Raj Kapoor's, "Bobby" (1973) has become one of the pivotal movies
of Bollywood cinema. The film's catch phrase was "A Teenager's Love
Story" and it was a runaway hit at the box office. It created a sensation
and fashion phenomenon within the emerging middle class youth culture
of India. With it's hip clothes worn by Dimple
Kapadia and the motor scooter driven by Rishi
Kapoor, suddenly teen fashion was on the forefront with an emphasis
on a 'ready to wear' look. Designer Bhanu Athiaya's outfits for Dimple
Kapadia's character, the film's heroine Bobby with her short
chintz minis, checks,
polka-dots, and flowing
scarves all created fads that swept the nation. The 'liberated'
clothes of the West had been a part of India's teenagers for years but
"Bobby" elevated the definitions of style bringing middle class hipness
to a new level making youthful sexiness and rebellious looks daringly
acceptable. A teenager may not be risqué enough to wear Dimple's
polka-dot 'Ellie May'
short blouse but she would definitely be bold enough to wear a flowing
scarf in her pony tail as a sign of 'Bobby' camaraderie.
More about "Bobby" can be read in the links and Photo's
from the film can be viewed in the Gallery
The story of "Bobby" was nothing new. Rich man's son
falls in love with a 'fish mongers' daughter and against parental adversity
the teenagers prove that 'love conquers all'. What is astounding about
this film is the freshness of the performances by the two lead actors,
Dimple Kapadia and Rishi Kapoor. There is a compelling magnetism about
the naive portrayals of Dimple and Rishi amid the baroque sets and melodramatic
histrionics that is hypnotizing. "Bobby" belongs on the same
niche as the best of Douglas Sirk's 'woman's weepies' Hollywood melodramas.
I've put together a gallery of 40 DVD captures from the film.
These captures were put together with an emphasis on the 'Bobby' style.