The triumvirate of Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor can be safely said to have contributed most to the Indian cinema than any other Stars.

Their films had a poignant yet gripping way of storytelling that they used effectively to address issues of the time, be it Guide, Awara of Naya Daur. They had a mysterious element to their work that made it so lasting and impactful.

When we are talking about Dilip Kumar and acting it’s almost a futile exercise, but one still can’t resist appreciating his ways. I had earlier talked about how he went for the strenuous training of Sitar just for a Song, but it’s not every time that he needed the training to get under the skin of the characters. Even to get over a character he’d needed help, Devdaas stands evident.

Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor
Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor

Talking of which, the Devdaas saga would be an entirely different spiel in itself, rightfully counted amongst the best screen performances of the Indian Cinema. The man literally drank himself to glory. Depression episode after that and title Tragedy King is out there for all. He’s donned comic capers equally well; Azad convinces us so.

What better validation than to have been called the “Ultimate Method Actor” by most celebrated and respected maker of the country?

In a career spanning over 6 decades, he has done not more than 65 films. The fact becomes even more interesting to highlight in the times when actors somehow seem to take pride in doing 100-150 films, completely disregarding the average quality of the movies.

There were times when actors (Stars) were creating records pelting out money spinners in rows, Dilip Kumar would never buckle in and join the race. Dilip Kumar didn’t take up Pyaasa, is an example cited umpteen times as something he missed out on. Yet, one of the reasons for it to be shunned was he found it resembled to Devdaas he’d already played, elevates his stature to unprecedented heights. Imagine any other actor contesting his thoughts and ultimately turning down The Guru Dutt? Purely the notion that he could make this choice, irrespective of how it would turn out speaks volumes. Similar anecdotes can be given about Raj Kapoor’s ambitious Sangam or the one of the greatest Hollywood Production, David Lean’s ‘The Lawrence of Arabia”.

As we go further from his era of acting to more contemporary actors it is very evident that there is serious lack of earnest effort many times, let alone doing it the right way.

Watching a movie starring (featuring does not seem relevant anymore!) some star-kid you shouldn’t be surprised to notice that muscles somehow are expressing more than the face of the Star (supposedly actor), in fact, the muscles are the only thing that gives away some countenance you see on screen! Tragedy king is remembered, venerated. High time that they realize actors are not made in the posh opulent gyms, but we digress.

Wishing the Magician best of health, and wishing ourselves more of his kind.

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