Parveen Babi Birth Anniversary: From Charitra To Deewar And More, 5 Finest Works Of The Late Actress

Unfairly, Parveen Babi was always compared with Zeenat Aman and even labelled the Poor Man’s Zeenat. On her birth anniversary, we look back at her finest performances.

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Parveen Babi Birth Anniversary: From Charitra To Deewar And More, 5 Finest Works Of The Late Actress
Unfairly, Parveen Babi was always compared with Zeenat Aman and even labelled the Poor Man’s Zeenat. In truth, Parveen was a better actress who never got the opportunities that Zeenat  did, never worked with directors  like Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand, and still left  a mark even in the  smallest of roles. Try these for sighs.

1. Charitra(1973):  In her very first film Parveen flung away the image of the typical heroine to play a girl who is compelled to sleep with her father’s creditor who impregnates her and refuses to own up to the child. It took a director of BR Isaara’s unorthodoxy to  launch a  new liberated Hindi film heroine whose charitra was not impeccable  and who shockingly enough indulged in pre-marital sex. From the beginning it was clear PB wouldn’t fit into the typical Sati Savitri mould.

2. Deewaar(1975): PB  did a string  of very successful films with Amitabh Bachchan including Amar Akbar Anthony where she was Jenny, Anthony’s sweetheart. They both emerged out of an Easter egg in the film and captivated  the audience.But my  pick of her  films with AB is Deewaar where she played the liberated unfettered unorthodox Anita who shares bed with no strings attached with Vijay. Her love theme, I am falling in love with a stranger, typified the route that Ms Babi had chosen for her career.


3. Chandi Sona(1977): Sanjay Khan’s  incurably silly treasure-hunt film had a treasurable Parveen Babi in that legendary Cleopatra get-up which  Time magazine saw and put on their cover. Much to the envy of the  other top actresses of the time. This is how Parveen Babi became globally famous. This is the film’s only claim to fame. As she goes on a treasure hunt with Mr Khan, Parveen can actually be seen having a whole lot of fun with her dimwitted part. Ever chic and glamorous we seldom saw her having fun with her characters.

4. Ashanti(1982): Umesh  Mehra’s  Charlie’s Angels with Zeenat Aman, Shabana  Azmi and  Parveen Babi whooping it up in style. Parveen seemed to enjoy the role of a gun-toting, karate-wielding kickass female hero. And this was one film she enjoyed making because there was so sexual tension on the sets. I always  wanted to see this stunning beauty in an action avtar. This was PB’s chance. She grabbed it.


5.  Yeh Nazdeekiyan(1982): 1982 was  an exceptionally busy year for Parveen. She worked with Hrishikesh Mukherjee for  the  first time in Rang Birangi and he  told me  he wished he had  offered her  a more substantial role.  During the same year she   played the Other Woman in three films: Eshmayeel  Shroff’s  Dil Aakhir Dil Hai, J Om Prakash’s Arpan (stealing  Jeetendra  away from Reena Roy, PB was the  ritzy female cowboy) and Vinod Pandey’s Yeh Nazdeekiyan where she  played a hot  model Kiran who steals Shabana  Azmi’s husband  but returns  him  back(sood samet) when  she realizes  she  doesn’t want to be  branded a  homebreaker. Her meatiest part ever, Parveen sank her crooked teeth into it with a wolfish delight. If only she had lived long enough to see sexual liberation hit Bollywood.




Image Source: Instagram/parveen_babifan, youtube/shemaroofilmigaane
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