Prakash Mehra, 1973; 145m
film is a turning point in the career of superstar Amitabh Bachchan
(AB) and even a turning point in the history of Hindi cinema.
It was with Zanjeer that Amitabh Bachchan created the
new "angry young man" that would define this portion
of his career. The villain Teja kills the parents of young Vijay
(AB). The only thing he remembers is that the murderer was wearing
a chain (zanjeer), and that memory would always haunt him. Years
later, Vijay has become a police inspector known for his hot
temper. He continues to search for Teja, the murderer of his
parents, who has changed his name and become a respectable citizen.
At long last Vijay's investigations lead him to Teja, and the
hour of revenge finally arrives. Movie stalwarts Ajit, Om Prakash
and Pran all give unforgettable performances, and Jaya Bhaduri
is also impressive.
Manmohan Desai, 1977; 184m
of Amitabh Bachchan's best-loved performances, and an all-around
popular favorite. Kishanlal (Pran), happily married and the
father of three sons, works as a driver for Robert (Jeevan).
One day, Robert kills a person in a car accident. He asks Kishanlal
to take the blame and assures him that he will take care of
his family and support them financially. Kishanlal agrees and
goes to jail, but soon Robert forgets his promise. Cracking
under tremendous financial and physical hardship, Kishanlal's
family is eventually split up. The three sons grow up to become
Amar (Vinod Khanna), a Hindu police inspector; Akbar (Rishi
Kapoor), a Muslim tailor's son; and Anthony (Amitabh Bachchan),
an outlaw Christian who is brought up by a priest. Through a
series of gloriously unlikely events the three brothers get
to meet each other again, without knowing their real connection.
That discovery will come only later, and after the reunion with
their real father and mother, the deadly trio takes revenge
Govind Nihalani, 2004; 172m
stars Amitabh Bachchan as Joint Commissioner of Police Dev Pratap
Singh, a righteous and dedicated officer whose high ideals often
run up against a corrupt system. Dev's friend, Special Commissioner
Tejinder Khosla (Om Puri), is more pragmatic; he believes in
maintaining a balance between Dev's idealism and the political
interests of the state's Chief Minister, Bhandarker (Amrish
Puri). A major subplot concerns Farhaan (Fardeen Khan), a young
man tormented by the brutal murder of his father, a man who
had always taught him the ideals of patriotism and non-violence.
Believing that certain officials, including Dev, are responsible
for his father's death, Farhaan sets out into a path of terror
and violence that eventually will engulf the entire city. Tejinder
decides that the only way to stop the killing is to ignore the
established limits of police power. A rift appears in the bond
of two dedicated cops, both with very different sense of what
their real duties must be.
Rakesh Mehra, 2001; 183m
bells in a church in Budapest herald in the opening scene, a
gun being pointed from a distance towards a cavalcade of cars.
A minister makes his way to obtain a floppy disc, which details
plans for the assassination of the Indian Prime Minister. Manu
Verma (Amitabh Bachchan) is in charge of his security. Minutes
later, we see him turn a gun on the minister while stealing
the floppy. And then again, minutes later, we see another Bachchan
walk into the office. The original tears his mask off to reveal
the evil Rajvan (Manoj Bajpai). Moving the action to India,
Manu Verma is now with the crime branch and is asked to investigate
a local murder where he recognizes the trademark of Rajvan,
a small mask on a chain. Determined to catch him this time,
he moves his family to Delhi and begins to track down Raghu.
A cat and mouse game ensues that will eventually unleash forces
- both natural and supernatural - beyond the control of any
of the players.
Rajkumar Santoshi, 2004; 174m
began as a routine mission of transferring a terrorist, Iqbal
Ansari (Atul Kulkarni), from Chandangadh to Mumbai ends as a
nightmare. Ambushed, most of Ansari's police escorts are killed,
but thanks to the bravery of one officer he remained in custody.
Now another team must be assembled to finish the job; this crucial
assignment is given to Officer Anant (Amitabh Bachchan) - an
officer long considered a failure by his colleagues. Finally,
a chance to prove himself. To help with this assignment, Anant
selects Officer Shekhar (Akshay Kumar), street-smart, brave
but rotten to the core; and Officer Ashwin (Tusshar Kapoor),
a rookie on his first serious assignment who is going to find
out the hard way about the reality of the harsh, corrupt and
violent world. Accompanied by two constables, these three escort
the dreaded terrorist from Chandangadh to Mumbai. But someone
out there - a nameless, faceless enemy - has vowed that they
will never get there alive.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali, 2005; 122m
to an Anglo-Indian family, Michelle McNally (Rani Mukerji) has
been deaf and blind since falling ill as an infant. A bright,
intelligent girl who lives in a world of deep silence with no
way of reaching out, Michelle longs to communicate. Just when
things seem most hopeless, destiny reveals another hand. Debraj
Sahai (Amitabh Bachchan) is described by everyone as an eccentric
with a real drinking problem; he's also someone absolutely consumed
by his profession of being a teacher to the deaf-blind, something
he considers a mission rather than simply a job. After being
fired from one school due to his drinking and his own failing
eyesight, the McNally family hires him to work with 8-year-old
Michelle. Debrai's methods are immediately questioned by the
family; he's rough, even brutal at times, yet slowly he seems
to get results. But Debrai knows that he's racing against the
illness that's taking over his body, which drives him even harder
to help Michelle. A work of extraordinary emotional power, it's
a tribute to Amitabh Bachchan that he would take on such problematic,
largely unsympathetic role. The rapport between AB and child
actor Rani Mukherjee is incredible.
Prakash Mehra, 1982; 165m
(Waheeda Rehman) gave up her son, Arjun (Amitabh Bachchan),
to keep a promise to her dying husband. Savitri brings up Raja
(Shashi Kapoor), while Arjun is raised by his grandfather (Om
Prakash). In order to make a man out of him, he sends him to
the city, where Arjun finds a job in a hotel owned by Raja.
At the hotel Arjun meets and falls in love with a co-worker,
Poonam (the wonderful Smita Patil). Raja has grown up believing
Savitri is his mother, but when attempts are made on his life,
he is led to believe that she is the person behind the attacks.
A heartbroken Raja returns to the hotel where he meets Arjun
and soon they become friends. When another attempt is made on
Raja's life at the hotel, Arjun decides to find out who is behind
the attacks against his friend. Is it Savitri who is trying
to kill Raja, so she can inherit everything? Or is it Nisha
(Parveen Babi), Raja's love interest and cabaret dancer who
will do anything for money?
Hrishikesh Mukherjee, 1973; 122m
hugely successful early Bachchan drama, in which he plays opposite
his wife, Jaya Bhaduri, is a loose re-telling of A Star Is Born.
Subeer Kumar (Amitabh Bachchan) is a star singer who commands
the top of the music charts. A reserved man, his closest friendship
is with his assistant, Asrani. On a visit to his aunt Durga
in a faraway village, Subeer gets introduced to Uma (Jaya Bhaduri),
a woman endowed with a natural singing talent. He falls in love
with her talent and eventually with her. They get married in
the village and later come back to the city. Soon Subeer and
Uma are cutting records together, and her popularity begins
to grow - so much so that soon Subeer finds his position as
number one seriously challenged. His competitiveness and jealousy
cause their marriage to break up, and Uma heads back to her
village. But Subeer is already on a downward spiral from which
he seems unable to escape.
Suhendu Roy, 1973; 150m
Another offbeat role for Amitabh Bachchan, made before his screen
persona fully took shape. Moti (AB), a palm tree tapper, falls
in love with a coquettish young woman, but in order to marry
her he must raise an unattainable amount of money as dowry.
He then marries Mahjubi, a rich widow, but as soon as he's been
able to abscond with enough of her money, he divorces her, accusing
her of infidelity. Soon after he marries his younger sweetheart
- but can any kind of true love ever emerge from such poisoned
Hrishikesh Mukherjee, 1970; 122m
film is a provocative tale about a man, Anand (Rajesh Khanna),
who is dying of a dreaded disease but who nevertheless chooses
to live every moment of his life to the fullest. He entertains
others and brings happiness to their life. In contrast, Amitabh
Bachchan is Bhaskar Banerjee, a young doctor who, despite his
education and success, is bitter and frustrated. Anand feels
pity for this troubled spirit and befriends him; for a while,
things seem to go well between them. Bhaskar tries hard to cure
Anand but all his efforts are finally in vain; ultimately Anand
dies, but not before leaving a message of love and happiness.
Anand was the first movie in which Amitabh Bachchan was seriously
noticed by Bollywood, holding his own against reigning superstar
(at the time) Rajesh Khanna. The film is a wonderful example
of Bachchan's versatility as an actor, and is a must-see for
both his fans and those of Rajeesh Khanna.
Raj N. Sippy, 1982; 160m
Seven brothers (Bachchan, Sudhir, Indrajeet, Kanwaljeet, Shakti
Kapoor, Paintal and Sachin) live in a farmhouse and are ignorant
about the rest of the world. Their only source of love and human
feeling comes in the form of Hema Malini's character Indu, Ravi's
(Bachchan) girlfriend. After a while, the brothers come to accept
her and, more important, she starts accepting them. Later, the
other brothers fall for some girls they spot on a beach. These
girls have just one job - to look after Ranjeeta, who's unable
to walk and is dependent on a wheelchair. Her uncle, Amjad Khan,
hoping to inherit her wealth, plots ways to kill her. One night,
the desperate, lovelorn brothers kidnap the girls; this gives
Khan an idea as to how he can kill Ranjeeta. He replaces Bachchan
with a perfect double, Babu (Amitabh again). But all's well
that ends well as Babu undergoes a change of heart and finds
love with the very lady he was sent to kill. Satte Pe Satta
is a perfect masala of humor, music and action.
Mukul Anand, 1990; 174m
having been framed for a scandal, Vijay's father is lynched
by the villagers on the instigation of Kancha Cheena. Forced
to take care of his mother and sister, Vijay eventually drifts
into a life of crime, moving up the ranks of underworld hierarchy.
However, his quest to avenge his parents never ends and eventually
he has his day of reckoning with Kancha Cheena. Rather than
kill him, Vijay turns his vanquished opponent over to the police.
After Kancha Cheena is released due to lack of evidence, Vijay
realizes that he's the only one who can set matters right. One
of Amitabh Bachchan's darker roles, he displays a greater sense
of world-weariness, a lifetime of experiences that seem to all
well up in his great dark eyes.
Vipul Shan, 2002; 172m
of Amitabh Bachchan's biggest hits in recent years, Aankhen
is the story of Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan), an honest and successful
bank manager who commands respect from his employees and a reputation
from his clients. When Vijay notices that his employees are
cheating the bank, he tells his supervisors. He is rewarded
by being fired, as the bank management has also been cheating
the bank, and they do not want the information to spread. But
Vijay has other plans. Gathering together a small troupe of
blind thieves, Vijay uses his bank knowledge to set up the ultimate
robbery, thus setting off a dangerous game of cat and mouse
with management, who realize that Vijay might just know enough
to bring down their whole operation. AB, who has been the host
of India's own Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, here enjoys a
role that matches his wits and cunning against a kind of evil
empire of greed.