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