It all started when my sister and I were watching Biswajit and Rajshree cavorting in Do Dil (1965). They both played such vanilla-smelling
dumb sweet and simple characters, with nary a bright spot between them, that I couldn’t help but compare them to Mr. Bingley and Jane Bennett (if you haven’t read Pride and Prejudice yet, what are you waiting for?). Once Jane and Bingley were cast, it was absolutely essential that we cast the rest of the leads too! Naturally, that meant we had to pause the film while we debated the relative merits and demerits of our choices. Here’s how it went…
Sis: But who will be Darcy? Dharamendra is the best romantic leading man in the 60s, but he wouldn’t do arrogance very well. And he was kind of thin in '65.
Me (hesitantly): Rajendra Kumar?
Sis (dubiously): Yeah. Maybe. Who else? If it were the 50s, Ashok Kumar would be the best. He was so charismatic and such a good actor. But Dadamani was too old for Darcy in the 60s.