Bobby (1973)

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The year 1973 saw the release of another film that would go on to become a smash hit, and one that would virtually set the template for the Bollywood 'love story'.

Previously introduced in his father's film Mera Naam Joker, Bobby was the movie that rocketed Rishi Kapoor to fame. The movie sees a young rich man Raj, neglected by his parents, returning home from boarding school to celebrate his 18th birthday. During the party, he sees a girl and is instantly infatuated by her but later learns that she is the granddaughter of a woman who was once his nanny. The girl's name is Bobby, a Goan, Catholic and daughter of a fisherman. The two meet and the infatuation soon turns into fully blossoming love. The troubles for the young lovers really start when Raj's parents find out. However, the young lovers opt to die rather than be separated and plunge a raging river. But they are saved - Bobby by Raj's father and Rag by Bobby's father. They resolve their differences and the film has a happy ending.

After the disaster of Mera Naam Joker, Raj Kapoor had faced serious financial problems and this film became his life line. The film demonstrated not just teenage love and sexuality, but also what Indian parents have to do to keep their kids happy. It also dealt with intercaste love and made the audience think - although it was not shown in the film, the lovers later get married. The songs - especially 'Hum Tum Ek Kamre Mein Band Ho' (You and I Are Locked in a Room), which showed some sexuality, and 'Eh Phase' (You Are Stuck) - proved to be very popular with audiences, many of whom danced and whistled in the cinema stalls. The movie also introduced a new male playback singer, Shailendra Singh. But what also made the film more interesting was the conflict between Raj's father and Bobby's father and the way that they resolved their differences.

Due to the financial difficulties that Raj Kapoor faced, the actors Pran, a good friend of Raj Kapoor's, and Premnath, Raj Kapoor's brother-in-law, who played the roles of Raj's and Bobby's fathers respectively, worked for free.

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