Bollywood and its Christmas connection
Hindi cinema is full of stereotypes. Like the Christian community is generally depicted as the one high on drinks and parties. On Christmas Day, we pick those rare delightful Christian characters, which brought a smile to our lips.
Amar, Akbar, Anthony (1977)
My name is Anthony Gonsalves -- the song conjures up images of a charming and boisterous Amitabh Bachchan leaping out of a giant Easter egg to announce his identity to the world. The popular tune was composed by music directors Laxmikant-Pyarelal. It is said that Pyarelal paid tribute to his violin teacher, Anthony Gonsalves through this number. Till date Bollywood buffs recall Manmohan Desai’s lost and found saga with this number and Bachchan’s nonsensical blabbering in English was a must-have item for mimicry artists for a long time. The character became so popular that men began sporting the colourful vests and the metal cross worn by Bachchan in the film, irrespective of their religion.
Baaton baaton mein (1979)
Set in Bandra, the film had the backdrop of a Christian home, that was somewhat stereotypical but the irreverant humour was a delight. Rosie Perreira (Pearl Padamsee)) is an anxious widow who wants her daughter Nancy (Tina Munium) to marry at the earliest. Tony Braganza (Amol Palekar) is introduced to her on the train as they commute to work. A simple story of love conquering all odds, Baaton Baaton Mein stood out with its lovely songs and earnest performances. Who can forget Leela Mishra as Aunt Philomena?
With a taboo topic of that time like pre-marital sex, Julie was a film ahead of its time. Based around an Anglo-Indian family, the film even had a full-fledged English song My heart is beating sung by Preeti Sagar. The film also dealt with religious prejudices that exist between communities. A movie that dealt with the issue sensitively and without making any judgements.
Anand (Rajesh Khanna) suffers from a life threatening disease. The hospital matron Mrs Dsa (Lalita Pawar) is a strict disciplinarian but his free-spirited nature brings out her maternal feelings. Their bond slowly transforms into a relationship akin to the mother-son kind. This added to the emotional drama made by Hrishikesh Mukherjee.
Remember Bobby’s (Dimple Kapadia) Goan Christian fisherman father, Jack Braganza (Prem Nath). His loud and affectionate nature and his joie-di-vivre made him an instant hit. Who can forget the timeless Goan number Ghe re sahiba that was performed with much aplomb?
It’s all in the name
>> O Maria in the 1985 film Saagar depicted a fun Catholic wedding where lead actors Kamal Haasan and Dimple Kapadia are teasing the newly weds.
>> Zinda Toh Hai from Mansoor Khan’s Josh portrayed the entire Goan Carnival scene.
>> Haiya Haiya Ho -- A fun song in Khamoshi where Annie (Manisha Koirala) is in a celebratory mood.
>> Julie Julie, Johnny ka dil tumpe aaya Julie from Jeete Hain Shaan Se was a popular song picturised on Mithun Chakraborty and Mandakini.
>> Salman Khan and Lara Dutta gyrated on Maria Maria Senorita Maria in the 2007 comic caper Partner.