Saturday, March 26, 2017

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro: Looking back at the life of Om Puri

Om Puri, an actor who gave countless memorable performances in films of diverse genres, traversing both East and West, passed away yesterday. Café looks back at his body of work and the impact he had on the industry and Goa’s film and theatre fraternity

By | 07 Jan, 2017, 12:23AM IST

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro: Looking back at the life of Om Puri
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A giant of parallel and new wave cinema, Om Puri delivered some stellar performances in ‘Ardh Satya’, ‘Aakrosh’ and ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron’ while being equally at home with Bollywood potboilers and Hollywood movies — the latter of which included gems like ‘East Is East’ and ‘City of Joy’.

The actor, who gave countless memorable performances in movies of diverse genres, died at his residence in Mumbai yesterday morning after a massive heart attack. He was 66.

Born in Ambala, Puri was educated at the National School of Drama and the Film and Television Institute of India. At the NSD, under the tutelage of Ebrahim Alkazi, Puri began to display the talent that made him one of the greatest Indian performers of his generation. With his instantly recognisable rich baritone and chameleon-like ability to transform on-screen, Puri was as at ease playing an angst-laden police officer in ‘Ardh Satya’ as he was in the comic role of corrupt builder Ahuja in ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’.

He was a major face for the parallel cinema movement alongside his contemporaries Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil; working collectively in some of the biggest Indian classics like ‘Bhumika’, ‘Aakrosh’, ‘Sparsh’, ‘Bhavni Bhavai’, ‘Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Ata Hai’, ‘Mirch Masala’, Sadgati’, ‘Arohan’, ‘Ardh Satya’ and ‘Mandi’.

The actor, who starred in around 300 movies, won the National Film Award for best actor for his role as a police inspector in the 1982 film ‘Ardh Satya’. He also received the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India in the year 1990.

After the end of the art cinema movement, Puri shifted to mainstream cinema where he did memorable character roles while continuing to give noteworthy performances in films like ‘Vijeta’, ‘Ghayal’, ‘Droh Kaal’, ‘Maachis’, ‘Ghatak: Lethal’, ‘Chachi 420’, ‘Khoobsurat’, ‘Pukar’, ‘Hera Pheri’ and ‘Dev’.

Puri also appeared in the 2015 Salman Khan movie ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ and teamed up with Salman and Kabir Khan again in ‘Tubelight’, which is expected to release on Eid 2017.

The actor was recently in the line of fire owing to his comments on Indian soldiers following the Uri attack. – PTI