wiki:Amar Akbar Anthony

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Amar Akbar Anthony

1977 186’ col Hindi d Manmohan Desai pc MKD Films st Mrs J.M. Desai sc Prayag Raj dial Kadar Khan lyr Anand Bakshi c Peter Pereira m Laxmikant-Pyarelal lp Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Neetu Singh, Shabana Azmi, Parveen Babi, Nirupa Roy, Jeevan, Pran, Helen, Nadira, Pratima Devi, Madhumati

Desai’s breakthrough film started his long collaboration with Bachchan and established his characteristic style: a series of episodic ‘highlights’ (as the director describes them) edited into an extravagant fantasy spectacle. Hunted by Robert (Jeevan), the ex-convict Kishenlal (Pran) is forced to abandon his wife Bharati (Roy) and his three sons who get separated by a combination of fate and villainy. The sons grow up to become Amar (Khanna), raised by a Hindu cop; Akbar (Kapoor), looked after by a Muslim tailor; and Anthony (Bachchan), sheltered by a Catholic priest. The convoluted story has Kishenlal become a crime boss while gangsters led by Robert and his sidekick Zebisco interfere in the story on various occasions to trigger more action. A close friendship develops between the three brothers and their separated parents before the family is reunited. Starting with a pre-credit sequence where, in high-angle shots, all three heroes are seen simultaneously donating blood for their injured mother, each of them unaware of their relationship with the other, the plot merely provides a formal skeleton for the narrative spectacle. The substance of the movie is not in its ostensible plea for religious tolerance but in the Bachchan-dominated star turns, esp. the famous My name is Anthony Gonsalves song (by Kishore Kumar and Bachchan) that has Bachchan step out of an Easter egg, and his drunken dialogue with a mirror reflection. The film, which on one occasion involves divine intervention (when their mother Bharati’s eyesight is restored), ends with all three brothers in various disguises (cop Amar as a one-man band, Akbar as a tailor and Anthony as a priest) pursuing the same villains. Bachchan speaks in a dialect coloquially described as Bombay Hindi, a vernacular and body language usually associated with the city’s lumpenised underclass. The masquerade presented by the film helped create an autonomous cult image for the star which, because not anchored in a coherent narrative, could be deployed henceforth as a brand image in disparate contexts. The action sequences are shot rather perfunctorily.

Film