‘Uunchai’ of friendship in Hindi Cinema: Rajshri Films’ Dosti To Amitabh Bachchan’s Dostana

'Uunchai' of friendship in Hindi Cinema: Rajshri Films' Dosti To Amitabh Bachchan's Dostana thumbnail

While the observance of International Friendship Day started in 2011 after UN General Assembly decided to commemorate friendship among the nations on July 30, since then our country has been observing the first Sunday in the month of August as friendship day.

Though friendship in India dates back to the ancient times of Lord Krishna and Sudama, Bollywood, supposed to be the custodian of Indian traditions and culture, put the friendship Saga on the silver screen in black and white.

Silver Lining of Friendship on Silver Screen

It was 1964. Rajashri Productions released the film Dosti. With no popular star cast, the Rajashri banner film did wonder.

Though the movie was based on friendship, ‘Chahunga Main Tujhe Saanjh Savere’ sung by the legendry Mohammad Rafi, is an evergreen song that still is found in the music playlist of music lovers, ‘Mere Dosti Mera Yaar’ by legendry Rafi Saab became the classic cult of friendship songs in the country.

The movie directed by Satyen Bose with no big stars, Sudhir Kumar Sawant and Sushil Kumar Somaya, the film raked a moolah in box office counters. The film put the sacredness of friendship on a high pedestal. The Silsila of flicks on Dosti started since then.

After Dosti, films with friendship titles were Dostana (1980) and Yaarana (1981). Evergreen classic films like Anand, Zanjeer, Sholay, Yaarana and Dostana to contemporary flicks like Dil Chahta Hai, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Rang De Basanti, 3 Idiots, Fukrey, Gunday or  Veere Di Wedding with the theme of friendship dominated the shows.

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Anand Movie PosterAnand Movie Poster

Starting from Dosti to the recent RRR, Indian movies have portrayed the silver lining of friendship on the silver screen as a tribute to the most sacred relationship without any blood connection.

Amitabh Bachchan: Towering the Yaarana

Sholay’s ‘Yeh Dosti Hum Nahi Todenge’ featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra, which portrayed the friendship saga of the duo still remains the ‘Friendship Anthem’ even after several years. Even Zanjeer’s ‘Yaari Hai Imaan Mera Yaar Meri Zindagi’, Dostana’s ‘Salamat Rahe Dostana Humara’ and Yaarana’s ‘Tere Jaisa Yaar Kahan’ still remain the Torchbearer of the theme of Indian friendship of yore.

While the Millennium star has multiple times come up with such movies that portray the importance of friendship. Now again after years, Hindi filmmakers have entrusted Big B to continue carrying on the load of friendship on his shoulders with Anupam Kher and Boman Irani. 

On the occasion of Friendship Day, BigB shared a poster announcing his upcoming movie. The text on the poster read, “Friendship was their only motivation”, while, the Shaarabi actor captioned the poster: “Celebrate #FriendshipDay with the first visual of our upcoming #Rajshri film #Uunchai. Join me, Anupam Kher and Boman Irani on a journey that celebrates friendship. A film by Rajshri Films and #SoorajBarjatya, will be in a theatre near you on 11.11.22.”

T 4369 – Celebrate #FriendshipDay with the first visual of our upcoming #Rajshri film #Uunchai. Join me, @AnupamPKher and @bomanirani on a journey that celebrates friendship. A film by @rajshri and #SoorajBarjatya, @uunchaithemovie will be in a theatre near you on 11.11.22

— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) August 7, 2022

All these facts clearly define that it’s not just action, romance or any other themed movie, Big B still remains the torchbearer of friendship in the Indian Cine Industry. 

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Rajshri- The Entertainer Royale

Established in 1947, Rajshri Productions came up with its first movie Aarti which was critically acclaimed. Next it was Dosti that went on to become a box office success and clinched National Award. 

Several more successful and critically acclaimed movies were made under the banner between the 1960s and 1980s. The list of movies include Uphaar, Geet Gaata Chal, Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se, Chitchor, Dulhan Wahi Jo Piya Man Bhaye and Saaransh.

However, towards the end of the 1980s, when the home video revolution in the 80s hit Bollywood, Rajshri was on the verge of closing down. Due to home video, people no longer visited cinema halls to see films, they watched at small video halls. They started running three shows like the film halls but at half of the ticket price.

Then it was Salman Khan and Bhagyashree’s musical teenage romance, Maine Pyar Kiya, that saved the company from closure. The movie marked the debuts of Sooraj R. Barjatya and Bhagyashree and B Town got its new blockbuster actor. The blockbuster ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ revived its fortunes and, since then, Rajshri didn’t look back. 

Maine Pyaar Kiya Movie PosterMaine Pyar Kiya Movie Poster

Salman followed up the success of Maine Pyar Kiya with Rajshri blockbusters ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun’ and ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’. ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun’ remains one of the highest-grossing releases in the Hindi Film Industry.

Friendship Day in Retrospect 

The proposal of observing  Friendship Day was done by Hallmark Cards founder Joyce Hall in 1938. He proposed the idea to hold it on August 2. The 1st Friendship Day was celebrated in 1958, much before the UN declaration in 2011.

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People in Asian countries observe it in August.

However, people lost interest in celebrating and thought it was a ploy by greeting card owners to give a boost to their card business.

India celebrates the first Sunday of August as Friendship Day.

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