The Curious Case of Alok Nath

Friday, March 6, 2009

I am not sure how many of you have watched or would want to admit watching the Barjatya marriage fares. Amidst all the good people who painted the picture of a happy family in Rajshri’s films, there are two characters that have become their trademark – Prem (the lead protagonist) and the doting uncle/father. The character of Prem changed hands between Salman, Hrithik, Abhishek and Shahid Kapoor but the uncle/father has been essayed by one man who has long been ignored in Bollywood chit-chats – Alok Nath!
Expression 1: Smile

I regard him as the true heir to fill the void created by A.K.Hangal’s retirement. Just as Hangal breathed life into the submissive, sympathetic, old chacha type roles right from his childhood, Nath has left an indelible mark playing the modern avatar of Bhishma Pitamah, Dashrath and all fatherly figures that draw a parallel from their mythological counterparts. The fact that he has survived in the industry for over 25 years with the same set of expressions and demeanor is praiseworthy.

With so many ‘father’ roles to his credit in Bollywood, Alok Nath is the front runner for being awarded with the title of Male Nirupa Roy in reverence. Alok Nath started quite early in Bollywood while he was in his late 20’s unlike Hangal who started at 40. Don’t be amazed to know that he started off as a hero opposite the sultry Tina Mumim in the erotically titled Kamagni. It takes a lot of doing to resurface as the idealistic father material after a start such as Kamagni but the guy did it.

Yes, that's Alok Nath about to kiss the forehead of the heorine in a non-fatherly way

He gained fame with TV Series Buniyaad (1987) where he played a patriarch at the age of 30 and later Maine Pyaar Kiya (1989). He was around 9 years older than Salman and all of 32 when he played a father to a 20 something Bhagyashree. Incidentally he was 14 years younger than Amitabh when he played Amitabh’s father in Agnipath (1990). He then never looked back. Alok Nath took to playing Bauji roles with a vengeance. His ability to flash that sugary sweet smile non-stop and maintain a bald plate with a paunch on which you could draw half the world stood him in good stead and helped him gain acceptability.

There were minor aberrations in films like Bol Radha Bol (1992) where he turned the bad guy but quickly corrected himself with the Kaka type roles like the one in Rajshri’s magnum opus Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (1994). He understood the fact that people didn’t want to see him change. He remarked in an interview:

“When I played a villain in ‘Bol Radha Bol’, people remarked why have they made such a good man play a negative role? How do you think a director will take the courage to try something different with me again? This way Alok Nath will remain a ready-made father.”

Expression 2: Emotional

Just as Hangal’s image of the Maulwi Chacha breaking the Sannata in Sholay lingers in our minds to date, Alok Nath’s string of acts as the loving father will also find a place somewhere in the history of Hindi Cinema. There will be a day when people will see beyond the frozen expressions of the man to see the actor who overcame an actor's monotony to keep on doing what people wanted him to.

“Again I play the father. I want to play a villain. But no one wants to cast me in a negative role. I wish I were as good in real life as I'm constantly made to be on screen” - Alok Nath.


Anonymous said...

I have read the post but before I do so I have one request. Please change the title to "The irritating case of Alok Nath". I hate that dumb-looking, aptly-named, dope and overacting slob.

Sensible Garbage said...

Alok Nath serves his punishment through the roles he performs :) Let him live with the pain that reflects in the quote that he makes regarding the roles he gets. I will certainly put more thoughts into the titles from now on :-P

Anonymous said...

I agree with the anonymous comment 1 that Alok Nath with his melliferous smile and overacting makes me vomit. He is so much into overacting that he looks false. Besides playing the same role tells everthing about his acting "talent".

ajaysss said...

Alok Nath's Fake smile is one of the the biggest tragedies of bollywood. he (So called) acts Juss to survive in the Industry thats it.

bollywoodking said...

so bad...

barrodem said...

alert('barrodem is here to well come.');

Custom Search

Lorem Ipsum

  © Blogger templates Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP