantly steps into areas forbidden by prevalent moral codes.

In "Pal Tham Gaya", Rishi Kapoor stands as the older generation, while avidly-watched and much talked-about Sammir Dattani is the defiant youngster, who supports Dimple's decision to find love and marriage in her twilight years.

Dimple's character is the mother of Dattani's girlfriend, played by Soha Ali Khan.

"It's an interesting cyclic story on relationships," said Rishi, who has always enjoyed doing unconventional roles. In one of his earliest films, "Zehreela Insaan", Rishi Kapoor starred as a social misfit who just could not get the codes of conduct right.

In "Doosra Aadmi", he played a married man who has an affair with an older woman. In the detective thriller, "Khoj", he was the murderer who bumped off his own wife.

The ever-ravishing Dimple too enjoys going against the grain, as evidenced by her performances in "Dil Chahta Hai", "Rudaali", "Leela" and "Zakhmi Aurat".

Will "Pal Tham Gaya" take the pair further up the road of success?

Will the audience approve of an elderly couple's relationship?

Four decades ago, Indian viewers had rejected the very idea in B. R. Ishaara's "Kagaz Ki Nao". But more recent films with 50-plus protagonists, such as "Baghban" and "Dhoop" have done well.

Hopefully, Hriday Shetty, who earlier made "Plan", will be able to discover a mature slot for his film at the turnstiles.


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