15 May, 2021

Clangorous Liaisons

A filmy confection starring Nargis, with Raj Kapoor and Sunil Dutt in smaller roles. Good nose for scandals too.

Clangorous Liaisons
Raj Kapoor was not a nice man to know. He made a fool of himself when he was drunk. He promised Nargis that he would marry her and in the meantime he produced two more children with his wife. She was his partner in R.K. Films, but it was his role that was the focal point of all his films. In the end, in Jagte Raho, Nargis was given only 10 minutes of film time. We know he cheated on his wife, but he cheated also on his mistress. Raj Kapoor had a feudal attitude towards women. He often showed them falling at the feet of their men or taking the occasional slap.

Nargis and Raj Kapoor acted together in 16 films between 1948 and 1956. He would not allow her to act opposite anyone else, especially Dilip Kumar, of whom he was intensely jealous. Mehboob Khan, who discovered her, wanted her for the lead in Aan but her lover did not allow it. In that respect, Sunil Dutt, her husband, was no better. He would not let her work opposite established actors like Dev Anand. Towards the end of her career she had to be cast opposite second-rate actors...

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