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  Govinda     (Filmography)     (Reviews)
  Govinda Born Dec 21

From Virar a suburb on the outskirts of Mumbai, came a boy who chose to step out of his middle class surroundings and try out his luck among the arclights and greasepaint of Bombay film industry. Govinda was the second child, Keerti Kumar being his elder brother. His father, who made film posters, chose to live away from the family, so it was Nirmala who solely raised the children and so Govinda always had a deep regard for her. So much so that he always made it a point to reserve a seat for her in the local train whenever she would have to travel at rush hour from Virar to Dadar to attend lectures on spiritual courses. This once even led to fisticuffs when the seat that he reserved for his mother was occupied by somebody else. He requested the gentleman to vacate it for his mother. When the man refused to do so Govinda played a hero in real life and beat him black and blue. He was taken to the railway police but was released on bail. "That was the most violent fight I have ever had in life!" he said.

Govinda's ear for music comes from his mother who was a good singer too! She has always been his source of inspiration and she was the one to encourage him to try his luck in films. And thus began his journey as an actor...

The young lad's tremendous enthusiasm spilled out on the screen and he was noticed and liked in his first movie - Love 86. But it was his dance numbers in Pehlaj Nihalani's Ilzaam that cemented his reputation as a fantastic dancer in the industry.

An honest open face, a lithe body and his penchant for comic scenes and more important his street-smart performance was what made him the man of the masses during the 80s. But wanting to appeal to the classes Govinda for the first time attempted to play a serious role in Keerti Kumar Hatya. The film met with success at the box-office consolidating his credentials as an actor. It was during this time that he lost his heart out to Neelam. In fact Govinda had gone on record to say that na´ve girl like her was a misfit in the industry. By then it was an open fact that he loved her. His mother wanted him to marry Sunita. She wanted him to keep his word on the ground of principle. And Govinda had to let Neelam go.

The 90s also saw Govinda go berserk signing any which movie. Most of the movies in 1991 and 92 sank without a trace. Then came Hum with Amitabh Bachchan, Rajnikanth and Danny Denzongpa and suddenly things were working out for him. Also, David Dhawan's Shola Aur Shabnam with Divya Bharati brought him back to the fore. The film became a hit and since then duo have not looked back and have done numerous films like Aankhen, Coolie no 1, hero no 1, Saajan Chale Sasural and Bade Miya Chote Miya.

But it was in 1995 when David Dhawan waved his magic wand that Govinda was reinvented as the master comedian from Aankhen to Saajan Chale Sasural. The perfect comic timing, his duels with his co-star and bete noire in his films Kader Khan and the David Dhawan sitcom formula made him the entertainer he is now. Amitabh Bachchan falls for his charm and the Bade Miyan Chote Miyan team sets the audience rolling in the aisles. He teams up and holds his own with Anil Kapoor in Deewana Mastana and Sanjay Dutt in Haseena Maan Jaayegi.

Govinda is a statement in himself. His outrageous dress sense is the talk of the town. He is success personified. His natural ebullience and terrific screen persona lends his particular charm to Mirinda's Zor Ka Jhatka Zar Se ads. He even cuts an album that meets with average success. BBC On-line lists Govinda as one of the ten most popular actors in the world. In 1997 he won a Special Filmfare award for Saajan Chale Sasural and followed it up the next year with a Special Videocon Screen award from Jury for overall performance!

It's no wonder that Govinda delivers such outrageous situations and portrays absurd character with such conviction for usually his filmi comic persona have been inspired by real life characters. "I model my performances on people I know, for instance my role of Chacha in Haseena Maan Jaayegi is inspired by a neighbour in Virar. The village bumpkin in Aankhen is based on Dilip Kumar's Ganga Jumna - I have adopted his gait as well as the Bhojpuri dialect for that part and then funniest one is the suspender-sporting, funny act in Gambler which I have based on my cousin Karan, who used to be a mama's boy when he was younger. In Coolie No. 1, I mimicked our servant's husband, Pandu. In Sajan Chale Sasural I copied the mannerisms of Kayum, a man from my village. And in Hero No. 1, I am Ramchandra Bhajiwala and I used the get up of a famous vadapav-wala from Dadar Mama Kane."

The man who danced to Sarkailo Khatiya has been trained in classical music and is well versed in Sanskrit. A very religious person he quotes the Vedas at the drop of the hat. But the quotes that have been appearing in film magazines off late are of him and Rani Mukherjee. The actor it seems is serious about the Kya bolti tu girl so much so that Sunita had recently given him an ultimatum. To keep her doubts at rest the actor even floated his own production company to be managed by her. But it seems like lady luck is eluding the entertainer no 1 as things do not seem to be going in the right direction for him. Hopefully soon the actor will regain it all.

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