Raj Kapoor's Mera Naam Joker was a film made way ahead of its time: Randhir Kapoor

Devansh Sharma

Dec 15, 2016 17:12:02 IST

To commemorate the 92nd birth anniversary of the legendary filmmaker Raj Kapoor, the screening of his classic Mera Naam Joker was held in Mumbai on Wednesday, 14 December.

 Raj Kapoors Mera Naam Joker was a film made way ahead of its time: Randhir Kapoor

Rajiv Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Kseniya Ryabinkina and Randhir Kapoor. Sachin Gokhale/Firstpost

The screening was preceded by a panel discussion that involved the legend's three sons — Rishi, Randhir and Rajiv Kapoor. They were joined by Ksenia Ryabinkina, the Russian actor who was also a part of the cast of Mera Naam Joker. She shared how Raj Kapoor's films are still a rage in Russia not only because Mera Naam Joker had a lot of Russian actors but also because of the universal appeal of the stories.

Kapoor's eldest son and actor Randhir stated that Mera Naam Joker was a widely misunderstood film in India which is why it proved to be a box-office disaster. The people at that time perceived a joker as a mere object of laughter and were disappointed that the film did not make them laugh.

But Randhir clarified that the film was philosophical at its core and it got its due decades after its release. The film bounced back with time and went on to become a classic after the Indian audience got exposed to world cinema.

Randhir Kapoor's younger brother and acclaimed actor, Rishi, who also made his debut in Mera Naam Joker, put on record that he owed his performance in the film to his father. He recalled how he was 'signed' for the film on the dining table after his mother Krishna Kapoor gave her consent to Raj for casting him as the younger version of Raj's character in the film. Rishi contained his excitement but rushed to his room after dinner and started practising his autographs to celebrate his big break.

The three Kapoor brothers also shared how Raj's conversations were limited to cinema, and that too, only his cinema as he was not even aware of the films being made by his contemporaries.

Mera Naam Joker may not have been appreciated in 1970 but its eventual rise to the classics proves that the film was way ahead of its time. It captures the journey of a selfless entertainer extremely well and essentially personifies that 'the showman' Raj Kapoor was all about.

Updated Date: Dec 15, 2016 17:12:02 IST