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Bobby (1973)

Of Teenage Romance


Bobby (1973)

Bobby was released on 28 September 1973 and was an instant hit amongst the Young India of the time. Teenage love stories were hitherto unseen on the Indian screens. That too with absolutely fresh faced youngsters actually acting their own age. This movie launched the careers of both Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia in lead roles.

Though it was planned with Rajesh Khanna in mind but as Raj Kapoor who was also it’s Producer and Director and whose Mere Naam Joker had bombed badly on the silver screen, he is said to have not been able to afford Rajesh thus he launched his own son Rishi instead. Rest is now history.

Bobby’s fresh faced stars became the USP of this movie. Indian cinema was looking for fresh faces and they got them here.

The story is about two teenagers coming from two different classes and religions of the society . Raj (Rishi Kapoor) is a son of a rich Hindu businessman Mr. Nath (Pran) and Bobby (Dimple Kapadia) is a daughter of Jack Braganza (Prem Nath) a poor fisherman.

As Bobby’s grand mother has been Raj’s governess in the past so he pays her a visit. The door is opened by Bobby very casually (it is rumoured that the same incident happened to Raj Kapoor in real life when he visited Nargis’ house). It is love at first sight for Raj and as they meet regularly he is reciprocated by Bobby. The difference in the social status is the chasm in their relationship. On Raj’s insistence Mr.Nath invites Braganza to discuss this but it ends up humiliating him. Sensing that their families may never agree; both elope on motorbike (Bobby Rajdoot – as it was popularly referred to after the film’s release).

Mr Nath places an ad in the newspaper offering reward for the whereabouts of Raj. Prem Chopra (Prem Chopra) finds the lovebirds and captures them for the money offered. Fortunately the kids father’s also reach the spot with police in tow and though they rescue them. Fearing separation they run-off again and jump in the waterfall with both father’s following suit and rescuing each other’s kids. And the movie ends with a happy note.

It had many firsts to its credit thus can be called a trend-setter, teenage romance, new faces, superb songs. ‘Hum tum ek kamre mein band hon’ and ‘Jhoot bole kauwa kaate’ were sort of national anthems playing on All India Radio at all times. With all the other songs also chartbusters, it can easily be called a teenage romantic musical.

This film was a blockbuster hit of 1973 and considered as the one of the top 20 grossers of all times. It came at the time when Rajesh Khanna’s magic was wanning and Amitabh had yet to secure the superstar status. Due to Raj Kapoor’s popularity there, it was a huge hit in Soviet Union too and like father making Rishi a star there. The film grossed more money in the Soviet than in India. It’s story was a backdrop for many a clones made in later years.

Bobby is also rated as Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films in many a connoisseur lists. Though it garnered all the top awards at the Filmfare for that year including Best actor, actress, best director, best film, music, supporting actor, actress and other technical awards. Years later in his autobiography Rishi admitted he had paid 30 thousand rupees to get the award.

  • Revisited by PAWAN GUPTA
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