3 – « Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman » of Aziz Mirza (11/13/1992)

Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman is the first film of SRK that should have been released in theaters.
SRK plays the title role, Raj Mathur, and we follow him in his dreams of greatness in Bombay.
He is accompanied for the first time by Juhi Chawla, alias Renu, with whom he has gone on to form, on several films, one of the most appreciated pairing couples by the public thanks to the naturalness and the affinity they exude.
We also see Nana Patekar in the role of Jai who is, for me, the keystone of the movie.

For me, the whole point of the movie is to understand what someone has to put aside to move forward in life, but also those and the values someone has to choose and keep close when one wants to have an happy life (and not « succeed in life », which makes a huge difference).

To become the great engineer he wants, Raj must leave his native Darjeeling and his childhood friends to go to Bombay and look for a job in a big company.
After some setbacks, he ends up being hired in a large architectural firm but it doesn’t go exactly as planned.
Bribes and poor workmanship quickly become his daily life and we see the innocent young man from the start locking himself up in this disconnected world, observing the world (and the workers) from far too high to see that they represent humanity.
However, when he arrives in Bombay, Raj is a young man full of hopes and very close to his god (to whom he addresses with the greatest sincerity and candor) and is very quickly surrounded by faithful and pragmatic friends, falls in love with an intelligent, kind young woman with simpler tastes, in short : good person !

I’ll let you discover Raj’s good and bad choices for yourself, and make up your own mind about which ones could and couldn’t have been made.
For my part, this is what I want to remember from the film :

First, the SRK Juhi couple
Their freshness and naturalness immediately attracts sympathy. We feel the strong friendship that has linked these two actors very quickly and we appreciate, without being able to stop smiling, the energy they bring as soon as they appear on the screen.
This highlights all the more the only scene that’s a little bit « erotic » (yes, seeing it, you will understand that I get carried away a little quickly) : the song « Kehti hai Dil ki lagi » (= « The heart says ») where we see the classic love ballet (not only in Indian films but surely more common in it) of the loving young man imprisoned with desire facing a young woman who tries to somehow stick to her principles.
Nothing will appear on the screen and we doubt that anything will happen between them after this moment but everything is in the suggestion and it is appreciable (especially if we are a little tired of the fast-food of feelings and daring scenes of Hollywood).

This allows me to make the transition with another strong point of the film : its music!
So there are a few tracks that should stay in your mind for at least a few hours (please tell me I’m not the only one !! Smile) like the title song « Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman « (= Raj became a gentleman) which is a celebration of the fulfillment of Raj’s dream (this comes after his hire) and « Kehti hai Dil ki lagi » mentioned above.
But I would also quote « Loveria hua » (= « He caught the love sickness » malaria / loveria … you have it? Laugh). Very catchy, this music illustrates the confession of Raj and Renu of their love in front of their whole neighborhood. It’s a song full of laughter and very communicative enthusiasm !

Finally, I think that we should pay much more attention to the role of Nana Patekar who brilliantly plays what I would describe as a benevolent hawker keen to give, for a few coins, valuable and wise advices to all (more or less young) people who come to listen to him and seek their place in this huge, noisy and dream-carrier city of Bombay.
His lessons regularly punctuate the film, he shows there a charisma that crosses the screen, and we too are fascinated by the actor (And yes, the 4th wall is broken at the start in a suggested way by mingling us with the crowd of onlookers but it is clearly a wish of the director because, at the end of the film, we even have the right to a camera wink !).
Without him, the film would probably not have the same scope as he is the one to point out Raj’s mistakes and miscalculations, to make him aware of the right path (despite very laudable attempts by Renu), and finally always it’s him who will help him pursue it.
In short, as I said in the introduction : for me, the keystone of the film!

Finally, before concluding, allow me to highlight Amrita Singh, delicious and honest Sapna, having innocently fallen in love with Raj and having carried him very (too !) quickly to the top without unfortunately understanding what would await him there.
She still remains his friend right till the end, even after seeing herself rejected, and I find her role quite interesting.

Now, I let you appreciate this Aladdin of modern times: « a diamond of innocence » which loses a little his way but guided by the Genie towards the right path !
Enjoy !

One Comment

  • This is one of the few films of his that i haven’t seen yet, after reading this article, I’m really excited to watch the movie as soon as possible! Bollywood doesn’t make movies on stories like this anymore!

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