Sukanya Verma applauds the man, the movies and the many, many, MANY memories he’s created on the big screen through 80 Amitabh Bachchan moments.
- Amitabh Magic: Adventures of Mr Natwarlal
- More Magic: The Big B’s Ande Ka Funda
- And some more: Kacha Paapad Pukka Paapad
61. Devil or dare, Aks
AB fights the devil in him and outside in the deliciously dark and unwaveringly cryptic Aks, resulting in a performance that unlocks bold new facets of his edginess and intensity. AB’s work in this psychological thriller deserves a lot more love (and streaming space).
62. Desi Dark Knight, Shahenshah
‘Rishte main toh hum tumhare baap hote hain, naam hai Shahenshah.’ AB demonstrating Batman-inspired nocturnal vigilantism and Darth Vader’s deep breathing while sporting a metal armed leather jacket was designed for claps, ceetis and spoofs.
63. Tale of telescope love, Mili
One doesn’t need a telescope to see the romance blossoming between neighbours bonding over stars and smiles in Hrishida‘s heartfelt Mili, capturing the real-life husband wife duo at their spontaneous, disarming, best.
64. Line logic, Kaalia
‘Jahan khade ho jaate hain wahin se line shuru hoti hai‘. Who came first? Chicken or egg? Technically, that super cool line was first uttered by Bob Cristo. As much as I feel for Bob, Bachchan does walk away with the line, his typical touché touch and thundering applause.
65. Roti recovery, Yaarana
Voluntarily entering a mental institution, enduring electric shocks, seeking permission from the doctors to prepare a roti, wrap it in a newspaper that will treat your best friend’s delirium is the sort of exaggerated bromance only superstars of AB and Amjad Khan’s calibre could pull off in the good old days.
66. Sakhi, Bemisaal
Harry and Sally could never be friends but Harry’s theory completely fails around Amitabh and his Sakhi (Raakhee).
Whatever feelings they have towards each other are nipped in the bud when they choose to keep it platonic in Bemisaal. The obvious comfort and mutual respect between these two adds to the equation.
67. Scenes from a marriage, Abhimaan
Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan’s moving depiction of a husband and wife navigating through professional success and personal heartbreaks hits peak sensitivity in the touching finale when they reach out to each other through the one thing that understands, expresses and ties them — music.
68. Signature moves, Kaalia
The Big B’s much loved, much copied, trademark dance steps white tut-tuting Amjad Khan in Jahan Teri Yeh Nazar Hai are the life of any and every party.
69. Sledging match, Barsaat Ki Ek Raat
Amjad Khan’s haughty baddie really brought out the imp in Bachchan. Social gathering or Durga Pooja, our hero never skipped a single opportunity to shame his favourite foe. Kaaliram and his broken dhol haven’t stopped grumbling since.
70. Six to Nine, Aakhri Raasta
Outlook is everything.
What looks 6 to me will seem 9 to you, Amitabh Bachchan’s sagacious father on a revenge spree tells his duty-bound policeman son, also played by Amitabh Bachchan. A lesson to remember and scene to behold.
71. Sony Classic, Sooryavansham
If someone had a penny for every single time an Indian channel aired this cult classic (of the bizarre kind) starring Bachchan in a double role, Sooryavansham would have its own bank.
72. Soul singer, Alaap
It’s hard to believe the same year Amitabh Bachchan engaged in every manner of horseplay as Anthony Gonsalves, he also starred as the music loving melancholic soul going against his proud father yet refusing to give up on his passions in Alaap.
73. Teen Naamon-wala Waiter, Naseeb
John Jaani Janardhan, tararumpumpumpum! Much before SRK invited all of Bollywood to add sparkle in Om Shanti Om‘s grand title song, AB’s charming waiter endeared himself to the who’s who of show business in Manmohan Desai’s star-studded song.
74. Complex Indian Male, Abhimaan
In its own gentle way, Abhimaan addresses the male ego problem through the lens of marriage when Jaya’s success exceeds husband Amitabh’s.
Though he doesn’t announce his jealousy out loud, the slow-burn bitterness and tense body language says it all. As do these clever, telling, reflections of him inside the recording studio.
75. The Last Journey, Piku
Towards the end, Bachchan’s Bhaskor cycles around Kolkata city and enjoys a meal of forbidden fried goodies, a strange protective feeling sprung inside me. My childhood hero now paralleled the parent towards whom I share Piku‘s insecurity and fear of loss. Bachchan playing it makes it all the more personal.
76. Trible Bonanza, Mahaan
Everybody knows why two Amitabh Bachchans are better than one. But three just takes the cake. AB plays both daddy-gone-underground and his separated-at-birth twins in this 1983 entertainer.
Between the no-nonsense cop and his cheeky ventriloquist sibling, my vote goes to Bapu and his extreme ideas of ‘prayashcheet‘ where he gets his minion to yearly whiplash him for abandoning his wife and newborns.
77. Trigger point, Reshma Aur Shera
Violence begets violence. Except in poor Chhotu’s case, he’s unwittingly dragged into firing shots at the enemy clan’s son triggering more episodes of conflict and tragedy. Bachchan’s turn as the mute Chhotu contributes significantly to Reshma Aur Shera‘s volatility.
78. AB Baby, Paa
Amitabh is virtually unrecognisable as a progeria patient, but his boyish wonder and awkward giggles as school-going Auro (while son Abhishek takes on daddy duties) renders the performance more than its prosthetics.
79. Tum mere Dadoo nahi ho sakte, Namak Halal
Few things are as effortless as Bachchan and Om Prakash’s chemistry. The love is palpable when the latter poses as a wannabe city slicker prompting AB’s hysterical outburst over the suddenly ‘sharaabi, kebabi, ladkiyon ko chednewale buddhe‘.
80. Coach Vijay, Jhund
Vijay is still not done voicing his anger towards the wrong in society. But his older, wiser avatar is calm, charitable, easy-going. Instead of bringing an ambulance, he pays to play football. What still hasn’t changed is his comfort around kids.
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