MUMBAI — The trailer of “Khaali Peeli” which translates as “Without any reason” or “Just like that” has dropped, and there is a pun on the term “Kaali-Peeli,” which is the name given to Mumbai’s famous black and yellow cabs, as Ishaan Khatter plays a Mumbai cabbie in the thriller. Ananya Pandey and Jaideep Ahlawat play key roles here.
From Dev Anand to Ishaan Khatter, here are Hindi cinema’s favorite on-screen “Kaali-Peeli” drivers. Here’s presenting 5 famous films in which the cabs and their drivers played key roles:
1. Dev Anand in “Taxi Driver” (1954)
Chetan Anand’s “Taxi Driver” starring Dev Anand as a do-gooder cabbie charmed by Kalpana Kartik, even as he falls for nightclub performer Sheila Ramani was a bumper musical hit with S.D. Burman evergreens led by “Jaayen To Jaayen Kahaan.” During its shoot, in a lunch break, Anand married Kartik! Dev was also the film’s producer.
2. Mehmood in “Sadhu Aur Shaitan” (1968)
A comic crime caper, the film directed by A. Bhimsingh was about a cabbie whose cab unwittingly had a corpse in its boot as various passengers employ its services. Mehmood was the cabbie and an array of guest artistes led by Dilip Kumar and Mumtaz travel in the situational laugh-riot that was Mehmood’s home production. The film was made as a quickie to make good the distributors’ losses after he produced “Padosan.” In its initial run, that cult film had flopped! And “Sadhu Aur Shaitan” became a hit an bailed the actor-producer out!
3. Dev Anand in “Jaaneman” (1976)
Producer-actor Dev Anand and elder brother and writer-director Chetan Anand were inspired by “Taxi Driver” to make a crime thriller on Hema Malini as twins. The Laxmikant-Pyarelal musical was a modest success and it was one of the three films made for the Silver Jubilee of Dev’s banner of Navketan. Among the timeless songs were “Jaaneman Jaaneman” and “Aayegi Aayegi Aayegi.”
4. Amitabh Bachchan in “Khud-Daar” (1982)
Amitabh Bachchan’s near-fatal accident on the sets of “Coolie” was one reason why the film did even better than it otherwise would have, but the Ravi Tandon-directed multi-star movie with a cast led by Sanjeev Kumar, Tanuja, Bachchan and Parveen Babi was a super-hit anyway. Bachchan played a young man who becomes a cabbie to support his brother (Vinod Mehra) and gets involved in a crime racket when his brother is made a stool-pigeon by a coterie of criminals. The film was among the top five hits of the year.
5. Nana Patekar in “Taxi No. 9-2-1-1” (2006)
Nana Patekar played a hotheaded cabbie who lies to his wife that he is an insurance salesman. The film, inspired by a Hollywood movie, was about his interactions with a rich heir (John Abraham) who has his own agenda. Earlier bitter enemies, the two become fast friends and help each other out. The Milan Luthria-directed film was produced by Ramesh “Sholay” Sippy.