There was a time when Bollywood movies were placed in simplicity. These movies were woven around trivialities of daily life. Jaya Bachchan was one of those faces who could easily blend into these stories. The actor had just the right amount of vulnerability and gumption for portraying next-girl-door characters. Long before they became classics, films like Abhimaan and Mili were the chief staple of audience’s daily entertainment dose. Jaya’s impressionable, unsophisticated act in Guddi was rooted in innocence. The actor had no problem in spanning a variety of roles. Jaya’s silent and gloomy mood in Silsila had its own voice. As the actor is celebrating her 69th birthday today, we take a look at five of her finest works:
Abhimaan: If you revisit this Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s 1973 film, there’s a little voice that squeaks inside you – they don’t make films like these anymore. The film has an irreparable male and female dynamics. In Jaya, we see a woman straddling two different worlds of career and domestic life. She is torn between ambition and love. Jaya lent great depth and force to this character. If Amitabh’s grim anger fueled the narration, Jaya’s silent suffering navigated the story to its destination.
Mili: In yet another Hrishikesh Mukherjee movie, Jaya scoops out enough moments to shine. If you ever revisit this film, take a moment and observe, how Hrishikesh has woven a great romance between two neighbours residing in the same building. Mili was above all a great romance. It takes its flight in small, needy, dense conversation between Jaya and Amitabh’s characters. Unlike other romantic flicks, the film doesn’t have many songs. Still, it soars high on their chemistry. Their stolen, silent glances speak as much as Jaya’s chatter with her neighbours.
Chupke Chupke: Jaya has a small part in this yet another Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s classic. The film had Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra and Sharmila Tagore. Jaya yet again charms her way into audience’s heart with her effervescent. As a young biology student, Jaya had spark and spunk in great amounts.
Silsila: In this Yash Chopra multi-starrer, Jaya held her own. She played the on-screen wife of Amitabh Bachchan. It’s endearing to see Jaya suffering silently, holding onto her dignity even as her husband is madly in love with Rekha’s character. Jaya is devoid of any glamorous quotient, yet doesn’t falter to put forth her beliefs.
Koshish: Jaya seldom emoted through her face and eyes, and this came handy to her when she played a physically challenged woman in this classic. The movie has Jaya and Sanjeev Kumar playing a deaf and mute couple as they fight against bigger odds of conflicts, pain and struggle in their marital life, as they try to carve out a niche for themselves in the stereotypical society.