“I miss the depth and resonance of vintage Hindi cinema”

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Ask any Bollywood buff to make a list of ten ‘must watch’ Hindi movies and they will definitely take you down the memory lane. There is a reason why our list of all-time favourite films is packed with nostalgia. The films that define the history of Hindi cinema belong to an era where film-making was passionate and driven by visionaries.

From Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt, Sohrab Modi to V Shantaram, K Asif, Raj Kapoor and counting, these makers left a legacy that cannot be equalled. As a veteran producer, Anand Pandit misses the depth and resonance of vintage Hindi cinema, as well as the entertainment value of films like ‘Coolie’ and ‘Sholay’ directed by Manmohan Desai and Ramesh Sippy.

Pandit reminisces how Hindi cinema from the fifties onwards cut across geographical borders and carved a niche for itself even in foreign lands like Russia, where Raj Kapoor’s ‘Awara’ became a sensational superhit. He adds, “When the intention is to create quality and also universality, then a ‘Sholay’ is born. This film was a perfect fusion of great writing by Salim-Javed, trailblazing cinematography and sound effects and the star power of stalwarts like Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Jaya Bachchan and, of course, Amjad Khan in a smashing debut. And who can forget RD Burman’s scintillating score? ”

He also recalls how new wave makers like Shyam Benegal, Mrinal Sen, Goutam Ghose, Govind Nihalani, Basu Bhattacharya and even Satyajit Ray enriched Hindi cinema with films like Nishant, Paar, Vijeta, Anubhav and Shatranj Ke Khiladi. He says, “What I miss in today’s cinema is a sense of direction, integrity and profundity. Whether one is portraying the realities and struggles of everyday life or mounting a lavish entertainer, there needs to be a passion for the story one is about to tell. I also miss powerful dialogues that became a part of our lives and songs that became a soundtrack of our existence. We still hum the songs of the 90s and from the period before that and most reality shows run on the nostalgia that the voices of Lata Ji, Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh, Kishore Kumar etc continue to create.”

He says, “To create modern classics, we need more movies that are content-oriented, have cohesive, well-knitted scripts rather than designed to enter the 100 or the 1000 crore club by any means. Yes, contemporary movies are better off in terms of technology and visual appeal, but we need to also bring back the straight-from-the-heart style of film-making that we so loved in the past.” 

Pandit is currently busy producing films in regional languages and in Hindi, and is looking forward to the release of the Indra Kumar directorial ‘Thank God.’



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