MUMBAI: Though Rishi Kapoor first appeared before camera for the movie film Shree 420 in 1950s, his first full-scale role was in his father’s Mera Naam Joker in 1970. When filming began in 1968, Rishi Kapoor was 16, and was recruited to play the younger version of Raj Kapoor’s character Raju, a circus clown. As a schoolboy, the tubby Raju has a crush on his svelte teacher Mary (Simi Garewal). Rishi Kapoor’s performance won him the National Film Award for Best Child Artist. In 1973, he had his first lead role opposite to Dimple Kapadia in the film ‘Bobby’ and became an instant hit among the youngsters.
The film was directed and produced by Rishi Kapoor’s father Raj Kapoor and written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas.
The film is one of the lengthiest films of Indian cinema. After Sangam became a blockbuster, Mera Naam Joker was highly anticipated as it was under production for six years and heavily publicized, loosely based on Kapoor’s own life. The film was partly made with the participation of Soviet actors and was partly shot in Moscow. The film’s music, still very popular, was composed by Shankar Jaikishan, for which the duo got their ninth Filmfare award.
Rishi Kapoor played the role of Young Raju, the protagonist in the film.
It needs to be mentioned that ‘The Body’ released in 2019 was the last movie of the popular actor.