Here is why Amitabh Bachchan is the biggest star of Indian cinema
- Saurav Dutt

London Feb 10 (SD/BAN) The author of a new novel on the iconic actor explores why his work, charisma and legacy has endured fifty years of colossal changes within the Indian film industry and how the legendary star has set the standard for excellence, integrity and humility in a business not known for modesty.

Throughout the history of the Indian film industry we have seen movie stars ascend from non-affluent backgrounds, with no prior experience in motion pictures, suddenly ascend to spectacular levels of stardom. We have star-kids who believe nepotism is their right. We have seen superstars drop quickly out of the industry due to their egos and entitled attitude towards others. We have seen people who engage in verbal fights, insulting others, back-stabbing and paid for it further down the road.

What the Indian film industry has not seen is the rise of an actor originally rejected because his voice was not deemed suitable for movies, who was thought to be too tall to be an actor, who was a relative junior to work with in skills and experience and dismissed for his ordinary looks and lack of screen presence.

We have never seen an actor who was seriously injured during a movie stunt gone horribly wrong, sent to hospital for more than six months, faced death, and yet came back to complete the film. We have never seen an actor who was almost bankrupted, asked all his supposedly close friends for work and was turned down, yet accepted the role of television show host (viewed as an incredible demotion at the time) and used it as a pulpit to rise to fame once again.

If industry players are offering that individual roles of your choice at the age of 75, then you must be a better actor than everyone else around. Yet, you still have humility to recognize younger talented actors and continue to work with them.

This is what makes Mr. Amitabh Bachchan one of greatest actors of our era.

Amitabh Bachchan has been able to re-invent himself constantly to keep up with the changing times. In the 1970s he was the ‘angry young man’. In the 80s there was the full masala package, executing crude comedy, songs and dances, and jarring masala fight sequences, all the while underpinned by macho dialogue delivered in his unmistakable baritone voice. He tried to use the same formula in the 1990’s, but other than a few hit movies, audiences tired of him trying to emulate a formula that was now seen as passé.

The 2000s saw him come back playing older characters, and this time entertaining the audience with his acting and elder statesman persona in an era where special effects and lavish characters threatened to drown out reality.

Starting his working career in an accountant’s office, Amitabh Bachchan never sat at home hoping for miracles to happen , instead he worked hard and showed us how he created his own miracles through his hard work, dedication and determination.

In his youth Amitabh Bachchan acted in movies, where he became the voice of a country still coming to terms with self-governance, and the corruption that came with it. He was the “angry young man”, fighting the good fight against political or social injustice, cronyism and moral turpitude. India, as a nation, learned to ride its luck with this young man, who’d fight tooth and nail to wrestle victory from the villains. When he punched the villain in his face, Indian society felt that it too landed a blow against the corrupted powers that be.

Amitabh Bachchan is a legend to many, but at the heart of it a man that has struggled and faltered like many of us, yet has repeatedly gotten up and achieved everything on his merit and hard graft alone. That doesn’t happen with everyone. At least not in Bollywood. And for fifty long years.

Author Saurav Dutt is the writer of a novel entitled ‘Dear Mr Bachchan…’ detailing how the iconic actor inspires a 12 year old from the slums of Mumbai to look beyond poverty to a world of dreams, hope and inspiration. It will be available in January 2020.

 

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Title : Here is why Amitabh Bachchan is the biggest star of Indian cinema

 
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  • Divya Parekh, Vancouver
    Mon, Feb 10 2020

    Great piece, AB is such an important part of Indian cinema around the world--perhaps more than many others combined; this book sounds like a lot of fun!

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