Thursday, March 1, 2012

Garam Dharam, and his many other roles.

When I think of Dharmendra, I think of a faded B-grade star who insists on wearing crappy clothes, an action man performer with sons -and daughters- much more annoying than him (and an exceedingly talented nephew). I mostly wonder at his family situation: how did he manage two wives so successfully?

I don't think of Dharmendra as an actor. It's somehow easy to overlook Sholay and Chupke Chupke as one-offs and conclude that his many more He-Man movies better define him. Maybe this is because I grew up in the 90s, long past his time and even more significantly, right after he made all these terrible films in the late 70s and 80s.

I certainly didn't consider him handsome. Then I saw Bandini sometime in 2008 and was blown away. He was just so good looking (sigh) and he could act! Of course, I'd seen other movies in which he was brilliant, but I never really considered his brilliance. He was just Dharmendra- so firmly cast in his Action King mould in my mind for such performances to make a dent. In Bandini his looks (how shallow does that make me sound?) surprised me so much that it also sort of woke me up to his real talents.

I am sorry to say that I soon got over my epiphany, helped in part by his ridiculous guest roles and performances in recent films, and, somehow by association, the even more ludicrous films starring his offspring.

This excellent article by Mukul Kesavan (via Jaberwock) shook me back to my senses. Dharmendra might have been laughable in his roles later on, but there is no denying his acting ability. Or his looks.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know whether to like him or laugh at him for "You have gone down a dark path, my son" in Johnny Gaddaar :)