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aka Destiny 1981 197’ col Hindi d/p Manmohan Desai pc MKD Films, Aasia Films st Prayag Raj sc K.K. Shukla dial Kadar Khan lyr Anand Bakshi c Jal Mistry m Laxmikant-Pyarelal lp Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Shatrughan Sinha, Rishi Kapoor, Reena Roy, Kim, Pran, Amrish Puri, Kadar Khan, Amjad Khan, Shakti Kapoor, Prem Chopra, Lalita Pawar, Jagdish Raj, Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor, Dharmendra, Rajesh Khanna, Mala Sinha, Waheeda Rehman, Sharmila Tagore, Shubha Khote, Om Shivpuri

Desai’s most extravagantly plotted film to date. Namdev (Pran), a waiter, a band musician (Jagdish Raj), Damodar (A. Khan) the photographer and Raghubir (K. Khan) the hack driver jointly win a lottery ticket. After being framed for the murder of the musician, Namdev is presumably killed by Damodar and Raghubir who use the money to set up a criminal empire. The story then switches to the second generation: John Jani Janardan (Bachchan) and Sunny (Rishi Kapoor), are the sons of Namdev; John’s buddy is Damodar’s son Vikram (S. Sinha); the dead band musician had two daughters: the singer Asha (Malini) and schoolgirl Kim (Kim). Namdev was not killed after all and later resurfaces as the henchman of the ultimate crime boss, Don (Puri). Unlike Desai’s other Bachchan films (cf. Amar Akbar Anthony, 1977), the convoluted plot and the multitude of characters overwhelms the superstar along with everyone else in the film. The film’s shots gradually become shorter and by the second half of the story, two seconds seems an average shot- length. The dialogue accompanying the surfeit of physical action merely conveys information as quickly as possible. Desai’s virtual abandonment of narrative structure is complemented by innumerable references to his own as well as to other films and TV commercials. Bachchan sings at a celebration of Desai’s earlier Dharam Veer (1977); Charles Bronson’s Hard Times aka The Streetfighter (1975) is replicated in Bachchan’s second profession as a boxer; The Towering Inferno (1974) is evoked as a revolving restaurant goes up in flames; in the last song the heroes are dressed as a matador (Bachchan), a cossack (Sinha) and as Chaplin (Rishi Kapoor).