Scene from Bobby

Film Fridays: Bobby (1973)

Trailer

Technically, this video is a summary. I couldn’t find the trailer online.

Review

Bobby was one of the biggest Hindi films of 1973. Starring Rishi Kapoor (Raju) and Dimple Kapadia (Bobby), the film has all the elements of a blockbuster: teenage angst and rebellion, lovers separated by their families, beautiful Kashmiri mountains, and an incredible motorcycle chase sequence.

Raju is the scion of a wealthy Bombay family who returns home from boarding school a stranger to his parents. He meets Bobby at his birthday party as their eyes lock across a crowded room. It’s love at first sight, at least for Raju. Although Bobby—the grand-daughter of Raju’s nanny—soon falls for Raju, the star-crossed pair face family opposition to the unequal, intercaste match. To thwart the match, Raju’s father decides to marry Raju to the daughter of a prominent Hindu businessman. But, Raju fights for Bobby, a Koli East Indian Christian.

The lovers quarrel after a misheard conversation, and the audience is whisked away to beautiful Kashmir as Raju attempts to win Bobby back. After being accidentally locked in a room together, Raju and Bobby are reunited.

Although Bollywood films often extol the virtues of a love match in favor of arranged matches, the lovers must always receive parental consent. The male protagonists often go to great lengths to achieve this approval. In Bobby, however, Raju rebels against this tendency and rejects his father’s disapproval of the match. The lovers run away, facing thugs and steep cliffs as they seek a refuge for their love. A motorcycle chase ensues that forces the lovers to consider suicide as an alternative to being separated by the cruel fate of an arranged match. Will the lovers survive? Will their parents see that their children’s happiness is more important than money or status?

During the chase scene, Bollywood baddie, Prem Chopra makes an appearance as himself. Keep an ear out for one of the most famous Hindi film dialogues at 35 seconds into this clip:

Prem naam hai mera, Prem Chopra.

My name is Prem, Prem Chopra.

This phrase is so famous that Chopra’s biography bears that dialogue as its title.

Songs

Hum tum ek kamre mein band ho

Even the song’s title is suggestive: You and I both locked in a room. Yet, somehow everyone remains chaste.

For those interested in Bollywood family history, Rishi is the father of Ranbir Kapoor, one of Bollywood’s hottest actors. The resemblance is evident in this clip.

Naa Chahoon Sona Chandi Naa Mangoon

Most Westerners don’t understand that the so-called spontaneous Bollywood dance sequences usually take place during a wedding or other festivity, when people are expected to dance. Often, the lead characters play the roles of bride and groom, as a foreshadowing of their eventual marriage.