The cult of Dilip Kumar

Published on March 13, 2015 14:53:46 PM
Satyajit Ray, that redoubtable auteur of India, in a rare burst of admiration remarked that considering the dearth of natural emoting actors in India,Dilip Kumar was an exception and was arguably the 'greatest method actor  India has a produced in our times'. And this aspect is proved by the precision and astonishing perseverance with which   Dilip Kumar chose his roles in his eventful career where he worked with the finest filmmakers of Hindi cinema like Bimal Roy, Mehboob khan, Tapan Sinha, Hrishikesh Mukherjee.

He was dubbed as 'The King of Tragedy' generally but his roles, rather to say ,his experiments in  roles in many genres like comedy in films like Kohinoor, Ram aur Shyam, prove his versatility. But in his own words, hechose only those roles of which he could "seep through the skin of the character" he playsThis is a trait of the Hollywood 'method acting' of which, movie pundits rate Marlon Brando as the greatest method actor.

This has been proved by Dilip Kumar not once but in each of his movie .For example, for a horse carriage sequence in the movie Naya Daur, he actually learnt and drew the carriage in the village where the shoot was taking place. Again in Kohinoor, he learnt the sitar for three months, for a 3 minute song sequence in the film, where he played a young musician who woos the audience of the royal court with his singing and playing of the sitar.

Even in   his later years as a seasoned veteran in the filmdom, he  starred in films like karma, Kranti with new crop of actors like Amitabh bacchan and his juniors like Raj Kumar, giving stellar performances in roles which suited his age. Every generation of actors in India, including Hindi film stars, have openly owed their debt of learning a lot about the art of emoting dialogue delivery from observing Dilip Kumar. The recent award of Padma Vibhushan is but one among many laurels he won. But he would remain as, what his legion of fans call him as Abhinay Samrat (King of Histrionics)