Living legends never get old, but they do celebrate birthday. And a true legend was born exactly 75 years ago, to become one of the most remarkable artists the Indian cinema has ever seen. Happy birthday to Amitabh Bachchan, also know as “the Big B of Bollywood”!
I must have mentioned it already that I’ve been into the Indian culture, music and cinema for a couple of years now and I really enjoy the movies they make – not all of them, of course, and I’m about to write a post that’d debunk some common opinions about the Hindi cinema. Soon…
Amitabh played a crucial role in the very first Indian movie I saw and I’ve been appreciating his acting skills and the entire persona ever since. Born in 1942, he gained popularity in the early 1970s movies, taking the audience by storm as India’s first “angry young man”, a type of a hero that hadn’t been seen before on a silver screen. Among the movies that marked his definitive rise to stardom there are titles like “Zanjeer (1973)”, “Kabhie Kabhie (1976)”, “Coolie (1983)” and probably the two most known worldwide: “Don (1978)”, in which Bachchan plays a double role of a most wanted criminal and his look-alike, accompanied by the Legend Zeenat Aman, and “Sholay (1975)” the all-time blockbuster and the highest-grossing film of 1975, with Amitabh playing the role of Jaidev at the side of Dharmendra as his best friend, Veeru. After the tremendous success of both movies, Sr Bachchan has been seen many times as a mafia don, for example in “Agneepath (1990)” and not so long ago in the “Sarkar” trilogy, which is the director Ram Gopal Varma’s tribute to “The Godfather”.
On the set of the movie “Bansi Birju (1972)”, he met his future wife, Jaya Badhuri and they have continued working together for many years in numerous projects, including post-millennial films. The couple tied the knot in 1973, they have two children, Shweta Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan, who’s also a known actor and husband of the gorgeous actress Aishwarya Rai. For as happy as their marriage is generally perceived, Mr Bachchan showed us his darker side too. It was in the 1984 romance “Silsila”, that the rumours of his alleged affair with one of the iconic Indian actresses, Rekha, spread across the nation. The movie, starred Amitabh, his wife Jaya and Rekha as the ‘other woman’ and there was a predominant belief that the movie showed the stars playing their respective in roles real lives…
Leaving the gossips alone, Big B has been pursuing a successful career until present days and continues to charm the audience with charisma and versatility. Interestingly enough, his stardom is not limited to the country – you’ve probably seen him in “The Great Gatsby (2013)”, where he made his Hollywood debut along Leonardo Di Caprio and Tobey Maguire. Let alone numerous awards he’s been granted both in India and abroad, with the cherry on top being the title of the Actor of the Millennium he gained in a BBC News Poll, ahead of Charlie Chaplin, Sir Laurence Olivier and Marlon Brando. Bachchan also carried the Olympic torch on 27 July 2012 and has been involved in many social actions, for instance for PETA India. In June 2000, he became the first living Asian to have been modeled in wax at London’s Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.
We love Mr Bachchan for:
- His undeniable charisma and the fact that there’s still a great deal of variety in the roles he chooses. Big B does not let himself be typecast in a role of good-natured grandpa and continues to surprise us with his appearances.
- The way he’s managed to stay in such an impressive shape at the age of 75!
- Being the world ambassador of the Indian culture and cinema.
- Winning over social media with his tweets – yes, the legendary actor is up-to-date with the technological advances and does what it takes to stay in touch with his fans. Isn’t it lovely? And he’s just reached the mindblowing number of 30 million followers!
- Being a living proof that nepotism in Bollywood can be overcome (he entered the movie industry without family connections, which is still an uncommon case in India).
The must-see Amitabh Bachchan movies of my choice and mind you, I still have a lot to see:
- Sholay (1975)
- Don (1978)
- Sarkar (2005)
- Silsila (1981)
- Black (2005)
- Bunty Aur Babli (2005)
- Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006)
- Piku (2015)
- Cheeni Kum (2007)
- Veer-Zaara (2004)
- Mohabbatein (2000)
- Shootout at Lokhandwala (2007)
and many more…
Iconic movie scene of my choice (from “Don”):
Some of my favourite songs from Big B’s movies (oldest to newest):
Extra: Amitabh in “The Great Gatsby”:
Long live Amitabh! May your star always shine bright, making our lives happier!
PS: Let this entry be the first in a series of blog posts I’d like to dedicate to people who somehow influenced, or inspired me and whose works I admire and I’ll do my best to make them in a form of a birthday tribute, since it’s always such a lovely occasion 🙂