Everyone who knows me knows that I love Shammi Kapoor more than any other actor, even SRK. Many people don’t get it, and I can understand why, because I did have to see a few of his movies before it clicked. But once it clicked — it really clicked. I would rather watch Shammi in a bad movie than many other actors in good movies. I am not saying that Shammi didn’t make good movies — he did! he did! but even his bad ones enthrall me.
I simply can’t see too much of him prancing his nimble way through a film. He seems so uncoordinated at first, but you notice gradually how really graceful he is. He can twist and turn his large frame through any number of contortions without losing his balance; he can pirouette along a narrow fence without falling. He flings himself with enthusiasm into every dance and every stunt.
And he is so joyfully and openly enthusiastic and vulnerable as he chases his heroine through the first half of every movie, and so meltingly romantic when he finally wins her. I love that he actually looks like he is singing as opposed to sleep-walking through a lip-synched song. I love his green eyes, I love his nose, I love his smile and his floppy hair.
I love how crazy he is. He is never afraid to look foolish or silly. He has an insouciant little-boy quality that makes you want to forgive him anything. I love his nutty outfits, his loony hats, his weird faces.
Some of my favorite Shammi moments:
The shot of him walking towards the ticket booth in the train station at the beginning of Teesri Manzil; his footwork is just amazing (and in fact impossible to capture in a screen shot but I did my best):
In the same movie, he sings a love song (“Tumne Mujhe Dekha”), secure in the knowledge that his girl has forgiven him when in fact she hasn’t (she’s been duped by bad girl Helen); it breaks my heart, he is so transparently happy, but I know everything is about to come crashing down around him.
In fact, almost all my favorite Shammi moments revolve around a song. He more than anyone else had the ability to make you believe he was singing that song, in that moment, and meant every word from the bottom of his heart. Rafi was the perfect voice for him too. Another favorite is “Ehsaan Tera Hoga” from Junglee:
Lucky Saira Banu! and lucky Mumtaz, too, in Brahmchari:
“Aaj Kal Tere Mere Pyar” is a sizzling dance number, and even at the age of 37 Shammi had no trouble keeping up.
Shammi melts my heart, makes me smile, makes me shake my head, makes me want to dance. What more does a girl need from her favorite movie star?
Updated to add: And when I met him in person he did not disappoint AT ALL! :D