Amol Palekar began his creative career as a painter after completing his fine arts education at the Sir J. J. School of Art in Bombay. He held seven solo exhibitions as a painter and took part in several group exhibits. Yet Palekar is more well-known for his work as an actor in theater and movies. Since 1967, he has been involved as an actor, director, and producer in India's avant-garde Marathi and Hindi theater. His success as a leading man in Hindi movies sometimes overshadows his contribution to contemporary Indian theater. He is renowned as a director for his sympathetic treatment of women, choice of great works of Indian literature, and astute handling of contemporary themes. On the national network, he has directed a number of television series, including Kachchi Dhoop, Mrignayani, Naquab, Paool Khuna, and Krishna Kali.
A hard-working professional who never forgets to bring his fiancée tuberoses when he sees her. She is preoccupied with her first love and remains entranced by his slick rhetoric and flair. The aroma of the flowers, though, penetrates the entire movie and gives you the impression that compassion in life counts. Amol Palekar plays the tenacious, steadfast lover in the 1974 film Rajnigandha.
He is modest and reserved. While he's a little perplexed by the attention he's receiving from Pitambar Chaudhary's family, he attributes it to the good nature of village residents and gives them back by teaching their daughter Geeta how to sing. Geeta, who often roams around erratically and steals mangoes with her little companion, is calmed by music and develops feelings for the quiet boy. It turns out that he is a subordinate supervisor rather than the engineer that her sister had matched. The family was wasting its time! But everything works out in the end. In the 1976 film Chitchor, Amol Palekar plays this quiet man.
An older man who has had feelings for Usha since she was a young child, a family hanger-on who brings her to Bombay to make her famous, then lives off her money, insulting her at the slightest pretext, and using their daughter as a tool to blackmail Usha into staying by taunting her, "Naak ragadtee huyi waapas aaogi!" You will be plagued by Keshav Dalvi's large eyes that are framed in black rings when he looks at Usha. In Bhumika, that is Amol Palekar (1977).
Uncertain Tony Braganza is shocked to learn that his mother has been talking to his girlfriend's mother during the entire movie. After meeting aboard the local train, Tony and Nancy's daily journey turned into a blossoming romance. Basu Chatterjee's love letter to the city, Baton Baton Mein, is set on the Mumbai local train where friendships are still formed and the city where the pair roams (1979). Is Tony Braganza able to live up to family expectations and duties while still getting hitched to the love of his life, or will he cave to his controlling mother? Amol Palekar is that Bandra guy, the suburban role model, and the genuine embodiment of a neighborhood making a valiant effort to preserve its culture.
"The person had to have been born elderly to have a name like Bhavani Shankar! Dear Gardener, Call the elderly guy now. Inform him that Lucky is here "Says swaggeringly the young man with the clean-shaven head wearing a red printed shirt. A memorable comedy is the agony of the elderly guy mistaken for a gardener. Ramprasad Dashrathprasad Sharma is a common guy who attends interviews wearing a kurta and blazer and waxes poetic about the manliness of a moustache while weaving a web of falsehoods to conceal the fact that he went to play a game. Amol Palekar plays the amusing dual character of Ram and Lakshman in Gol Maal (1979).
After graduating from art school and working in banking, Amol Palekar fell into theater when Satyadev Dubey, a theatrical guru, noticed him (mainly hanging around at rehearsals) and asked him if he wanted to be in the spotlight. In the Marathi drama Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe, Amol Palekar had a noteworthy debut (1967). In this play, players arrive early to set up for a tiny theater performance, and their talk about life quickly devolves into character smears and moral judgments. As Amol Palekar came to this realization, he knew he had to form his own theater company and run it his own. Aniket performed outside of traditional settings like theaters, such as in gardens and garages, as well as other open spaces. With his popular production of Sadanand Rege's Gochee, followed by Chal Re Bhoplya Tunuk Tunuk, among others, Amol Palekar carved out a place for this avant-garde method of theater.
Amol Palekar was "discovered" as the Everyman by film filmmakers Basu Chatterjee, Basu Bhattarcharya, and Hrishikesh Mukherjee when they were watching plays. There remained a sizable, unfilled area for the Everyman while Amitabh Bachchan, Shatrughan Sinha, and Rajesh Khanna each contributed their unique brand of celebrity to Bollywood. There were tales to be told about the decent person who attempted to lead a life of tranquility and buried his head in the face of his everyday hardships. He did experience romance throughout his life.
He played Arun, who was left paying the check at a restaurant as the flamboyant Nagesh interrupted his alleged date with Pratibha in Chhoti Si Baat (1976). ("Make sure you come to the restaurant at one, or else it gets too crowded," he had told her over the phone). Filmmakers aspired to depict the mundane details of daily life, or chhoti si baat, in their narratives, and Amol Palekar did it to perfection. We are informed that you are the main character in your own life, yet in reality, we identify more with Arun than with Bachchan's irate young man who beats up the bullies.
The Hindi film industry produced stories of retribution for the big screen, and the average person ate it up, fantasizing of becoming Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan). But, there was plenty of room for tales like that of Sudeep (Palekar) and Chhaya (Zarina Wahab), who invest in a home after saving money, only to discover that the builder has vanished with the cash. People still recount tales of a Gharaonda (The Nest, 1977), the desire to construct one's own nest, and aspirations dashed by opulent builders who con the common man because they are so ageless. These were the real-life accounts of us regular people that were displayed on a large screen to give us a sense of being seen and heard.
This Everyman was brought to life on film by Amol Palekar. And precisely when he ought to have celebrated his accomplishments (as Rajkummar Rao and Ayushman Khurrana have done today), Palekar gave up acting to focus on directing movies. He was followed by the spotlight there as well. His first Marathi film, Akriet (1981), and his first Hindi feature, Daayraa (1996) both received positive reviews. India's submission for the Oscars in 2005 was Paheli, starring Shah Rukh Khan. The television series that Palekar produced, including Kachchi Dhoop (1987), Mrignayani (1991), and Paool Khuna (1993), were well-received by both reviewers and viewers.
My particular favourite, though, is Bhinna Shadja, a great documentary about an odd character (2013). No fan of Indian classical music can dispute the distinctiveness of Kishori Amonkar's voice or the passion she brought to her performances. Kishori Amonkar's nearly faultless music made up for every occasion where she was late or upset with the audience for whispering throughout the performance. It is impossible to recreate the feat of being able to capture every expression and little aspect of this remarkable artist.
But if you sat back and took it easy, would you still be Amol Palekar? You have to admit that the man still has the scintilla vitae, or spark of life, in him when you watch him in the Amazon Prime series Farzi. He has had not one, but seven art exhibitions. Palekar is so terrific in his role as Shahid Kapoor's grandfather that we care just as much about preserving the printing press as his grandson does in Farzi. In addition, Palekar will soon be seen in the Disney+ Hotstar movie Gulmohar, which stars Sharmila Tagore, Manoj Bajpayee, and Suraj Sharma from the Life of Pi.
We've only just started to follow Amol Palekar's career as an artist, and he's unstoppable. appears in Farzi as an elderly guy, but if you search for him online, you'll find stories of his romancing Utpal Dutt's daughter and outwitting him. For years, people have tried to categorize him, but each time, he just vanished and then resurfaced in a different image.
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