Article Hindi

30 years of Mr. India: 10 things you didn’t know about the Anil Kapoor-Sridevi film


The beloved cult classic, with such iconic characters as Mogambo and Calendar, celebrates 30 years today. Here are some interesting anecdotes and stories that you may not know about the Anil Kapoor-Sridevi starrer.

Sonal Pandya

1. The Oscar-nominated Mogambo (1953), starring Clark Gable and Ava Gardner, was the inspiration for the name of one of the most famous villains in Hindi cinema, played by Amrish Puri.

Additionally, Mr India screenwriter revealed that Mogambo’s hairstyle was ‘inspired’ from the Pakistani president Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and the hand salute was taken from the Nazis.

2. For the sequence in which Sridevi becomes Miss Hawa Hawaii to go undercover, Javed Akhtar got her the name of her alter ego from an expression in Uttar Pradesh which was, "Bhai, kahan hawa hawaii ghoom rahe ho?" He changed it from 'Miss Hawa Hawaii from Havana'.

3. During editing, director Shekhar Kapur was unsure about the excessive use of Mogambo’s iconic line 'Mogambo khush hua'. Writer Javed Akhtar convinced him to retain it, saying: "When Kapil Dev hits a sixer over the ground, people will shout 'Mogambo khush hua'. When people play teen patti and they get three aces, they will say 'Mogambo khush hua'.

4. Writing partners Salim-Javed originally wanted Amitabh Bachchan to star as Mr. India. They were inspired by the mahurat shot of a film directed by Pramod Chakravorty (for which Amitabh Bachchan was not present). The shot was done over the audio of Bachchan’s voice. The duo then thought to make a film about an ‘invisible man’.

5. Satish Kaushik, who played Calendar, did double duty on the film as chief assistant director to Shekhar Kapur.

6. During the filming of funeral scene for little Tina (Huzaan Khodaiji), the young child actress couldn’t hold in her giggles when she had to lay still in the coffin. At the film’s reunion in 2015 at the 17th Mumbai International Film Festival, Shekhar Kapur revealed, in a pre-recorded interview, that he asked Huzaan’s mother if they could give her baby calpol to get her to sleep. When the rest of the cast, especially the young kids and Sridevi, saw her motionless during the scene, they couldn’t help but cry real tears.

7. Sanjay Kapoor, the youngest brother of Anil Kapoor and producer Boney Kapoor, was often present during the filming of Mr. India and because of his similarity to brother Anil was used as a stand-in. In one scene, Sanjay can be seen walking off, wearing Anil Kapoor’s clothes, after feeding the poor and hungry people.

8. The special effects of Mr India were created by stunt coordinator Veeru Devgan and special effects coordinator Peter Pereira using a Mitchell cameraman.

9. An unknown actor was cast as the scientist who introduces the special formula to Arun Verma (Anil Kapoor). Eventually, veteran actor Ashok Kumar was cast because the makers felt the information would be better coming from an experienced and familiar face.

10. The song, ‘Hawa Hawaii’, sung by Kavita Krishnamurthy, begins with a lot of gibberish words, names and phrases thrown in together by lyricist Javed Akhtar. When he was stuck at one point, he happened to see the word ‘Mombasa’ written on the shirt of Ashok Thakeria, a producer and friend of Boney Kapoor, who was present to watch the film’s shooting.