Changes between Version 1 and Version 2 of Amitabh Bachchan


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Timestamp:
Feb 29, 2012, 7:57:11 PM (9 years ago)
Author:
Lawrence Liang
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  • Amitabh Bachchan

    v1 v2  
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    4 Hindi cinema’s biggest star actor. Born in Allahabad, son of noted Hindi poet Harivanshrai Bachchan. Former stage actor, radio announcer and freight company executive in Calcutta. Although he initially had difficulties being accepted as an actor, his productions eventually determined the health of the whole Hindi film industry. Abbas gave him his first role in Saat Hindustani; next came a voice-over for Sen’s Bhuvan Shome (1969). Later, he also did the voice-over for Ray’s Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977). Eventually became the superstar of the mid-70s TV, radio and the press issued daily bulletins on his health when he suffered a near-fatal accident in 1982 while shooting Coolie. In early Gulzar- scripted and Hrishikesh Mukherjee-directed films (Anand, Namak Haram) and in Saudagar, based on Narendranath Mitra’s story, Bachchan is presented as a brooding, melancholic anti-hero drawn from Bengali literary stereotypes traceable to novelist Saratchandra Chattopadhyay and brought into Hindi film by Nitin Bose, Bimal Roy and Asit Sen. In this respect, he is in the tradition of Dilip Kumar (e.g. Deedar, 1951), Sunil Dutt (Sujata, 1959; Gaban, 1966) and Dharmendra (Satyakam, 1969). His persona of the angry youth was elaborated in directly political language in Zanjeer, the first of his big vendetta films. Expanded in the films of Prakash Mehra and Yash Chopra, Bachchan’s image reorganised the formulaic melodrama around the clash between the laws of kinship and the laws of the state, requiring the hero to become an outlaw governed by a higher code of conduct. In Deewar and Trishul this conflict still constituted the films’ main theme but it quickly became a mere plot device, while a more directly political discourse began to insinuate itself into the films via the repeated references to the early 70s working class agitations (which culminated in the 1974 railway strike preceding the Emergency in 1975), as in e.g. Kala Patthar. Other topical and politically loaded references invoked threats of national economic destabilisation in e.g. Trishul, Shakti and Mr. Natwarlal. The melodramatic plot structure also lent itself well to the enactment of the fantasy of the lumpen rebel-vigilante who achieves great personal success, at times turning the film into a gigantic masquerade (esp. with Manmohan Desai). In addition to his own charismatic presence and his sonorous voice, an important component in several Bachchan films is the Salim-Javed script. Bachchan’s persona is often defined by two female figures: the melodramatic mother who symbolises the family and the ‘liberated’ 
    5 woman as personified by Parveen Babi 
    6 (Deewar), Zeenat Aman (Don), and their 
    7 clones (e.g. Amrita Singh in Mard). Inquilab 
    8 was released as part of his election campaign: 
    9 the climax showed him slaughtering a group of 
    10 corrupt politicians. Elected MP for Allahabad 
    11 supporting Rajiv Gandhi’s Congress (I) in 1984, 
    12 but he soon abandoned politics. After 
    13 Shahenshah and his return to cinema, some of 
    14 his films’ unofficial budgets made them the 
    15 most expensive Indian films ever. In the late 
    16 80s his popularity declined but revived with 
    17 Hum (and other Mukul Anand films) showing 
    18 the star coming to terms with the ageing 
    19 process. His wife, the actress Jaya Bhaduri, 
    20 stopped acting after their marriage, except for 
    21 one noted appearance with her husband in 
    22 Silsila (returning with Nihalani’s Hazar 
    23 Chourasi Ki Maa, 1998). In 1995, founded the 
    24 controversial ABCL (Amitabh Bachchan 
    25 Corporation Limited) as an entertainment 
    26 conglomerate for merchandising himself and 
    27 other celebrities as a brand name, creating and 
    28 marketing TV software, producing and 
    29 distributing films, making audio products 
    30 under his ‘Big-B’ label, and event management. nitially billed as the first significant effort in India to corporatise India’s chaotic entertainment industry (cf. Businessworld 1-14 Nov 1995 cover feature ‘Bachchan’s Business Blueprint’), ABCL had a major setback when the ‘Miss World 1996’ contest, hosted by them in Bangalore, led to a political and financial controversy. Following the disastrous reception of his ‘comeback’ film, Mehul Kumar’s Mrityudaata (1997) produced by ABCL, the company has faced a severe crisis forcing it to sell its ‘Big-B’ record label and its ‘Star Track’ talent bank, leading to questions about the survival of the company. 
     4[[Image(amitabh.jpg)]] 
     5 
     6 
     7Hindi cinema’s biggest star actor. Born in Allahabad, son of noted Hindi poet Harivanshrai Bachchan. Former stage actor, radio announcer and freight company executive in Calcutta. Although he initially had difficulties being accepted as an actor, his productions eventually determined the health of the whole Hindi film industry. Abbas gave him his first role in Saat Hindustani; next came a voice-over for Sen’s Bhuvan Shome (1969). Later, he also did the voice-over for Ray’s Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977). Eventually became the superstar of the mid-70s TV, radio and the press issued daily bulletins on his health when he suffered a near-fatal accident in 1982 while shooting Coolie. In early Gulzar- scripted and Hrishikesh Mukherjee-directed films (Anand, Namak Haram) and in Saudagar, based on Narendranath Mitra’s story, Bachchan is presented as a brooding, melancholic anti-hero drawn from Bengali literary stereotypes traceable to novelist Saratchandra Chattopadhyay and brought into Hindi film by Nitin Bose, Bimal Roy and Asit Sen.  
     8 
     9In this respect, he is in the tradition of Dilip Kumar (e.g. Deedar, 1951), Sunil Dutt (Sujata, 1959; Gaban, 1966) and Dharmendra (Satyakam, 1969). His persona of the angry youth was elaborated in directly political language in Zanjeer, the first of his big vendetta films. Expanded in the films of Prakash Mehra and Yash Chopra, Bachchan’s image reorganised the formulaic melodrama around the clash between the laws of kinship and the laws of the state, requiring the hero to become an outlaw governed by a higher code of conduct. In Deewar and Trishul this conflict still constituted the films’ main theme but it quickly became a mere plot device, while a more directly political discourse began to insinuate itself into the films via the repeated references to the early 70s working class agitations (which culminated in the 1974 railway strike preceding the Emergency in 1975), as in e.g. Kala Patthar.  
     10 
     11Other topical and politically loaded references invoked threats of national economic destabilisation in e.g. Trishul, Shakti and Mr. Natwarlal. The melodramatic plot structure also lent itself well to the enactment of the fantasy of the lumpen rebel-vigilante who achieves great personal success, at times turning the film into a gigantic masquerade (esp. with Manmohan Desai). In addition to his own charismatic presence and his sonorous voice, an important component in several Bachchan films is the Salim-Javed script. Bachchan’s persona is often defined by two female figures: the melodramatic mother who symbolises the family and the ‘liberated’ 
     12woman as personified by Parveen Babi (Deewar), Zeenat Aman (Don), and their clones (e.g. Amrita Singh in Mard).  
     13 
     14Inquilab was released as part of his election campaign: the climax showed him slaughtering a group of 
     15corrupt politicians. Elected MP for Allahabad supporting Rajiv Gandhi’s Congress (I) in 1984, 
     16but he soon abandoned politics. After Shahenshah and his return to cinema, some of 
     17his films’ unofficial budgets made them the most expensive Indian films ever. In the late 
     1880s his popularity declined but revived with Hum (and other Mukul Anand films) showing 
     19the star coming to terms with the ageing process. His wife, the actress Jaya Bhaduri, 
     20stopped acting after their marriage, except for one noted appearance with her husband in 
     21Silsila (returning with Nihalani’s Hazar Chourasi Ki Maa, 1998). In 1995, founded the 
     22controversial ABCL (Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited) as an entertainment 
     23conglomerate for merchandising himself and other celebrities as a brand name, creating and 
     24marketing TV software, producing and distributing films, making audio products 
     25under his ‘Big-B’ label, and event management.  
     26 
     27Initially billed as the first significant effort in India to corporatise India’s chaotic entertainment industry (cf. Businessworld 1-14 Nov 1995 cover feature ‘Bachchan’s Business Blueprint’), ABCL had a major setback when the ‘Miss World 1996’ contest, hosted by them in Bangalore, led to a political and financial controversy. Following the disastrous reception of his ‘comeback’ film, Mehul Kumar’s Mrityudaata (1997) produced by ABCL, the company has faced a severe crisis forcing it to sell its ‘Big-B’ record label and its ‘Star Track’ talent bank, leading to questions about the survival of the company. 
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