Six Degrees of Separation: from Dev Anand to

Dev Anand 6°

… Joan Crawford  
Dev Anand starred opposite a young Simi Garewal (1) in Teen Devian (1965), a film about a modern day poet who has affairs with three women at the same time; one a sophisticated classy lady, one a low income private secretary at a firm, and another sluttish film star, and the three women are aware of the other two and each wants him to make a commitment, and he finds it difficult to decide which one to spend the rest of his life with; Garewal played the rich classy lady, who refuses to go to bed with him until and unless he assures her he is only committed to her, and Garewal in her recent television talk show, Simi Garewal Selects India’s Most Desirable (2011) interviewed modern day pop sensation, who is famous for gaudy unique attire and independent style, as much as for her singing talent, Lady Gaga (2), who in her video, for the songYou and I, featured, the not so famous actor, Taylor Kinney (3), whom she subsequently started dating, and Kinney starred in Zero Dark Thirty (2012), a film directed by Kathryn Bigelow (4), who was the first female director to win the Best Director Oscar, in 2010, for the movie, The Hurt Locker (2008), about a bomb squad unit situated in war torn Iraq, in which Guy Pearce (5) had a small role, and Pearce starred in the American television mini-series, Mildred Pierce (2011), which was a re-make of the classic, Mildred Pierce (1945), and for this original Hollywood version Joan Crawford (6) bagged the best Actress Oscar in 1946.

 … Diane Keaton
Dev Anand played a ‘Musicologist’ in Man Pasand  (1980), which was based on the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (1), as was the Hollywood musical My Fair Lady (1964), where the fair lady in question was played by Audrey Hepburn (2), who starred alongside Albert Finney (3) in Two for the Road (1967); a film which chronicles the ten year relationship of a couple, from it’s roots to marriage with kids to it’s deterioration; all artistically told with a sandwiched timeline, set along the scenic routes of the French Riviera; and Finney starred in Erin Brockovich (2000), which was based on an actual story, exposing a cover up conspiracy by the Pacific Gas & Electric Company, about their illegal toxic waste dumping site, which was poisoning the residents of that area, for which Julia Roberts (4) won her first, and only, Oscar till date, in 2001, and Roberts starred in the rags to riches rom-com, Pretty Woman (1990), which was again like a late 80-isq re-telling of the My Fair Lady story; whereas Hepburn played a slum woman who turned into a Princess, here Roberts played a streetwalker who turned into classy lady; and the suave and sophisticated gentleman responsible for this transformation of thispretty woman, was played by Richard Gere (5), and Gere appeared in Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977), where Diane Keaton (6), played a school teacher by day, and a violent, sexually craving, bar cruiser, by night.

 … Vidya Balan
Dev Anand starred in Paying Guest (1957), which co-starred Nutan (1), who starred in Anari (1959), with Raj Kapoor (2), and Kapoor starred in Andaz (1949), which co-starred Nargis (3), who played the titular role, in Bollywood’s most famous colourful epic till date, Mother India (1957); Mother India to Indians is like what Gone with the Wind (1939) is to Americans, it’s Bollywood’s bible; and Sunil Dutt (4) played her tyrannical  son; during filming of Mother India, the set caught on fire, and Dutt jumped in to save Nargis, she nursed the severely injured Dutt, and they fell in love and married; their son Sanjay Dutt (5), starred in Parineeta (2005), which co-starred Vidya Balan (6), who was a jury member at the ‘Cannes film Festival 2013’ , two months ago.

… Priyanka Chopra
Dev Anand starred with Vyjayanthimala (1) in Jewel Thief (1967), and Vyjayanthimala, starred alongside Raj Kapoor (2) in Sangam (1964), and Kapoor’s brother Shashi Kapoor (3) appeared in Deewaar (1975), which co-starred his close friend Amitabh Bachchan (4), whose son, Abhishek Bachchan (5) acted with current Bollywood A-list female star, Priyanka Chopra (6) in Bluffmaster! (2005).

 … Olivia Hussey
Dev Anand played a man who works as a guide, falls for a married woman, and later has spiritual awakening, in Guide (1965), which was based on the novel The Guide, by R.K. Narayan (1), and in the Broadway adaptation of which, from late 60’s, Pakistan (British-India) born British actor, Zia Mohyeddin (2), played the lead role in, and Mohyeddin starred in The Assam Garden (1985), which co-starred Deborah Kerr (3), who played a nun in Black Narcissus (1947); yet another colourful film filmed in the Indian Himalayas, in North East India, and released in May 1947, almost three months prior to India’s Independence from the British; in which British actress Jean Simmons (4) played an Indian girl called ‘Kanchi’, and Simmons later starred in a May/December romance alongside Leonard Whiting (5), in Say Hello to Yesterday (1971), who starred in the best adaptation of Romeo and Juliet (1968), with an under aged Olivia Hussey (6) playing ‘Juliet’.

… Denise Richards
Dev Anand starred in Return of the Jewel Thief (1996), which co-starred Anu Aggarwal (1), forty-odd years his junior, who appeared in Aashiqui (1990), now the sequel, Aashiqui 2 (2013) stars Aditya Roy Kapoor (2), who came in the comedy Action Replayy (2010), which, directed by Vipul Shah (3), was a Bollywood remake of the cult-classic, Back to the Future (1985), which happens to be Michael J. Fox’s (4) most popular film till date, who starred in the sit-com Spin City (1996- 2002), and when J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, as his illness intensified and found it difficult to continue working on this series, semi-retired in 2000, he was replaced by Charlie Sheen (5), who was at one time married to Denise Richards (6).

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()