By Eshna Gupta.
There have been many a great actors in Bollywood but none has ruled the hearts and minds of people like the Shehenshah himself, Amitabh Bachchan. After 45 years on the silver screen and still counting, he’s the man who is never referred to as “old”, for he is an evergreen phenomenon.
Even at an age of 72, he carries an upbeat mien that says, “Buddha hoga tera baap”!
The Evergreen Bachchan :
Though Amitabh Bachchan cannot play the conventional romantic hero of Bollywood today, he is still considered superior to the money-maker Khans and Kapoors.
His grandeur is such that the younger chaps cannot match, but the distinction that he enjoys today is a result of how he made his mark against other actors of his own age back in the 90s when the charm of the other 70s and 80s actors started to blur.
Instead of retiring as a classic, he chose to retailor himself for the revamped industry. With his persistent presence, he kept expanding his fan base. Today, the old and the young alike claim him as an actor of ‘their own time’.
By the end of the 1990s, he was in a financial crisis but he rose out of it like a real hero and since then, it’s as if he’s in a roller coaster that only goes up. Today, he has come to be reverentially looked up to rather than just reverentially remembered.
The Full Package :
Bachchan has shown us that he can do EVERYTHING that the script demands! In the 70s, he started off as the angry young man—a figure that was defined in and by him.
The ’80s saw him as a do-it-all entertainer, a romantic hero, who also did crude comedy, quirky dance steps, over the top action scenes with some of the most kick-ass dialogues of all time.
Though the 90s saw him do rather clichéd roles limited to his comfort zone and he even neglected his acting career to turn to production, he knew how to be back on track.
When he came as a host to Kaun Banega Crorepati after his crisis, it was a striking comeback for him; for the audience, it was an icebreaker. We got a peek beyond the veils of stardom and saw Amitabh Bachchan in a warm, endearing yet majestic persona of his own.
This was also a cue for him to change his image and he started appearing in more serious, older roles loaded with good counsel and desi values. Even till as late as the present decade, he hasn’t turned his back to freshness and creativity, doing rather challenging roles now as the old guy—with a palate of hues.
Daddy Cool, The Desi Way :
Though critics and gossip channels deem box office collections as the grading scale for all actors, Amitabh Bachchan is not treated as a part of the count competition and yet considered a major player. Bachchan himself, though as active in the industry as others, doesn’t display his commercial inclination whatsoever.
Rather, he very carefully paints his image as a desi family-oriented guy.
The Bachchans make their appearance ‘as a family’ wherever possible dressed up in matching ethnic attire. He has never been involved in any scandals as far as I know. The roles he took up after his comeback also made him the face of the strict-yet-loving Indian father.
Even the ad films that cast him associate him Indian culture, ideals and values in one way or the other. This has now become the USP of ‘brand Bachchan’ and we know that in India, nothing else sells like sanskaaars. No wonder we all love him so much!
The God :
In India, we have a massive culture of star-worship in its utmost literal sense. In this course, the fans of Salman and Shahrukh might start bickering over who is better and liberally demean each other’s fandom; but have you ever heard anyone utter a single word against Big B!?
Even the stars of the industry also look up to him, which puts him on an even higher pedestal than them.
The heights of deification are apparent in the title of ‘God’ given to him by his fans; whereas others are honored with rather humble titles like ‘king’ Khan and Sallu ‘bhai’.
He stands at the zenith today; the place that he has earned has a secret recipe of persistence, hard work, charisma and augustness behind it that none of the Khans or the Kapoors can copy!
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