Happy Birthday Mithun Chakraborty: He was born as Gourang Chakraborty and popularly called Mithun Da is Hindi film industry’s first dancing star. 16th June is his birthday. Let us reminiscence his career and discuss some interesting trivia about him and his top films.
Mithun Chakraborty made his debut with the art movie Mrigayya, for which he won the National film award for best actor. Acclaimed director Mrinal Sen was teaching at FTII Pune, and Mithun was a student there who Mrinal Ji thought would be perfect for the role of Ghinua. Mamata Shankar, daughter of dancers Uday and Amala Shankar played the female lead. Later in his career he won two more National Awards for Tahader Katha and Swami Vivekanand.
Disco Dancer firmly established Mithun as India’s Number 1 dancing star. It was the 1st Hindi movie to break the Rs 100 crore barrier worldwide and later this record was broken by My Name is Khan and 3 Idiots. Mithun became a household name in Soviet Union. The songs and dances of the movie and music by Bappi Lahiri became a nationwide craze. Jimmy Jimmy became a popular song even in China. Aamir Khan also spoke about the Jimmy Jimmy craze of Mithun in China from his 1st hand experience when he went to promote PK there. Aamir also gave a tribute to Mithun Chakraborty by emulating him in his special appearance as Disco fighter with the song I Hate You Like I Love You in the movie Delhi Belly.
Surakksha, meaning protection had Mithun Chakraborty in the interesting character of CBI Officer Gopi, known as Gun-master G-9. The movie was deliberately meant to be larger and louder than life itself, with gadgets such as flying car with parachute, cigarette lighters with sleeping gas, stun guns and so on.
Wardat too continued the trend of fancy gadgets, super-villains and outrageous story line. While in Surakksha, Mithun was to save India from an artificial Tsunami brought about by an atomic weather controller, in Wardat, he was supposed to save the world from villains who wanted to destroy the world’s crops through giant locusts. The villain in Surakksha was a top scientist, Dr Shiva while the villain in Wardat was a hunchback named Jambola. Probably the aim was to showcase Mithun as our 1st Desi James Bond. These two movies made the concept of super villain popular for future movies.
Other popular movies of Mithun include Tarana, Hum Paanch, Mujhe Insaaf chahiye, Ghar ek Mandir, Pyaar Jhukta Nahin, Swarag se sundar, Pyaar ka Mandir, Jaal, Dilwaala, Jagir, Watan ke Rakhwale, Elaan, Guru, Veer, Kick and so on. His role as Krishnan Iyer nariyal paaniwala in the Amitabh starrer Agneepath was very popular for which he won the Filmfare Best supporting actor.
Mithun’s association with dance continues. He is the popular “Grandmaster” in the extremely popular dance show Dance India Dance which has entered the Guinness book for the largest Bollywood dance ever performed.
Happy Birthday Mithun Da!