Mr. India (1987 film)
|Directed by||Shekhar Kapur|
|Produced by||Boney Kapoor|
Javed Akhtar (lyrics)
|Edited by||Waman Bhonsle|
|Distributed by||Narsimha Enterprises|
Mr. India is a 1987 Indian Hindi-language superhero film directed by Shekhar Kapur, based on a screenplay written by Salim-Javed. It stars Sridevi and Anil Kapoor in the lead roles. Amrish Puri, Ashok Kumar, Satish Kaushik, Ajit Vachani and Sharat Saxena are featured in supporting roles.
The film was the second highest-grossing Indian film of 1987 after Dharmendra's Hukumat 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 (Amrish Puri) is a brilliant yet insane retired Army General whose goal is to conquer India. From his remote hidden island, he monitors all the evil-doings perpetrated by his henchmen. All of his subordinates know the formal salute "Hail Mogambo!", emphasising his complete authority over his minions. Arun Verma (Anil Kapoor) 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 (Satish Kaushik). Arun is seldom able to make his ends meet, and owes many debts to the local food merchant Roopchand (Harish Patel), and also he has to pay the landlord Maniklal (Yunus Parvez), much overdue.
In spite of these problems, Arun tries to look on the bright side of every situation. As time goes by, Calendar reminds Arun that the cost of running the home continues to rise. Arun decides to rent out the room on the first floor by placing an advert in a local newspaper, whereby a young girl, Seema Soni (Sridevi) becomes his first tenant. Seema is a journalist by profession and prefers the solitude and quiet location. However, when she sees that orphaned children are housed in the same location, she confronts Arun for an explanation. Hence, they get off to a rocky start, but Seema eventually becomes friends with everyone and is very kind and compassionate person. Arun falls in love with her.
One day, Arun receives a mysterious letter from a family friend, Dr. Sinha (Ashok Kumar), 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 to and immediately hatches an action plan to get the device. With the directions in the letter, and accompanied by his ward Jugal, enters his late father's old laboratory and finds the wonderful and unique device. The device is in the shape of a gold watch worn on the wrist. When it is activated, it makes the wearer invisible to the naked eye. This invisibility is pervasive except for one flaw: when red light is focused on the wearer, the person becomes visible. Arun and Jugal decide to keep this device a secret between them.
After a few months as a tenant, Seema accidentally comes to know about a lavish party hosted by an acquaintance – Daaga (Sharat Saxena) and Teja (Ajit Vachani), whereby 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. Thereafter, Seema falls in love with her rescuer, though not attracted to his civilian alter ego. Arun keeps his identity as Mr. India secret a few more months from everyone, including Seema. Unfortunately, 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 dearest charge, Tina finds such a toy and takes it resulting in her death. After this sad event, 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 drop two children into a pit of acid; but because Arun has lost the device by dropping it accidentally somewhere during the capture, he cannot become invisible to prove himself. Frustrated, Mogambo temporarily sends them into the dungeons.
However, they are all able to escape miraculously. While in the outside world, Mogambo activates four ICBMs, which are poised to destroy all of India. When Arun finds out about this, he confronts him, and the two fight. When Arun has overcome Mogambo, he deactivates the launch which culminates in the missiles detonating on the launch pad. Arun, Seema, Calendar, and the children escape, while Mogambo's fortress is destroyed. Mogambo dies inside the big fireball caused by the explosion of the missiles on the launch pad. During a celebration of Mogambo's defeat, Gaitonde desperately 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
- Karan Nath as orphan
- Ramesh Deo as police officer
- Ahmed Khan as orphan
- Aftab Shivdasani as orphan
- Huzaan Khodaiji as Tina (orphan)
- Sameer as Jugal (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||"Kaante 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.
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 March 2012, reports gave out that the film will be titled Mr. India 2 and features Anil Kapoor and Sridevi reprising their roles from the original film. Boney Kapoor also announced that Salman Khan and Arjun Kapoor had also joined the cast in negative roles. Sridevi and Anil Kapoor will reprise their roles and the movie may be directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. Mr. India 2 is to be shot in 3D. Filming has not yet begun, and as of March 2013, it is in the scripting stage.
The idea for the sequel was shelved following the untimely demise of Sridevi on February 24, 2018 (Citation Needed).
- The movie is also referred to in the Indian comedy movie Andaz Apna Apna. Shakti Kapoor plays role of Gogo, who is shown to be Mogambo's nephew.
- The movie is a recurring reference in the ongoing Indian soap Madhubala - Ek Ishq Ek Junoon, which airs 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, Superstar Rishabh Kundra (a.k.a. RK) 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 film was also remade in Tamil as En Rathathin Rathame, starring K. Bhagyaraj and in Kannada as Jai Karnataka, starring Ambareesh. Recently, it was also adapted into a web series on YouTube by DK Films titled Mr.India - First Invisible Superhero.
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