Released in 1979, Hindi movie Golmaal (Deceptive Confusion) highlighted the woes of an Indian man in love with the mustache. Utpal Dutt, as Bhavani Shankar, excels on all counts as he deals with his prejudices and assumptions about men without mustaches.
“I would say a man who doesn’t have a mustache doesn’t have a mind,” says Shankar to a mustached interviewee, who later shaves his mustache and falls in love with Shankar’s daughter. Shankar is thus forced to look at men in a new light; he ultimately decides to let go of his prejudices and his own mustache before he poses for a photograph with his clean-shaven son-in-law.
An actor, director and writer, Dutt brought numerous stories to Indian audiences, and was considered a radical figure in Bengali cinema. Born in Barisal (in what’s now Bangladesh), Dutt breathed his last in Kolkata decades ago. Indian cinema is yet to see an actor as popular, versatile, talented and driven as Dutt, and his passing remains a big loss to movie-lovers across the country.
Photo: Official Utpal Dutt