‘Anhonee ko honee kardein, honee ko anhonee . . .’ (We make the impossible possible and the possible impossible . . .) The line leading the title song of the blockbuster Amar Akbar Anthony sums up the magic of Manmohan Desai, the master entertainer whose desire to please his public made his name synonymous with success during much of his career in popular Hindi cinema from 1960 to 1988.
In Enchantment of the Mind: Manmohan Desai’s Films, Connie Haham delves into the director’s work and analyses some of his cinematic signatures—speed, fun, adventure and delight, alongside a devotion to motherhood and a stance in favour of interreligious harmony. His cinema is fondly remembered for its many catchy tunes and for characters brought to life by leading stars from Raj Kapoor to Amitabh Bachchan. Lending extra magic to this book is Manmohan Desai’s own account of a life dedicated to cinema—a medium he wielded artfully to depict both struggle and affirmation of life.
About the Author
Connie Haham encountered Indian cinema in Paris in 1979. Since then, she has written on Hindi popular cinema for magazines and newspapers in India, France, and the United States. Fascinated by Manmohan Desai’s films, she decided in the early Eighties to get to the root of their everlasting appeal. In 1985, when the Pesaro Film Festival in Italy showcased Indian cinema, she was invited to speak on Manmohan Desai. In 1987, she was a consultant for ‘The Miracle Man: Manmohan Desai’, a programme that appeared in the ‘Movie Mahal’ series, directed by Nasreen Munni Kabir for Channel 4 in Great Britain.
Connie Haham has also written and spoken on the dialogues of writing team Salim-Javed. She has taught English as a foreign language in Paris, France and in Austin, Texas. Presently she divides her time between Paris and Austin, with regular dips into the enchanting world of Hindi cinema.