There was a time when it was fashionable for those of my generation to scoff and snigger at the very mention of the likes of Biswadeep and Joy Mukherjee (for some reason, it was never allowed to let any allusion to the latter to pass without taking delight in the names of his sons, Boy and Toy) and perhaps it is creeping middle-age that brings on this sense of nostalgia on the news of his death.
Baradwaj Rangan sums it up nicely:
Nobody went to a Joy Mukherjee movie to see him act. They went to see how he looked and imagine themselves in his lucky shoes, romancing the likes of Saira Banu and Asha Parekh. Mukherjee had the height and the looks of a ramp-walk Romeo, and he – with his colleagues from the era (especially Biswajeet, who, in many ways, was Mukherjee’s twin, both for the films he appeared in and the roles he played in them) – transformed the Hindi-film hero from a flapping figure in a kurta or ballooning baggy pants to a cool customer in form-fitting clothes. T-shirts. Sweaters. Cigarette pants. Rakish hats. If nothing else, Joy Mukherjee will be remembered as one of the first “dudes” of our cinema.