‘Loha garam hai…maar do hathauda’
‘Ye hath nahi…phansi ka phanda ha’
‘Keemat joh tum chaho; Kaam joh main chahon’
These are the iconic dialogues that never grew old, legendary performances that could never be forgotten and an enigmatic persona that will always stay in our hearts. The man who could pull off any role no matter the age, the screen-time, the man who just believed in delivering the most acceptable act to the audiences. Harihar Jethalal Jariwala, or better known as Sanjeev Kumar, was one of the most accomplished, skilled and talented actors in the history of Bollywood. An actor who made audiences root for him despite playing the role of an older man, he was the man who left such a deep impression in the hearts of people when he came out portraying a man who lost both his arms; Thakur is a character that people still reminisce. He was an outstandingly versatile actor who never cared if he was the centre character of the Sanjeev Kumar movies or was playing a character way older than him. No matter what role he portrayed, he ensured that all eyes were on him every time he walked on screen. That was the kind of power Sanjeev Kumar hold.
Best Sanjeev Kumar Movies List
Although we lost such a genuine and fine actor at an early stage, his movies are loved and cherished. The characters he gave to the people are still being carried forward from generation to generation. And on the day of his birthday, let us list down some of the actor’s most admirable movies, where he played such magnificent characters that left a huge imprint in the hearts of audiences.
Sunghursh – 1968
A movie where veterans like Dilip Kumar, Vyjanyanthimala were cast. Sunghursh is a movie based on the story by Maheshweta Devi, where they showed the thuggee culture of the late 70s Benaras. And even after being cast with such mega actors, Sanjeev Kumar delivered great acting, which got him instant recognition. And his performance, along with Dilip Kumar, and the clash between them is still remembered today.
Khilona – 1970
Cast alongside Mumtaz, this movie can bring out deep emotions from the audience. In this movie, Sanjeev Kumar played a man who got traumatized after witnessing the death of a family member and, because of his mental instability, was asked to be taken care of by a courtesan. Sanjeev Kumar dived deep into the character of a man with instability is commendable, and the songs of this movie, like Khilona Jaankar Tum To, are still appreciated.
Koshish – 1972
Again a movie where we got to see the two supreme actors share a screen. Sanjeev Kumar and Dilip Kumar were again seen on the same screen in this movie, where Sanjeev Kumar played a man with a hearing disability. Hands-down one of the best acting performances ever seen on the silver screen, Sanjeev Kumar’s character of a deaf and dumb man falling in love with a woman of similar disability, the way he delivered the emotions of that man, especially the scene where he got to know about his child’s death, can break anyone’s heart. Such stupendously presented the role, Sanjeev Kumar again left audiences shook by his acting.
Manchali – 1973
Just the opposite of the above mentions, Manchali presented a more feisty and hearty rom-com, where Sanjeev Kumar displayed his best in a comic and fun role beside Leena Chandarvarkar. Sanjeev Kumar made people laugh with his excellent comic timing and showed that he is also perfectly capable of presenting a light-hearted character.
Sholay – 1975
What can be said about this ultra-mega starer masterpiece? It is a history on its own, even after 45 years of its release, the kind of impact this movie has, on not just the Indian cinema but in all of the lives, is just terrific. Every dialogue, every action, every song gives you a whole new feeling. And needless to say, Thakur is one the most admired character ever. The strong voice modulation, the deep graved looks, Sanjeev Kumar, gave us Thakur. Although he was not the main protagonist in the movie and played a man without hands, he delivered all of Thakur’s emotions and angst only through his voice and expression.
Trishul – 1978
A movie where Sanjeev Kumar played the father of the actors of the same age, Trishul is a movie where we got to see three dashing actors, Sanjeev Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan and Sashi Kapoor. Sanjeev Kumar played the role of a powerful businessman, Raj Kumar Gupta. This movie taught great deals of how a business needs to be done; Raj Kumar Gupta’s dialogue, Business Akal se Kiya jata hai jazbaat se nahi, truly is a lesson that needs to be learned.
Naya Din Nai Raat – 1974
Featuring Jaya Bachchan, Farida Jalal and Sanjeev Kumar as the leads, this movie truly deserves a big round of applause. This movie is a remake of a south Indian movie called Navarathri. Here Sanjeev Kumar gave a dynamite performance by playing nine different roles. These nine characters all define a man’s different moods as per the Indian art ethos, Navras. He gave out his best portraying such dynamic characters all at the same time. He played a lover, a hunter, an epileptic and many different natured characters. Truly a dynamite acting performance by the legend.
Aandhi – 1975
Most of the time, movies can’t correctly show politics and a love story simultaneously; one of them always ends up suppressing the other. Aandhi was a movie that showed love, politics, marriage, power, human nature, pride, forgiveness, reconciliation. It tells the story of a strong, powerful woman, Aarti, who is ambitious, played by the beautiful Suchitra Sen, who marries J.K, an average hotel manager, played by Sanjeev Kumar. It showed an extraordinary tale of these two people who, despite facing differences, still holds a soft corner for each other.
Shatranj Ke Khilari – 1977
Written and directed by Satyajit Ray, this classic movie, as its name suggests, talks about the cunning political checkmate. It was a genuinely sensational movie, which stood the test of time. Shatranj ke Khilari sums up all the political climates, and if you are interested to know the societies of politics, then this is the movie for you. Although it was set back at the time of nawabs and palaces, it still showed the true nature of how the world of power and governance checkmates the society.
Silsila – 1981
Yash Chopra’s romantic melodrama, released in the 80s, Silsila, was a very controversial story. A story told boldly about an extra-marital affair, this movie, without any doubt, tick off everything on the list if you’re looking for a slow, heated, melodrama with great songs. Sanjeev Kumar played the role of Dr V.K Anand, and a good-hearted, friendly doctor married to Rekha’s character Chandni. The performance and characterization of all the actors in the movie is the real reason why people still remember its taste. And a very heart-melting experience to see Sanjeev Kumar portraying such a charming and loving husband of a woman involved in infidelity. He played it off so gracefully that it ended by connecting the audience’s core. The songs and dialogues in the movie coated with deep meaning truly can touch anyone’s heart.