Monday, September 15, 2014

Before Sholay: Notable Amitabh Bachchan films (1969 - 1975): Zanjeer

Zanjeer (1973)

A game changer as far as Hindi film formula is concerned, it is no surprise that the angst-ridden lead role was rejected by several leading men of that time. 

Most films of the 60's were blown up fairy tales that never resembled any of the lives that the audience was leading. Until then, the commercial Hindi film hero wooed the girl, danced in gardens, on hill-tops and in discos, drove jeeps, lip-synced melodious songs in a sugar-candy world oblivious to the world of employment, livelihood, corruption and other bare truths. He did become grim in the end reels, just to bash up the villain or turn the tables on him, verbally or in a courtroom. Salim-Javed's script was more than an eye-opener in this stale scenario.

Amitabh's first big solo hero success, it was also to make several film makers churn out similar anti-establishment films (mostly bad and average) for years to come, many of them starring Amitabh, even as the Hindi film industry moved from a resurgent, creative 70's to formulaic, brazen 80's.

Iconic moment
When inspector Vijay Khanna strides into Sher Khan's area post their face-off at the police station, it is the film's revelatory moment, that Amitabh Bachchan had unexpectedly, made it big on celluloid.  

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