THE MARK OF A MAN

Every iconic film of AMITABH BACHCHAN saw him in var­i­ous avatars. Ankit Shah de­codes the Hindi film In­dus­try’s big­gest su­per­star and his many looks.

Stardust (English) - - MARK OF A MAN -

Re­garded as one of the great­est In­dian ac­tors of all times, the iconic Amitabh Bachchan made his de­but in 1969 with Saat Hin­dus­tani. He didn’t re­ally make a mark here but his time ob­vi­ously hadn’t come just yet. At that point Ra­jesh Khanna was the big­gest su­per­star around, and all the other ac­tors faded in com­par­i­son to the great Khanna ‘super’dom. Af­ter a slow start, Amitabh Bachchan starred op­po­site the great Ra­jesh Khanna in Anand in 1971. His por­trayal as Dr. Bhaskar Ban­er­jee was crit­i­cally ac­claimed and some even say he out­shone the reign­ing su­per­star Ra­jesh Khanna in the film. This film also won him his first award. In 1973, Prakash Mehra cast him in Zan­jeer - and this was the film that earned Amitabh Bachchan the so­bri­quet of the ‘An­gry Young Man’ which went on to be­came his per­sona for most of his movies.

How­ever, the big­gest break for Amitabh Bachchan came in 1975 when he starred in two of the years’ finest films. The first be­ing Dee­war which crowned Bachchan as the su­per­star of the film in­dus­try. The movie saw Bachchan as a stylish gang­ster and his look was super dap­per. His well-tai­lored suits in the film were sar­to­rial trend­set­ters and way ahead of its time. How­ever, what does stay firmly etched in the mind is his ‘first’ look where he wore a denim blue shirt and khaki pants, with a rope dan­gling over the shoul­der. The next was the iconic Sho­lay, in which he played a small-time thief Jai. He starred along­side Dhar­men­dra, San­jeev Ku­mar, Am­jad Khan, Hema Malini and Jaya Bachchan. This movie ce­mented Amitabh Bachchan’s ti­tle as the great­est su­per­star of the film in­dus­try. In 1976, Amitabh Bachchan starred in Kab­hie Kab­hie as a ro­man­tic hero, and this changed Bachchan’s per­sona from just the ‘An­gry Young Man’ to be­ing the dream­boat of the na­tion. Bachchan’s look in the movie was hugely pop­u­lar es­pe­cially among the women dur­ing that time. His trade­mark turtle­necks paired with flared Bell-bot­toms went on to be­come a rage with the young­sters.

Amar Ak­bar An­thony then saw him as An­thony, a street-smart good-hearted small-time crook – a role Bachchan played to per­fec­tion. Bachchan’s one-lin­ers and his fash­ion sense in the film be­came an in­stant hit es­pe­cially the cap and the tuxedo from the song My Name is Antony Gon­za­lves. In 1978, Bachchan starred in Don, which had him in a dual role as a highly in­tel­li­gent crime lord as well as Vi­jay, a sim­ple­ton. Don was seen by many as a land­mark movie which fur­ther es­tab­lished Amitabh Bachchan as a leg­endary ac­tor. His char­ac­ter of Don was seen wear­ing ex­pen­sive suits and driv­ing sleek cars.

The next was Muqad­dar Ka Sikan­dar where he was seen as Sikan­dar, a man wronged by the sys­tem. His ‘jacket’ en­sem­ble in the movie es­pe­cially where he is seen rid­ing a bike in­spired the youth to copy his iconic style. He also starred in Tr­ishul where he played Vi­jay Ku­mar, a man who wanted to ex­tract re­venge on his fa­ther for aban­don­ing his mother. He yet again wore well-tai­lored suits and bell bot­toms. By this time the name ‘Vi­jay’ was seen as a name syn­ony­mous with Amitabh Bachchan. This re­sulted in many peo­ple nam­ing their chil­dren as Vi­jay. His char­ac­ter as a coolie in the movie of the same name, was not a bed of roses. Dur­ing the film­ing of an ac­tion se­quence, Bachchan was badly in­jured – in fact, such was the im­pact of the in­jury that Amitabh Bachchan al­most died. His re­cov­ery fur­ther es­ca­lated the dizzy craze for Amitabh Bachchan. He later on starred in Sha­hen­shah, which fur­ther upped the ante on his star­dom. Here he played a super-hero. His black cos­tume with an iron chain is leg­endary. The dia­logues of the movie are also part of his per­sona and style es­pe­cially, ‘Rishte mein toh hum tumhare baap lagte hain, naam hai Sha­hen­shah’. Af­ter this, he starred in Agneepath - the movie was the re­make of the 1983 Al Pa­cino star­rer Scar­face. Here he tried to step into Mar­lon Brando’s shoes - and the gut­tural tonal qual­ity of his voice was the big­gest USP of the movie. And though it didn’t work at that point, to­day this film is con­sid­ered as a cult clas­sic. His por­trayal in Sarkar was part Vito Cor­leone from God­fa­ther and part Bala Sa­heb and was well ap­pre­ci­ated by the crit­ics as well as the au­di­ence. His look in the movie was a black kurta-dhoti. He later starred in Fam­ily: ties of blood, where he played a dreaded gang­ster. His look in the movie was his tra­di­tional French beard along with his uber-cool suits paired with stylish sun­glasses and cigars.

His per­for­mance in Paa in 2009, was the tour de force. As the 12-year old Auro suf­fer­ing from proge­ria, this was eas­ily his tough­est role. The makeup and the cos­tumes was im­pec­ca­ble and Amitabh Bachchan sur­passed all ex­pec­ta­tions in terms of act­ing.

Fash­ion For­ward

Amitabh Bachchan is not just a leg­endary ac­tor but an iconic fash­ion­ista! This Bachchan can put every young­ster’s swag to death when it comes to style! From his shin­ing shoes to colour­ful watches, em­broi­dered shawls to pop colours, vel­vet blaz­ers to clas­sic Nehru Jacket, Big B has killed it. And, how! And his suits… un­doubt­edly, no­body wears the suits like he does. From the tra­di­tional two­piece, to el­e­gant three-pieces to uber-cool Tuxe­dos, his wardrobe boast the best and the most el­e­gant suits. His ac­ces­sories too are on point - be it cuff­links, ties or even scarves. The same can be said for his eth­nic col­lec­tion. Big B wears in­cred­i­bly well-tai­lored Kur­ta­pa­ja­mas. The sim­plest ones as well as the ones with el­e­gant em­broi­deries. His love for shawls too are well doc­u­mented. In­deed, the great Amitabh Bachchan with his sig­na­ture salt ‘n’ pep­per French beard and his amaz­ing fash­ion sense gives him a buc­ca­neer swag and at­ti­tude that no other ac­tor has. Long live this icon. Long live his style.

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