FILMFARE MAG (JUL 2011)

Forever Young - Divya Bharti

Divya Bharti passed away at the age of 19. After just two years in films, she’d proved herself to be an A-list star. Rachit Gupta records the highs of her effervescent career

Vishwatma (1992)

This Rajiv Rai follow up to Tridev was not just the magnum opus of Hindi films in 1992, it was the main event in Divya’s career. Vishwatma was choc-a-bloc with A-list stars, almost every cinema buff was dying to catch a glimpse of the much-touted Nairobi schedule and the songs were chartbusters. Ask anyone and they’ll hum Saat samundar (featuring Divya’s dancing talents in full glory) better than the National Anthem. And why not, since it’s remixes are still hot favourites in clubs around the country. The film was a moderate success at the box office and it brought Divya Bharti more than a dozen film offers she couldn’t refuse.


Dil Hi To Hai (1992)

One of Divya’s earliest releases, this then new-age love story set in the midst of societal class divide turned out to be average box office fare. Divya shared screen space with established big-ticket names like Jackie Shroff, Kader Khan and Amjad Khan and left quite an impact. Her sugar-sweet looks and ability to dance made her an instant sweetheart not to mention the poise she displayed while standing up to baddies Gulshan Grover and Raza Murad.


Dil Ka Kya Kasoor (1992)

One of Divya’s most veritable assets as a commercial heroine was her ability to dance. Dil Ka Kya Kasoor featured Divya as a budding poet and her co-star Prithvi as a charming singer. No wonder then that the film was a musical extravaganza and Divya was at her best singing, frolicking and flashing her million-dollar smile.

The film also had its fair share of tragedy as Divya’s character was shown affected with cancer. She sailed through the melodrama as easily as she charmed the audiences with her smile.

Shola Aur Shabnam (1992)

Reportedly, it was during Shola Aur Shabnam that Divya fell in love with her soon to-be husband and filmmaker Sajid Nadiadwala. But off screen stories aside, David Dhawan’s Shola Aur Shabnam was classic masala fare. Divya seemed at ease switching between comedy and romance as she matched Govinda step to step. Particularly memorable were the scenes of conflict between NCC cadet boys headed by Govinda and the girl guides headed by Divya.

Jaan Se Pyaara (1992)

The idea of Govinda juggling between two roles, one of a hard-boiled and on-the-edge cop Jai and the other of a mentally challenged and slightly podgy Sunder, had all the trappings of a campy comedy. But even as Jaan Se Pyaara borderlined the silly, Divya managed to hold her own. She played Govinda’s love interest with her usual élan and even though the film didn’t do as well at the box office, it certainly maintained Divya’s status quo of working with A-list stars.


Deewana (1992)

Going by movie lore, Deewana was more about a certain Mr Shah Rukh Khan and his first big impact on the silver screen. But that doesn’t take anything away from the fact that Deewana was one of Divya Bharti’s biggest hits and it added to her box office value.

Divya seemed at ease sharing screen space with Rishi Kapoor. She also matched SRK’s manic intensity emotion to emotion. She fit perfectly into the character of a woman dealing with the loss of her husband. Also part of the deal were her dashing good looks that earned her the title of one of B-town’s most beautiful as well as a Filmfare trophy for the Face Of The Year.

Balwaan  (1992)

By the time Balwaan hit theatres Divya was already the toast of the town and demanding pay cheques thicker than Sunil Shetty’s biceps. She deserved them because along with Sunil’s bursting anger, bulging muscles and action star persona, Divya’s presence was a big factor in making the film a hit.

Divya was the established star in the film where Sunil was making a debut and quite naturally her characterisation and screen presence were notable.

Dushman Zamana (1992)

Playing the female lead alongside a new and happening Armaan Kohli had its advantages. For starters, Divya had ample screen time playing a rich and bold young girl. Even as her character juggled between fancy dresses and big luxury cars, Divya’s big eyes and naïve face endeared her to the audience. And then there was the usual stand to be taken against the autocratic father played by Paresh Rawal.

Even though Dushman Zamana did nothing spectacular at the box office, Divya managed to win a million more fans with her upped glam quotient.


Dil Aashna Hai (1992)

The buzz was already sky high when Hema Malini announced that she would direct a multi-starrer. So when she cast Shah Rukh Khan and Divya Bharti along with Jeetendra, Dimple Kapadia and Amrita Singh, expectations rocketed through the roof. But the film’s progressive theme ensured the film drew a positive response only from a niche audience.

Divya however managed to surprise everyone with her role. She played a courtesan in search of her real mother and managed to pull through a fine performance. Her character was feisty, bubbly, outspoken and resolute all at the same time.

Kshatriya (1993)

JP Dutta loved to assemble star casts and Kshatriya had superstars by the dozens. Sunil Dutt, Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna, Sunny Deol and Sanjay Dutt were all wrestling for screen space. And amidst all those giants a demure but most charming Divya managed to sneak in a strong performance.

Kshatriya was basically like an ego massage for male cine buffs what with Rajput machismo overflowing in every scene of the film but Divya managed to use her big beady eyes to good effect as she sashayed around Sanjay Dutt.

Rang (1993)

Rang was released shortly after Divya passed away. It was the story of a man named Ajay (Jeetendra) and the love triangle that involved his daughters played by Ayesha Jhulka and Divya. The film had a young Kamal Sadanah as the lead opposite Divya.

The film had an ample number of romantic songs between Divya and Kamal and it was a rather regular fare. Though the film’s USP was that it featured Divya it didn’t flatter the box office.

Shatranj (1993)

The multi-starrer Shatranj was the last official Divya Bharti movie released in the theatres. The film featured Jackie Shroff, Mithun Chakraborty, Juhi Chawla and Kader Khan apart from Divya. The film was inspired by Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi and like the original was a regular family comedy.

Divya again was at ease doing bits of comedy interspersed by romantic scenes with Mithun. The talking point of the film was that this would be the last time film buffs would see the beautiful Divya Bharti on the big screen.

- By Rachit Gupta