Mr. India (1987 film)

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Mr. India
Mr. India 1987 poster.jpg
Theatreical Release Poster
Directed byShekhar Kapur
Produced byBoney Kapoor
Written bySalim–Javed
Music byLaxmikant–Pyarelal
Javed Akhtar (lyrics)
CinematographyBaba Azmi
Edited byWaman Bhonsle
Gurudutt Shirali
Distributed byNarsimha Enterprises
Release date
  • 25 May 1987 (1987-05-25)
Running time
179 minutes
Box office₹100 million[2] ($7.72 million)[3]

Mr. India is a 1987 Indian superhero film directed by Shekhar Kapur, based on a screenplay written by Salim–Javed. It stars Sridevi and Anil Kapoor . Amrish Puri, Ashok Kumar, Satish Kaushik, Ajit Vachani and Sharat Saxena are featured in supporting roles.

The film was the highest-grossing Indian film of 1987 and remains a cult classic in India.[4] The film was known for several of its lines and songs, including Sridevi's "Miss Hawa Hawaii" performance, and Amrish Puri's quote "Mogambo khush hua" ("Mogambo is pleased"), which is one of the most famous quotes of Bollywood and became synonymous with Puri.[5] The Mogambo character is also considered to be one of the best villains in Bollywood history.[5] Laxmikant–Pyarelal's music performed well too, especially the song "Hawa Hawaii", which is very popular till today. The film has often been featured in different lists of top Bollywood films. Indiatimes Movies ranks the movie amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films.[6] This was the last film that the writing duo Salim-Javed wrote together. They had split up earlier in 1982, but came back for one last film.

On the centenary of Indian Cinema, Mr. India was included amongst one of the 100 Greatest Indian Films of All Time.[7] Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan were offered the lead role, but they turned it down as they could not relate with the invisible hero.[8][9][10] Sridevi, who was already the highest paid Indian actress of the era was paid a then unprecedented ₹11 lakhs to play the female lead, which was the highest ever paid to a woman during that period.


Mogambo is a brilliant, yet insane retired Army General whose goal is to conquer all of India. From his remote hidden island, he monitors all the evil-doings perpetrated by his henchmen. His catchphrase "Mogambo khush hua" (Mogambo is pleased); and the line "Hail Mogambo!" used by his subordinates shows his complete authority over his minions.

On the other hand, Arun Verma is an orphan, a street violinist and philanthropist who rents a large, old house in which he houses ten orphaned children and takes care of them with the help of his cook/caretaker Calendar. Arun is seldom able to make his ends meet, and owes many debts, so he decides to rent out the room on the first floor. Seema Soni, his first tenant, is a journalist who eventually becomes friends with everyone and Arun falls in love with her.

Arun receives a mysterious letter from a family friend, Dr. Sinha, which reveals that Arun's late father – who was a renowned scientist – had created a device that would make its user invisible. It still needs to be patented and because Arun was the one and only son, it was his responsibility to complete the protocols and sign the paperwork for it. Arun saw this as an opportunity and immediately hatches an action plan to get the device. With the directions in the letter, and accompanied by his ward, Jugal, Arun enters his late father's old laboratory. When the device is activated, it makes the wearer invisible unless red light is focused on the wearer. Arun and Jugal decide to keep this device a secret.

After a few months as a tenant, Seema accidentally comes to know about a lavish party hosted by an acquaintance, and she performs a song under the guise of a famous Hawaiian dancer who is unable to make it to the party. After the performance, she is imprisoned by criminals who think she is a spy and she is nearly killed, but Arun comes to rescue her, styling himself as an invisible person introducing himself to her as "Mr. India". He warns them not to vacate the orphans. Seema falls in love with her rescuer. Arun keeps his identity as Mr. India secret a few more months. One day Arun uses the device to trick one of Mogambo's henchmen, who report the incident to their leader, foiling his criminal plans. Thereafter, Mogambo has bombs disguised as toys, planted in public places. Arun's youngest and favorite charge, Tina, finds such a toy and takes it resulting in her death. Arun, Seema, Calendar, and the surviving children are all captured by the henchmen as prime suspects and brought for interrogation before Mogambo. Mogambo tortures them so that they reveal Mr. India's true identity and the location of the invisibility device. Arun eventually admits to this when Mogambo threatens to kill two children; but because Arun has lost the device by dropping it accidentally somewhere during the capture, he cannot become invisible to prove himself. Mogambo temporarily sends them into the dungeons.

However, they are all able to escape by cleverly stealing the keys from a guard. Meanwhile, Mogambo activates four ICBMs, which are poised to destroy all of India. Arun confronts him, the two fight and Arun gains an upper hand. But as he is about to stop the missiles, Mogambo warns that everyone present here will die if Arun tries to stop the missiles. Arun, nevertheless, deactivates the launch which culminates in the missiles detonating on the launch pad. Arun, Seema, Calendar, and the children escape; Mogambo's fortress is destroyed. Mogambo dies inside the big fireball caused by the explosion of the missiles on the launch pad.

During the ensuing celebration, Gaitonde asks Arun the identity of Mr. India which Arun refuses to reveal, much to Gaitonde's dismay.



Mr. India
Soundtrack album by
Released1987 (1987)
GenreHindi Film Soundtrack

The Music was composed by the veteran duo of Laxmikant–Pyarelal, while Javed Akhtar penned the lyrics to the songs which were quite popular.

Track # Song Singer(s)
1 "Hawa Hawaii" Kavita Krishnamurthy
2 "Karte Hain Hum Pyaar Mr. India Se" Kishore Kumar, Kavita Krishnamurthy
3 "Kaate Nahi Kat Te Din Yeh Raat" (I Love You) Kishore Kumar, Alisha Chinai
4 "Zindagi Ki Yahi Reet Hai" (Sad) Mohammad Aziz
5 "Zindagi Ki Yahi Reet Hai" Kishore Kumar
6 Parody Song Anuradha Paudwal, Shabbir Kumar

The parody songs include the songs "Pyaar Mein Sauda Nahin" – (Bobby) "Chaahunga Main Tujhe Saanjh Savere" – (Dosti) "Saavn Ka Mahina Pavan Kare Shor" – (Milan) "Ek Pyaar Ka Nagma Hai" – (Shor) "Tere Mere Beech Mein Kaisa Hai Yeh Bandhan Purana" – (Ek Duuje Ke Liye) "Dhafli Waale Dhafli Baja" – (Sargam) "Mera Naam Hai Chameli" – (Raja Aur Runk) "Khilona Jaan Kar Tum To" – (Khilona) "Jhootha Hai Tera Vaada, Vaada Tera Vaada" – (Dushman) and Om Shanti Om – (Karz).[12]


The film's screenplay was written by Salim–Javed (Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar). Akhtar was inspired by the Jasoosi Dunya series of Urdu novels by Pakistani author Ibn-e-Safi. Mogambo, played by Amrish Puri, is based on villains from the Jasoosi Dunya series.[13]

Mr. India has plot devices similar to two earlier Bollywood films. The invisible man plot device is similar to Mr. X (1957), starring Ashok Kumar.[14] The protagonist taking care of a large number of orphaned children while countering the antagonist was seen in Brahmachari (1968), starring Shammi Kapoor.

Reception and legacy[edit]

Described by Rediff as "one of the most iconic films of its time",[15] it became one of the highest grossing hits of the year[2] it also found a place in Hindustan Times list of 'Top 10 Patriotic Films of Hindi Cinema'.[16] While the trade famously joked that the film should have been named Miss. India,[17] Rediff also stated that "Sri was a complete show-stealer in the film".[15] Sridevi's iconic imitation of Charlie Chaplin in the film was described by Times of India as "the most hilarious act she has ever done".[18] Rediff also featured Sridevi in its list of 'Super Six Comic Heroines' stating that "her mobile face expressions could give Jim Carrey sleepless nights" and that "her biggest plus point is her ability to be completely uninhibited in front of the camera".[19] The famous "Hawa Hawaii" dance was cited by Times of India as "one of the unforgettable numbers of Sridevi",[20] it also became a popular nickname for the actress.[21][22] Besides comedy, Sridevi gave Hindi Cinema one of its sexiest rain songs[23] in the film's chart-buster "Kaate Nahin Kat Te", where Filmfare described Sridevi as "truly a goddess in a blue sari",[24][25] while iDiva described the song as "unparalleled in Hindi Cinema".[26] Rediff also featured the song in its list of "Top 25 Sari Moments" praising Sridevi's "ability to look erotic even when she's covered from head to toe".[27] The song "Kaate Nahi Kat Te" was chosen by NDTV as the most famous rain song in Bollywood,[28] and Box Office India states that with the success of Mr. India, Sridevi "continued her domination" over her contemporaries Jaya Prada and Meenakshi Seshadri.

Theme park attractions[edit]

Mr. India – The Ride is a motion simulation ride at the Imagicaa theme park in Khopoli, Maharashtra, India.[29][30]

Popular culture[edit]

  • The film is referred to in the Indian comedy movie Andaz Apna Apna . Shakti Kapoor plays role of Gogo, who is shown to be Mogambo's nephew, in it.
  • The film is a recurring reference in the ongoing Indian soap Madhubala – Ek Ishq Ek Junoon , which aired on Colors channel. Since the soap is partly a tribute to 100 years of cinema and Bollywood, there are various references to Bollywood films and influences. Mr India , in particular, is a great favourite with the protagonists, Rishabh Kundra and his wife Madhubala, and is used recurrently to depict the bond between them. In Baa Bahu Aur Baby , an Indian comedy drama, the phrase Mogambo is often used as a nickname to refer to the main character's mother-in-law.


The movie could not be awarded that year since no award ceremony took place in the years 1987 and 1988. However, in 2013, Sridevi, the lead actress of the film, was given the Filmfare Special Award for her performances in Mr. India as well as Nagina (1986).


The film was also remade in Tamil as En Rathathin Rathame, starring K. Bhagyaraj,[31] in Kannada as Jai Karnataka, starring Ambareesh and in Sinhala as Sinhaya starring Ranjan Ramanayake.


In February 2012, it was announced that producer Boney Kapoor is planning a sequel to Mr. India.[32] In 2020, Zee Studios announced that they have signed Ali Abbas Zafar for directing the planned trilogy. The film is in scripting stage and no actors are signed as of February 2020.[33] Shekhar Kapoor had expressed displeasure at the idea of sequel.[34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lal, Vinay; Nandy, Ashis (2006). Fingerprinting Popular Culture: The Mythic and the Iconic in Indian Cinema. Oxford University Press. p. 77. ISBN 0-19-567918-0.
  2. ^ a b "Box Office 1987". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 12 October 2012.
  3. ^ "Official exchange rate (LCU per US$, period average) – India". World Bank. 1987. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  4. ^ "Boxoffice India: Top grossers of 80's". Archived from the original on 5 November 2011.
  5. ^ a b Top 20 Villains of Bollywood
  6. ^ Kanwar, Rachna (3 October 2005). "25 Must See Bollywood Movies". Indiatimes Movies. Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  7. ^ "100 Years of Indian Cinema: The 100 greatest Indian films of all time". CNN-IBN.
  8. ^ "Rajesh Khanna: 10 facts only a real fan would know". NDTV. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  9. ^ "Nation remembers Rajesh Khanna on his 71th [sic] birthday". post.jagran. 28 December 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  10. ^ "Amitabh Bachchan was to do Mr India initially". Rediff. 28 December 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2007.
  11. ^ Yadav, Sidharth (23 December 2016). "A date with Calendar!". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  12. ^ "Original songs of Mr India parody". Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  13. ^ Singh, Jai Arjun (14 May 2011). "From Where Javed Akhtar Drew Mogambo". OPEN Magazine. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  14. ^ Mr. X (1957), retrieved 18 February 2019
  15. ^ a b "PIX: The Changing Faces of Sridevi". Rediff.
  16. ^ "Top 10 Patriotic Films". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 9 August 2013.
  17. ^ "Ladies First?". Archived from the original on 22 January 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  18. ^ "Top 10 Sridevi's avatar". The Times of India.
  19. ^ "What do Sridevi, Kajol and Preity have in common?". Rediff.
  20. ^ "Magic of 'Mr India' is still on". The Times of India.
  21. ^ "Hit Shakers". The Sunday Tribune.
  22. ^ "Sridevi Kapoor Biography". Oneindia.
  23. ^ Times of India. "Top Bollywood Rain Songs".
  24. ^ Filmfare. "Rain over me!".
  25. ^ Times of India. "Top Hot'n'Sexy Songs".
  26. ^ iDiva. "10 Rain Songs We Love".
  27. ^ Rediff. "Top 25 Sari Moments".
  28. ^ "Your favourite rain songs".
  29. ^ "Mr. India – The Ride". Imagicaa. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  30. ^ Gaekwad, Manish. "Searching for Bollywood at the Imagica theme park, we ran into Mogambo". Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  31. ^ "Kollywood: Ms. Indias and Ms. Worlds – I". Indiaglitz Tamil. Archived from the original on 5 March 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-05.
  32. ^ 3D sequel of Mr.India
  33. ^ "Mr India 2: Shekhar Kapur Doesn't Believe There's Another 'Mogambo' in the World". News18. 23 February 2020. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  34. ^ "'Mr India 2' announcement: Shekhar Kapur lashes out on makers, says 'can only guess that they are using the title to get a big weekend'". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 November 2020.

External links[edit]