The Tragedy King who brought method acting to Bollywood and changed the course of Hindi cinema and countless people with his stories, Dilip Kumar turns 98 today. Dilip Kumar, originally, Mohammed Yusuf Khan is also known as The First Khan. The Tragedy King holds many records, including the record for most wins for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor. Since his debut with Jwar Bhata in 1944, Dilip Kumar has won our hearts time and time again. As one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hindi cinema turns a year wiser today, let’s take a look at 7 of his most iconic movies.
With this tragic love story, Dilip Kumar made us emotional and cry for the unrequited love we may have in our lives. From Devdas’s naivete over believing that nothing could keep him apart from his Paro to his never-wavering love for Paro when they’re kept apart, Dilip Kumar had us all believing in a love that blossoms against all odds.
For 15 years, this epic historical drama movie held the distinction of highest-grossing Indian film of all time and won three Filmfare Awards and one National Award. A big reason for the success of this film, apart from its grandeur and cast, was Dilip Kumar. Kumar’s portrayal of Salim, a young prince engulfed in forbidden love and torn between his father’s wishes and his beautiful love made for a captivating watch. His chemistry with Madhubala was an added cherry on the top.
The most expensive movie of its time, Aan was the first film to release worldwide in the UK and US with subtitles. Starring Dilip Kumar, Premnath, and Nimmi, and the then debut actress, Nadira, Aan is a story of love, friendship, and a vindictive streak that destroys all else. Aan is a story like no other that captivated audiences not just in India, but worldwide with its visuals, acting, and music.
Ram Aur Shyam (1967):
Dilip Kumar won a Filmfare Award for his excellent double role portrayal of long lost twins whose personalities are poles apart. Playing both Ram, a timid man, and Shyam, a mischievous one, Dilip Kumar nailed both of these roles flawlessly. His chemistry with Waheeda Raman and Mumtaz was electric and entertaining. Ram Aur Shyam was the beginning of many stories of twins lost at birth.
Naya Daur (1957):
A classic man v/s machine story, the sports drama film starred Dilip Kumar, Vyjayanthimala, Ajit & Jeevan. Once again, for his flawless acting, Dilip Kumar won a Filmfare Award for Best Actor for the third time in a row. A beautiful story of love and friendship coupled with the sportsmanship and competition between technology and human hard work, Naya Daur was a hit and an inspiration to many more sports films, including Aamir Khan’s Lagaan.
An action movie that tells the story of evil, reformation, repentance, and sacrifices, Karma saw Dilip Kumar as a righteous and honest police officer who believes people are capable of changing, even criminals. Through Dilip Kumar’s training of his recruits played by Jacky Shroff, Anil Kapoor, and Naseeruddin Shah, Karma told the story of how your actions are a blueprint to your future.
A crime-drama movie, Shakti is the only film where the two Bollywood legends, Amitabh Bachchan and Dilip Kumar share a screen. A story of the strength needed to love when wounded, and to uphold duty even when love is on the line, Shakti is an emotional ride. The movie won four Filmfare Awards including a Best Actor award for Dilip Kumar.
We wish the talented and charming Dilip Kumar a very happy birthday!
(Contributed by Sakshi Prabhu)