A biopic on legendary actor and playback singer Kishore Kumar has been announced. Rang De Basanti scriptwriter Rensil D’Silva will write the script, so the signs are good that the film will be excellent. Rensil won’t need to think too hard, however, for in a sense Kishore Kumar wrote his own script.
Though he died young (at the age of 58 of a heart attack), there are enough anecdotes about his eccentricities and adventures to make a really great flick. He was married to four very beautiful women – Ruma Devi, Madhubala, Yogita Bali and Leena Chandravarkar — so there will be glamour. His manic knockabout, energetic practical joking personality will ensure comedy. His wonderful voice that graced a thousand films will ensure music and gaiety and dance – and the tragedies he had to face and overcome will tell their own story in the second half.
For 20 years in the 50s and 60s, he had been one of Bollywood’s top three male playback singers. He had always wanted to be a singer but at first, the Bengali-born minstrel was persuaded by his brother Ashok Kumar to try his hand at acting. He made a string of riotous comedies, completely dominating the movies with his massive personality. Hopefully, the biopic will recreate some of his greatest scenes including: New Delhi, Aasha, Jhumroo and Half Ticket.
Kishore sang for all leading actors in 1970s, including Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Dev Anand, and Rishi Kapoor. He was known as a difficult personality on set, sometimes outrageously generous but at the same time extremely careful about making sure he was paid to the exact penny for his services in advance — once making a show of walking out on a major production towards a waiting taxi because the director didn’t have the money he’d promised ready for him in cash.
A movie about a man who had a sign on his door saying ‘Beware of Kishore’, should be a film to be remembered. But who could possibly take on this role…we will have to wait and watch.