On Amitabh Bachchan’s 70th birthday, Postnoon reminisces on his iconic movies and dialogues that don’t fade away with the passage of time…
He’s got the look!
Paa: In R Balki’s 2009 flick Paa, Big B played the challenging role of Auro, a 13-year-old boy suffering from progeria. It is rumoured that his makeup made 10 per cent of the total budget of the comedy-drama. It was done by Hollywood’s Christien Tinsley (famous for his work in The Passion of the Christ, Catwoman and other films) and Dominie Till of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy fame.
Jhoom Barabar Jhoom: In Shaad Ali’s 2007 flick Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Big B sported a look similar to Johnny Depp’s in the Pirates of the Carribean series. Though the look pulled a few fans to theatres, there was no role in the movie to justify the same.
Bunty Aur Babli: Just like Zanjeer, even in Shaadi Ali’s 2005 release Bunty Aur Babli, Amitabh Bachchan played the role of a smart Indian cop — ACP Dashrath Singh. Only this time, he sported a leather jacket and a pair of aviators. To go with his rogue look, he wrapped a red cloth around his neck and chewed on a tiny toothpick throughout the movie.
Sarkar: Ram Gopal Varma’s Sarkar (2005) saw Amitabh Bachchan become the Indian version of Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando in The Godfather). While the two characters shared similarities, Big B’s look as Shankar Nagre in the film resembled the real-life Bal Thackeray and not the suit-clad Don Corleone.
70mm Bachchan (Must watch)
Directed by Prakash Mehra in 1973, Zanjeer changed the trend in Bollywood from romantic flicks to action-packed cinema. Big B played the role of a brooding but explosive police inspector who fights back when cornered. He became the ‘Angry Young Man’ of Indian cinema. The movie was a huge box-office hit and is considered one of the most gripping revenge movies in the country to date.
Directed by Yash Chopra in 1975, Deewar encashed on the popular ‘Angry Young Man’ image of Big B. The intense dialogues, written by duo Salim-Javed in Deewar, are unmatched in Hindi cinema even today. It is believed that the value of film writers skyrocketed after the success of the film.
Directed by Ramesh Sippy in 1975, Sholay, according to the Encyclopaedia of Hindi cinema, is considered to be among the greatest films ever released in Indian cinema. It ran for 286 weeks straight in a theatre in Mumbai and achieved a still-standing record of 60 golden jubilees (50 consecutive weeks) across India. It is the first film in the history of Indian cinema to celebrate a silver jubilee (25 weeks) in over a hundred theatres across India.
Directed by Chandra Barot in 1978, Don gained the cult film status in India. Its success later inspired the Don film franchise. Duo Kalyanji-Anandji composed the blockbuster soundtrack of the film, out of which songs like Khaike Pan Banaraswala and Yeh Mera Dil rock discotheques across the nation.
Directed by Yash Chopra in 1981, Silsila is still one of the most iconic dramas that the Hindi film industry has churned out. The movie also established Amitabh Bachchan as a singer through hit songs like Rang Barse and Neela Aasman.
Big B sleeper hits (It’s never too late)
Even though Shakti was only a moderate success at the box office, it is regarded as Ramesh Sippy’s best work. Released in 1982, it was the first and only film to feature veteran actors Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan together on screen. Shakti is considered as one of the greatest films in the history of cinema.
Directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee in 1982, Bemisal is a remake of the Uttam Kumar classic Ami Se O Shakha (1975) also based on the story by Ashutosh Mukherjee. Though the movie didn’t garner much box-office success, it is one of the best roles Big B has done.
Directed by Mukul Anand in 1990, although Agneepath was a huge box- office flop, it has a strong cult following. The title was taken from a poem of the same name called Agneepath which was penned by Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan’s father.
Directed by Yash Chopra in 1979, Kaala Pathar received an average response at the box office when it released. However, it was nominated for several filmfare awards.
Directed by R Balki in 2007, Cheeni Kum was an above average grosser at the box office, however, the movie was critically acclaimed and received positive reviews.
Big B’s fans have something to look forward to. Amitabh Bachchan is cast alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Toby Maguire in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. It is scheduled for a 2013 release. In the Hollywood movie trailer, Amitabh Bachchan, as always, is looking his best in a grey suit teamed with a white hat. And, his beard and moustache complete the classy look.