Saturday, May 13, 2006

Amitabh Bachchan with Yash Chopra

Movies of Amitabh Bachchan directed by Yash Chopra

Although I’ve liked Amitabh Bachchan’s movies with Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Manmohan Desai and Prakash Mehra, his movies with Yash Chopra have been my favourites. It can be termed as plain bias.

Movie: Deewar (1975)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Rakhee, Shashi Kapoor, Parveen Babi, Shashi Kapoor, Iftekhar
Directed by: Yash Chopra
Music by: R.D. Burman

One of the first ventures between Yash Chopra and Amitabh Bachchan and they hit bullseye. Gripping drama of a mother and his two sons, one a police inspector and another as a gangster. Amitabh once again as the angry young man (and once again as Vijay) who’s out to get his due from the society even if it means being on the wrong side of the law. Although music was not a main focus area in the movie, R. D. Burman music was good especially the “Keh Doon Tumhe” teeny bopper song which was (and still is) a rage. Just that today’s generation prefers to listen to the jazzed up version of Keh Doon Tumhe as remixed by DJ Aqeel.

Movie: Kabhi Kabhi (1976)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Rakhee, Shashi Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, Waheeda Rehman
Directed by: Yash Chopra
Music by: Khayyam

In my view, Yash Chopra managed to pull off one of the most matured love stories of the Hindi film industry. The scene where Shashi Kapoor finds out that Amitabh and Rakhee were involved in a relationship that did not work out and his performance and dialogue delivery and Amitabh’s response to that is one of the best scenes I have ever seen. If you don’t remember what I’m talking about, then I’d strongly recommend you watch it on DVD / VCD. It is one of the most matured discussion between a guy who got the girl with a guy who did not get the girl. Very well executed performances. Music by Khayyam was unforgettable. The music of this film till date remains one of my favourite. All the songs are very good especially “Main Pal Do Pal Ka Shayar Hoon” and “Kabhi Kabhi” and Amitabh’s rendition of the poetry “Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Main Khayaal Aata Hai”. Just too good.

Movie: Trishul (1978)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Rakhee, Sanjeev Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Hema Malini, Poonam Dhillon, Waheeda Rehman
Directed by: Yash Chopra
Music by: Khayyam

Powerful performances and a gritty story. One more angry-young-man performance from Amitabh equally supported by Sanjeev Kumar and Shashi Kapoor. Another hit from the Amitabh Bachchan – Yash Chopra combination. Khayyam, once again was in good form and came out with one of his better compisitions in this movie. In one of his press interviews, Khayyam had said that Yash Chopra was a little apprehensive about Khayyam doing the music for his films as Khayyam was known for his classical music and this movie needed some youthful songs. Khayyam took up the challenge and came up with chartbuster numbers for this movie.

Movie: Kaala Patthar (1979)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Rakhee, Shashi Kapoor, Parveen Babi, Shatrughan Sinha, Neetu Singh, Prem Chopra
Directed by: Yash Chopra
Music by: Khayyam

A story about a Navy Officer who’s trying to forget his past by working in a mine. This movie also highlighted the working conditions of miners. Amitabh was well supported by Shashi Kapoor, Shatrughan Sinha, Rakhee and Parveen Babi. Music of this film was not such a great highlight but Kishore Kumar song “Ek Raasta Hai Zindagi” picturised on Shashi Kapoor is a great peppy number. Once again the Amitabh Bachchan – Yash Chopra hit the bulls eye.

Movie: Silsila (1982)
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Jaya Bachchan, Rekha, Sanjeev Kumar, Deven Verma
Directed by: Yash Chopra
Music by: Shiv-Hari

Unfortunately, the Amitabh Bachchan – Yash Chopra combination failed to work their magic to turn into box-office success. This movie had arguably the casting coup of all times in the Hindi film industry. Who would have imagined that Yash Chopra would bring together Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha and Jaya Bachchan for this film, the simple reason being at that point of time, the rumours of Amitabh’s alleged affair with Rekha was at its height and Jaya Bachchan was already Amitabh’s wife. I would definitely be interested in knowing how he pulled off this casting coup. Yash Chopra was initially planning to make this film with Hema Malini and Smita Patil.

In any case, this remains one of my favourite love story. Amitabh and Rekha’s chemistry on screen is unmatched. The only pair that resembles them in today’s time is Shahrukh Khan – Kajol’s pairing. With this movie, Shiv – Hari made their debut as music directors for films. Both Shiv Kumar Sharma (Santoor) and Hari Prasad Chaurasia (Flute) were already big musicians in their own right. Yash chopra got them together and they created one of the phenomenal music album. All the songs of the film are first rate.

One possible reason for the failure of the movie could be that it dealt with extra-marital affair, which probably was way ahead of its time in 1982. In one of the TV interviews, Yash Chopra has said that Silsila and Lamhe (another failure from Yash Chopra) will always remain his favourite movies.

Movie: Veer-Zaara (2004)
Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Rani Mukherjee, Amitabh Bachchan
Directed by: Yash Chopra
Music by: The late Madan Mohan (Music Recreated by: Sanjeev Kohli)

Amitabh had a tiny role in this movie and was nothing notable in terms of performance.


KBR said...

i perosnally feel that yash chopra & AB combo worked the best.
As far as the the KABHIE KABHI scene, i think shahsi kapoor totally overshadowed amitabh, who came across as very laboured in his dialogue delivery, wehereas kapoor was very sponataneous and natural.

I loved amitabh's punjabi in veer zaara, he still speaks beautiful punjabi and true to the rustic aacents. I think AB has his mother to thank for that, (teji bachchan being a sikh).

Kaala pathar is my personal favourite out of all the films, the ensemble cast, the chemistry between AB and SHOTGUN SINHA and some memorabel dialogues from both of them.

Infact there is a supporting actor in YASH CHOPRA FILMS (Mahaan SAAB, who i have acted with in some theatre in DELHI).

Mahaan SAAB is the man who plays cards with mac mohan in kaala pathar and who in the end beats mac mohan and gets to go up in the lift. Mahaan saab has told me a lot of stories about the shooting of all the films with AB.

Will dwell on them some other time.

pappupager said...

I agree with KBR. Personally, I also feel that the combination of Yash Chopra and Amitabh Bachchan worked the best.

My favourite Yash Chopra - Amitabh Bachchan movie is Kabhi Kabhie. And that particular scene between Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor, I thought that both acted well. It was very natural for Shashi Kapoor to come out on tops because of his larger-than life character. However, Amitabh's character was the quiet-brooding type and I thought Amitabh under-played it very well. Both were very good performances.

Anonymous said...

Parveen Babi and Smita Patil were originall considered for SILSIA. Yash Chopra said in an interview that Amitabh asked him what was his ideal cast and he said Amitabh, Rekha and Jaya. Yash Chopras confirms the affair in a BBC Radio interview. He says he was on tenderhooks because Reel life was imitating Real life. The affair was on before the movie though he did not make the movie because of it. Here's the link to the interview