Rajiv Kapoor did not do many films in his career but he is still remembered for his solid hit, Ram Teri Ganga Maili.
The actor-director was planning to make a comeback to the movies after a break of three decades, with Ashutosh Gowariker’s production Toolsidas Junior, starring Sanjay Dutt.
Joginder Tuteja looks at Rajiv Kapoor’s journey in Bollywood.
Ek Jaan Hain Hum
No, it wasn’t Ram Teri Ganga Maili with which Rajiv Kapoor made his debut.
In 1983, he made his debut with Ek Jaan Hain Hum, opposite Divya Rana.
The film was directed by Rajiv Mehra, who went on to make Ram Jaane with Shah Rukh Khan.
Ek Jaan Hain Hum had melodious music, but was a box office flop.
Ram Teri Ganga Maili
Two years and three films later, Rajiv debuted in his home production with dad Raj Kapoor calling the shots.
The film, with Mandakini as the leading lady, was a roaring success at the box office.
The music was a chartbuster, the social subject relatable and certain adult visuals managed to go past the censors, hence resulting in cheers for everyone.
In the interim period, Rajiv Kapoor worked in some lesser known films, even though he always worked with either a major leading lady or a known production house or director.
Aasmaan had Tito-Tony (of Mr Natwarlal, Do Anjane and Ram Balram fame) coming together.
Divya Rana returned as a heroine along with Tina Munim.
Lava is best remembered for its chartbuster Dil Kya Hai Ek Sheesha Hai that is remembered till date.
This was one of Rajiv’s better promoted, released and received films.
With Dimple Kapadia and Raj Babbar as his co-stars, Rajiv did well as an actor too.
Incidentally, Anees Bazmee had written this film for film-maker Ravindra Peepat, who later made Waaris.
After Ram Teri Ganga Maili, Zabardast was the biggest film that Rajiv was a part of.
A multi-starrer with Sunny Deol, Sanjeev Kumar, Jaya Prada, Rati Agnihotri and Amrish Puri, it was directed by Nasir Hussain, with Aamir Khan as an assistant director.
R D Burman’s music worked too, but unfortunately, the film flopped badly.
Hum To Chale Pardes
After directing Rajiv Kapoor in Lava, Ravindra Peepat brought him on board again for Hum To Chale Pardes.
An emotional love story with family angle to it, this one saw Mandikini return as Rajiv’s leading lady after Ram Teri Ganga Maili.
Uncle Shashi Kapoor had a pivotal role to play in this film, but unfortunately, the film did not work.
An action entertainer that was adapted from the Hollywood classic Mackenna’s Gold, Zalzala was a biggie that had Dharmendra, Shatrughan Sinha and Danny Denzongpa toplining the cast with Rati Agnihotri, Kimi Katkar and Vijayta Pandit.
A big budget extravaganza, it was a decent entertainer with Rajiv in good form too.
But it did not work.
This was the time when Rajiv was understandably desperate for a hit.
Since snake films were getting popular after the super success of Nagin, he picked Naag Nagin.
It was expected that with the Ram Teri Ganga Maili team of Mandakini and Raza Murad coming together, it would be a good omen.
However, Director Ramkumar Bohra couldn’t make that happen.
In 1990, Rajiv Kapoor was seen in his last film as an actor, Zimmedaar.
It was a much-delayed film, which had started in 1984.
With Anita Raj and Kimi Katkar as his leading ladies, Rajiv had stepped into the action entertainer zone.
Veteran actor Biswajeet was also a part of the film along with Vinod Mehra.
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