Mr. India (1987 film)
Theatreical Release Poster
|Directed by||Shekhar Kapur|
|Produced by||Boney Kapoor|
Javed Akhtar (lyrics)
|Edited by||Waman Bhonsle|
|Distributed by||Narsimha Enterprises|
|Box office||₹100 million ($7.72 million)|
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. 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. The Mogambo character is also considered to be one of the best villains in Bollywood history. 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. 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. Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan were offered the lead role, but they turned it down as they could not relate with the invisible hero. 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.
- Sridevi as Seema Soni
- Anil Kapoor as Arun Verma/Mr. India
- Amrish Puri as Mogambo
- Satish Kaushik as Calendar
- Annu Kapoor as Mr. Gaitonde, the Newspaper Editor
- Sharat Saxena as Daaga
- Ajit Vachani as Teja
- Ashok Kumar as Professor Sinha
- Anjan Srivastav as Baburam
- Bob Christo as Mr. Wolcott
- Harish Patel as Roopchand
- Yunus Parvez as Maniklal
- Ramesh Deo as police officer
- Gurbachan Singh as Captain Zorro
- Uday Chandra as Raman, College Student
- Karan Nath as orphan
- Ahmed Khan as orphan
- Aftab Shivdasani as Jugal (orphan)
- Huzaan Khodaiji as Tina (orphan)
|Soundtrack album by|
|Genre||Hindi Film Soundtrack|
|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).
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.
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. 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
Described by Rediff as "one of the most iconic films of its time", it became one of the highest grossing hits of the year it also found a place in Hindustan Times list of 'Top 10 Patriotic Films of Hindi Cinema'. While the trade famously joked that the film should have been named Miss. India, Rediff also stated that "Sri was a complete show-stealer in the film". 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". 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". The famous "Hawa Hawaii" dance was cited by Times of India as "one of the unforgettable numbers of Sridevi", it also became a popular nickname for the actress. Besides comedy, Sridevi gave Hindi Cinema one of its sexiest rain songs in the film's chart-buster "Kaate Nahin Kat Te", where Filmfare described Sridevi as "truly a goddess in a blue sari", while iDiva described the song as "unparalleled in Hindi Cinema". 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". The song "Kaate Nahi Kat Te" was chosen by NDTV as the most famous rain song in Bollywood, 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
- 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).
In February 2012, it was announced that producer Boney Kapoor is planning a sequel to Mr. India. 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. Shekhar Kapoor had expressed displeasure at the idea of sequel.
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