Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Ubiquitous, unquitting, Amitabh

The omni-presence of some of the film personalities – Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan to name two- affects me profoundly. I feel haunted, hounded and hunted all the time.

Take Amitabh. He stares at you 24 x 7 and leaps out of TV channels ( as part of the regular programme content, and on commercial time as well) newspaper ads, hoardings, posters, airport screens, railway station walls, bus stop shelters and even peanut packets that are sold near traffic junctions. You simply cannot avoid his mug. Like Sinbad’s Old man, you can never be rid of him.

In the last 40 years, I am sure that he has taken on every conceivable role- cook, gardener, driver, priest, teacher, saint, barber, doctor, gangster, tailor, policeman, millionaire, billionaire, coolie, lawyer, old man, blind child, deaf transvestite, dumb woman, sick patient, ministering angel, devout Muslim, pious Hindu, true Christian, brave Sikh – you name it. And, the best part is that in each of these roles, he has managed to look like, talk like and walk like Amitabh Bachchan. His mannerisms remain the same, regardless of which role he plays.

Ha, you tell me, I ought to see the movie “Paa”, where one doesn’t get to see Amitabh at all. Such is the brilliance of his acting that you only see the cute character called Auro that he has played.

If one can’t see him in the movie, then why did they have to cast Amitabh in that role? Heh? It might have been anybody passing off as Amitabh playing the part of Auro without looking like Amitabh.

Update 13/12/09: Sudhish Kamath writes, in his review of the film "Paa".

"You cannot make a film about the child being the father of man by simply casting the father as the child, no matter how brilliant the actor is. More so if the point is to show that the child is the father of the man.

….Auro is supposed to be 12-year-old child whose aging process is accelerated. One would then expect to see a child who looks like a frail old man and NOT an old man behaving like a child. There’s a fine line between the two and this is why Amitabh Bachchan as Auro is a huge casting mistake. How poignant and credible it would have been if it were Darsheel Safary (or someone his age) made to look scarily old with no eyebrows or hair and scaly skin!

This takes us back to why Balki made this film. It wasn’t because he wanted to tell us a story about a Progeria patient. He wanted to see Big B play son to Junior Bachchan. That was it. Everything else, including the make-up stunt, was an excuse to arrive at this casting coup even if it means that Bachchan is going to look like half a Zoozoo!


Viky said...

It seems to me that the Pa is actually referring to the one moving scene where Amitabh piggy backs on Abhishek.

As far as the story is concerned, it is a more a mother-son relationship than any father angle!!!

Usha said...

I know even when he is not part of the cast he is the voice of the narrator as in Jodha Akbar.
There is not a day when at least one of his films is aired on at least one of the channels.
There was an interview in some channel the other day where this girl was asking him " every Indian thinks of you at least once a day. How does that make you feel?"
Really? Every Indian?
I asked my maid if she knew him and she asked me if I was asking about ambarish. There is no actor called Amitabh , according to her!

Raj said...

Viky, it makes no difference who went piggy back on Abhishek, does it? Make-up artists can do wonders on anyone these days.

Usha, and what was Amitabh's modest reply to that question. Wait, let me guess, " I am humbled by that statement..."

Usha said...

You are absolutely right - that is precisely what he said!

Usha said...

You are absolutely right - that is precisely what he said!

Mambalam Mani said...

Ha! Comparatively, our humble jibba wearing superstar is lot better. What say?