Rishi Kapoor’s Top 12 Movies

         As the lover boy is defeated by killer cancer, the man who lived life king size, he leaves behind a void that will find replacements by necessity and not necessarily by talent. For a person with amazing screen presence and blue blood one would have thought that he would have belted hits every time he went to the box office. He did not. Here is a list of a dozen Rishi Kapoor films worth seeing even if you have already done it:

  1. Mera Naam Joker: This magnum opus from Raj Kapoor bombed at the box office. Too long or filmdom politics is a moot question.  The music to date remains memorable. Made in three parts, Rishi is only in the first and watch that part surely.  This is a case of coming events casting shadows before.
  2. Bobby: This is the grand announcement of the arrival of the Mein Shayar to nahiadolescent. Bobby got the RK banner back to vitality and relevance. A watershed film. This is perhaps the first major RK film without SJ. Notice however the LP numbers and you cannot but remember SJ. Rishi and Dimple had a brilliant screen chemistry and justifiably rewrote the semantics of romance.
  3. Doosra Aadmi: A revisit to 40 Carats that talks about love and attraction defying age and social norms.  Made by Yash Chopra camp it was directed by Ramesh Talwar. The elderly lady (Rakhee) is reminded of her ex fiancé (Shashi Kapoor) when she meets her new employee (Rishi). The relationship does not find acceptance from the employee’s wife (Neetu). I would have loved to see Sharmila do the job but then it was from the Yashraj camp!!
  4. Saagar: Ramesh Sippy travels from the rough terrain of Ramgarh to the sophisticated aristocracy in Goa. If you thought Chiffons and romance is the copyright of Yash Chopra see the style of Ramesh Sippy!! The cast was a coup. Dimple returning after a matrimonial sabbatical and Kamal Hassan at his dramatic best and a fine contrast to the suave Rishi is a love triangle with the unforgettable cinematography of Romesh Bhalla.
  5. Khel Khel Mein: An interesting whodunit which has RD Burman giving you some amazing foot taping music. Shailendra Singh again returns as the ghost voice for Rishi in Humne tum ko dekha but it again is an album dominated by the winning combo of Asha Kishore. A pure unadulterated entertainer.
  6. Karz: The Reincarnation of Peter Proud with the usual Bollywood twist.  Again, music is central. This time LP. Even the needless kamal hai Kamal hai is hummable. Tina and Rishi make for a cute pair. Simi Garewal and Durga Khote add grace. Also, Subash Ghai before he went overboard.
  7. Ek Chadder Maili Si: Written by Rajinder Singh Bedi this is the time when Hema Malini marries Rishi Kapoor, her brother in law. Made in Punjab about a custom where the brother in law marries his widowed sister in law, Rishi has Hema and Poonam to share screen space. Obviously, he had reasons to shine!! A serious film.
  8. Amar Akbar Anthony: This super-duper hit from Manmohan Desai displays an energetic Rishi sharing cinema space with legendary Big B. With two exclusive songs on him and Rafi entering the magic zone of qawwalis, this is an eternal entertainer and a medical no brainer.
  9. Aurangzeb: Another cast heavy film. Rishi Kapoor shares screen space with the amazingly talented Prithvi of Malayalam cinema. A crime thriller doing the usual law vs unlawful. Rishi turns out a negative performance and even wins the IFFA award in this film which also has a sincere Arjun Kapoor and Swara Bhasker.
  10.  102 Not Out: This is his last outing with Big B. This time clearly a better performance. While in films like Ajooba, AAA, Naseeb, etc., when made with Big B as the main actor, this time the two-share equal screen space.  While Bachchan goes a tad over the top in this 2018 release, Rishi as a septuagenarian is perfect.
  11.  Agnipath: This is menacing Rishi Kapoor. Yes, it has Hrithik Roshan as the lead star and Sunjay Dutt as the main villain. The most compelling performance is from the guy who had hitherto carved a niche for himself as the good – nay the good‘est’ guy, plays the role of a villain with consummate ease.
  12.  Mulk: This Anubhav Sinha film is a must see for multiple reasons. Most performances in the film are near perfect and Rishi surely does put in a false step in the entire narrative on polarisation and hate politics. Not surprisingly yet again this brilliant performance gets a thumbs up from the cineaste and a cold shoulder from the “experts” who distribute awards. 

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