Anand (Hindi: आनंद, Urdu: آنند) is a Hindi film written and directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and released in 1971. It starred Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan in lead roles; Khanna played the title role. The dialogues were written by Gulzar.
They have a lyrical and poetic touch as the characters of Dr. Bhaskar
Banerjee (played by Bachchan) and the dialogue writer of film, Gulzar,
are poets in the film and in reality.
Indiatimes Movies ranks the movie amongst the "Top 25 Must See
Bollywood Films". It is listed in "Hrishikesh Mukherjee's best films"
compiled by rediff.com.
The story is about Anand Sehgal (Rajesh Khanna), a cancer (lymphosarcoma
of the intestine) patient who believes in living his life to the
fullest. He comes to Mumbai to live his last days there and to meet his
friend Kulkarni (Ramesh Deo). Contrasting Anand is Bhaskar Banerjee (Amitabh Bachchan),
a sober doctor, upset with life and the dark reality of his nation.
Bhaskar's tête-à-tête with Anand makes him notice the colours behind all
the despair and complexity in one's life and teaches him a lesson.
After spreading happiness everywhere around himself and changing the
lives of many, Anand, as destined, leaves them all, which inspires
Bhaskar to write a book on his life.
The film is a narrative, as Bhaskar writes in his diary about his
life before Anand, his first meeting, how his relationship with him
changes from a doctor-patient to a friend and then to a friend for whom
he can do anything, and how a dying man changes his way of thinking to a
Anand was originally supposed to star famous Bollywood actors Kishore Kumar and Mehmood in the lead roles. One of the producers, N.C. Sippy, had earlier served as Mehmood's
production manager. The character Babu Moshai was to be played by
Mehmood. Hrishikesh was asked to meet Kishore Kumar to discuss the
project. However, when Hrishikesh Mukherjee went to Kishore Kumar's
house, he was driven away by the gatekeeper due to a misunderstanding.
Kishore Kumar (himself a Bengali)
had done a stage show organized by another Bengali man, and he was
involved in a fight with this man over money matters. He had instructed
his gatekeeper to drive away this "Bengali", if he ever visited the
house. When Hrishikesh Mukherjee (also a Bengali) went to Kumar's house,
the gatekeeper mistook him for the "Bengali" that Kishore Kumar had
asked him to drive away. The incident hurt Mukherjee so much that he
decided not to work with Kumar. Consequently, Mehmood had to leave the film as well, and new actors (Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan) were signed up.
Film expert and musicologist Rajesh Subramanian opines that the Hrishikesh Mukherjee shot the film in 28 days.
The character of Anand was inspired by Raj Kapoor, who used to call Hrishikesh Mukherjee
as "Babu Moshay". It is believed that Mukherjee wrote the film when
once Raj Kapoor was seriously ill and he thought that he may die. The
film is dedicated to "Raj Kapoor and the people of Bombay".
Later, Anand was remade in Malayalam, with the name Chitrashalabham (Butterfly) starring Jayaram and Biju Menon.