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Hrishikesh Mukherjee's best films

August 28, 2006
Khubsoorat (1980)

In the late 1970s, Hrishida enthralled audiences with quite a few comedies -- Chupke Chupke, Golmaal and Khubsoorat.

Khubsoorat is a sparkling comedy, both genial and literate. But amidst the froth and frolic, Hrishida also slips in a subtly introduced message on the often conflicting roles of discipline and freedom in life. The redoubtable Dina Pathak plays the matriarch of a household who, like Queen Victoria, is not often amused. The battle lines are drawn when her daughter-in-law's sister (played with verve by Rekha) incites her family to rebellion. But finally, neither proves to be the victor.

In the film, Hrishida seems to advocate the keeping of a fine balance between merriment and regulation. This sense of balance is what served him best in his films -- they were not too arty to alienate the masses and they were insightful enough to please the critics.

Rekha's exuberant Khubsoorat persona found an echo in Hrishida's Jhoothi subsequently but the filmmaker's latter movies were not a patch on his classics. After receiving the Padma Vibhushan and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Hrishida was content to rest, having left behind a virtual El Dorado for Hindi film lovers.

Also Read: Namak Haram: Clash of the titans

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