All the superlatives ascribable to the film can be had in "Anand", the magnum opus of Hrishikesh Mukherjee's directorial ventures as well as Rajesh Khanna's acting career. As music composer Salil Chowdhury accomplished his signature work, while Gulzar, as lyricist and script-writer, brought out his brilliance. -. Rest is the history.
"Anand" is the story of a youth named Anand Saigal, prone to incurable ailment cancer, which is numbering his days steadily. But the startling fact is that Anand is aware of his pitiful fate. Neither does he grizzle over his pre-destined fate, nor does he stay sullen and sulky even for a moment. . As soon as he is introduced to Dr. Bhaskar Banerjee, he addresshim "Babumashai" , as if, they were long known to each other. home. They grow intimate. Anand wins the heart of every body he meets by virtue of his childlike impishness and striking amicability. He becomes so dear to Bhaskar's friend( Ramesh Deo) who is also a doctor and endears his wife as sister. Anand also unearths the dormant romantic bent in Bhaskar. Anand goes to his sweet-heart's house moves her mother by his filial attitude and thus revives and stimulates the romantic affairs. Anand befriends a theatre man(Jony Walker) and enjoys the rehearsal whence he commits a philosophical dialogue about life and death to memory. Days pass apace and Anand's condition worsens. At times, Bhaskarwho has already developed a strong weakness for Anand, becomes so annoyed at the helpless circumstances that he bursts into anger at the banter and fun of Anand. But, in no time he checks himself. They record their voices. Bhaskar records his recitation "Maut, tu ek kabita hai ( Death, thy art a poetry...), while Anand quotes the dialogue he heard from his theater friend, " Jahapana, ye zindagi or maut kisi insaan ke haat par nahi.."__Eventually both the speaches aptly synchronise with the tragedy of the protagonist. Finally, Anand is in his death-bed when everybody cannot but wait for the last breath of their dear Anand. Bhaskar whose course of medical science fails, rushes for Homeopathy to effect some miracle. In his last moments Anand is seen broken down psychologically, not for his impending end,but for his dearest Babumashai whom Anand belives, cannot bear with the shock of his death. On his request, the tape-recorder is turned on, and Anand with ardent attention listens to his Babumasai's recitation. As soon as the recitation ends, Anand succumbs with the address "Babumashai !". Meanwhile, Bhaskar returns to discover his love Anand no more. Hysterically, he urges the silent Anand to speak, to torment him with his patent prattles and flippancy. Just then the tape-recorder sounds "Babumashai, ye zindegi or mauth kisi insan ke hatme nahi...".
The Philosophy of Anand :- Anand is an imperishable spirit that is embodied into a character. He knows no barrier of time, space, acquentance or unacquaitance. He is meant to delight everybody, win everbody, distribute love to everybody, rock every body keeping his own bereavement unexposed and concealed. If it is a defensive camouflage to envelop Anand's own pain, then it is the rare virtue. That Anand addresses anybody he comes across by any name he fancies, is a quality of cosmopolitonism, a virtue of philanthropism. He likes to drink life "to the lees". Since death is a foregone-conclusion to him, he is agog to to enjoy every minuite of it without caring what is the length of life span left for him. He likes to live in jocund company. He does not like anybody to stick to remorse. Life is a journey and it has to be covered gleefully. We live in the present. But we lament over the unfulfilled past and remain afraid about the unborn past. Thus, the" present " we live in is always lost or marred. Here lies the difference between Anand and "aam Admi"
Acting:- The director has extracted the best from Rajesh Khanna who has done his best without indulging in his typical mannerism as it might be so that he had not yet became the superstar "guru" Rajesh Khanna. At times,he makes us laugh and instantly he evokes pathos. His changes of mood within a fraction of a second determine our moods. Amitabh who is not yet the Big-B, has portrayed the chracter of Dr. Bhaskar / babumasai is superb. He appears to be serious with a soft stream running within. Others have done justices to their respective role. Jony Walker, in his brief footage, leaves an abiding impression.
Plot-Construction:-- The narrative is in a flash back method. After winning the prize for his book "Anand" Dr. Bhaskar reminisces his rapport with Anand. So we see the man Anand as the narrator has seen him. The film ends with the scene when the recitation of Anand ends and the tape disentangles from the spool of the tape-recorder, and the narrator comments "Anand mara nahi, Anand marta nahin (Anand is not dead, Anand does not die)."