Hemant Birje was at the peak of his career in the campy eighties. He made a big splash in the action movie circuit with B Subhash’s Tarzan in 1985. Since then, he went on to perform in several Ramsay films, including their most successful horror movies, like Veerana, Tahkhana and others. Even after he stopped working with the Ramsays, he didn’t bid adieu to the horror movie zone. In 1989, he starred in Sau Saal Baad, a horror movie that’s a hopscotch of several Bollywood horror movies, including the Ramsay classic Purana Mandir.
Watch Hemant Birje starrer Sau Saal Baad here:
Time has not been kind to Hemant, who arguably had one of the best physiques in the movie industry back in those days. However, it’s a mystery why Hemant Birje doesn’t want to discuss the movies that made him a name to reckon with in the early eighties in Bollywood.
That I know for a fact, because that’s what Shyama Dasgupta tells us in his book about the Ramsays, Don’t Disturb the Dead. In the book, Shyama says that Hemant Birje categorically informed him that he doesn’t want to speak about his horror movies with the Ramsays. That’s very different from so many others who worked with the Ramsays, including Mohnish Behl, Sahila Chadha and Aarti Gupta.
For their part, in the book, the Ramsays say that they don’t have any malice towards him. They even go ahead to say that he knew what kind of films were made and they simply approached him and he accepted. In fact, Hemant is part of their most popular and successful horror movie. And there’s no clue that they treated him badly or anything. For example, during his debut scene, Satish Shah’s character literally calls out to him as ‘Ae Hero’ and ‘Ae Tarzan’. Not a bad deal for someone who’s literally walking into the scene.
Bollywood is full of feuds and fights, but this is the one that very few talk about. Partly because it’s so late in the day that its no longer hot news. With Ajay Devgn making a movie on the Ramsays, I am sure Hemant’s character will be part of the movie. I just wonder if the movie will talk about the rift.