In this series, we look at Hindi cinema’s blockbusters that are worth a revisit to know what makes our cinema, stars and music tick. Of course, each film has a contemporary relevance in some way. We kick off the series with 1981’s biggest hit that launched Kamal Haasan, Rati Agnihotri, Madhavi and singer S.P. Balasubramaniam.

Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981)


Produced by: L.V. Prasad

Directed by: K. Balachander

Music: Lazmikant-Pyarelal

Starring: Kamal Haasan, Rati Agnihotri & Madhavi

Did you know?

  • That Kamal Haasan is a K. Balachander discovery and had already done a small cameo in 1974 in the director’s first Hindi film Aaina starring Mumtaz and Rajesh Khanna, besides playing the lead in this film’s original Telugu version, Maro Charitra.
  • That Sunil Thapa, the actor playing the librarian who rapes the heroine, essayed the role of Mary Kom’s coach in the 2014 Mary Kom.
  • That the film marked the Hindi debut of S.P. Balasubramaniam and also won him the National award for best male playback singer.
  • That when the film was completed, no distributor wanted to buy it. So producer L.V. Prasad (now a Dadasaheb Phalke laureate) released it with minimum prints, but after one week, the shows increased five-fold.
still from movie 'Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981)'
still from movie ‘Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981)’
  • That with the profits of this movie, Prasad set up his post-production studio for even 70mm films, and today, they also work on international projects, besides being pioneers in Stereoscopic cameras, with which films are shot in 3D, like Haunted.
  • That director K. Balachander is also a Dadasaheb Phalle laureate and so is singer Lata Mangeshkar—that makes three Phalke winners in one film!
  • That the famous sequence wherein Sapna (played by Rati Agnihotri) puts the burnt remains of Vasu (Kamal Haasan)’s photograph in a teacup and defiantly drinks it, licking the fragments stuck to her lips, was real, and done by her in a single continuous shot!

– Rajiv Vijayakar, a Senior Journalist, Film & Music Critic and Historian for Hindi cinema and Film Music is also an Author and Twice Jury Member at 58th and 62nd National Film Awards.

Rajiv Vijayakar tweets @rajivvijayakar

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