Filmmaker Ravi Tandon passes away

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Ravi Tandon was a successful and musical filmmaker in the 1970s and 1980s. Photo: Instagram / Raveena Tandon

He was among the more important directors of the 1970s. Ravi Tandon, the man who made Anhonee, Majboor and Khel Khel Mein (which can be called his successful suspense trilogy) died six days before his 87th birthday of lung fibrosis and consequent respiratory failure on February 11.

“You will always walk with me, I will always be you, I’m never letting go. Love you papa,” tweeted his actor-daughter Raveena Tandon Thadani. The filmmaker was known to be a humble, warm and affectionate person and a very professional director.

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His other successful films included the rom-com Jhoota Kahin Ka (1979—there was another abominable movie of that name recently!), the actioner Waqt Ki Deewar and Khud-daar, the ensemble cast family drama top-lined by Sanjeev Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan. Zindagi, a family drama featuring Sanjeev Kumar and Mala Sinha, also was successful. A film that did not make it to box-office glory was Raahi Badal Gaye, which starred Rishi Kapoor in a memorable dual role.

Ravi Tandon’s last production, Ek Main Aur Ek Tu, was released in 1986 and introduced his son Raaj Tandon and actress Ranjeeta’s sister Rubina Nijjar. As a director, his last movie was veteran actress Nanda’s home production, Nazrana, starring Rajesh Khanna, Smita Patil and Sridevi.

Originally an assistant to director R.K. Nayyar on Love In Simla and Yeh Raaste Hain Pyar Ke, he amde his directorial debut with Balidan featuring Manoj Kumar and Saira Banu.

Ravi Tandon is created with conceiving Hindi cinema’s first song shot in a pub, Hungama ho gaya featuring Bindu in his maiden production Anhonee (1973). He revealed to this writer that he had taken composers Laxmikant-Pyarelal, lyricist Verma Malik, his cameraman Ramchandra and choreographer P.L. Raj to Blow-Up, Mumbai’s first discotheque at the 5-star Taj Mahal to get the feel of the place and its music. When the film was released, Shammi Kapoor raved about it to Bindu.

Veteran singer Pankaj Udhas also credits the director with bringing him back to Hindi cinema with Jawaab (1985), over a decade after he had just recorded one film song. The filmmaker was also known inside film music circles for “Ravi Tandon ka theka” (or beat) as he was musically savvy. His music for Anhonee, Apne Rang Hazaar, Majboor, Khel Khel Mein, Khud-daar, Jawaab, Jhoota Kahin Ka and Raahi Badal Gaye are proof of this.

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