Showing posts with label super star. Show all posts
Showing posts with label super star. Show all posts

Friday, 11 October 2019

Amitabh Bachchan - How an Actor Rejected by Producers and Directors became the most saught after actor

If we read this story of Amitabh Bachchan, this would be the inspiration to the younger generation not to be dejected by the failures but try & try to achieve your goal, one-day success will come in your way. We elders also take a lesson from him, how he battled various injuries and illnesses in the past, including tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, myasthenia gravis and 25 percent of the liver, he still works and keeps himself fit.
Amitabh Bachchan was rejected in 1967 when he came to Bombay for Filmfare and Madhuri Film Talent Contest. His voice was earlier rejected by AIR for an announcer in Radio. His photographs were rejected by many producers saying that no heroine would like to work with this tall and lanky person. Before Zanzeer all (9) of his films flopped.
In this Blog, I look into the story of the Mahanayak of Hindi film industry. How he was recommended by the then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi.
After receiving the rejection letter from the Film Talent Contest, Amitabh Bachchan was deeply depressed. Her mother who saw her Munna (Amitabh) in that stage contacted Indira Gandhi who was her friend to recommend her son to the Bollywood. 
Mrs. Gandhi knew Nargis Dutt very well, she rang Nargis Dutt and asked her to help Amitabh Bachchan to get into Films. Nargis Dutt then contacted Mr. Raj Grover who was very close to the editor of Madhuri, the Hindi film magazine which took the Talent Contest. He collected the photograph of Amitabh from them.
Nargis Ji showed this photograph first to B R Chopra who was a big name in Bollywood. Mr. Chopra took a glimpse of the photo for a second and put the photograph on the table. He didn't say anything but it looked like that he rejected him. Mr. Raj Grover who accompanied Nargis Dutt in that meeting read the situation, he told B R Chopra that this boy has been recommended by then PM Indira Gandhi. He then immediately picked up the photo and looked for few more seconds and said "Haan Kuchh Baat Toh Hai Iske Chehre mein".He took a phone and called Mohan Sehgal informing him that he would like to take audition of a young boy during his next shooting schedule.
After few days the shooting was to begin so B R Chopra informed Nargis Dutt about the dates and asked Amitabh to be there for the audition.
Amitabh Bachchan in those days was working in Bird & Co at Calcutta. He took four days leave from that company and landed at Bombay. He stayed with his friend at Colaba
This detail information I have gathered from the book The Legends Of Bollywood written by Mr. Raj  Grover who is being referred here. In this book, these 4 days are written very beautifully.
Nargis ji fixed the meeting of Amitabh with the Rajshri head Tarachand Barjatya who was planning a film at that time. She also informed him about the background of Amitabh.
When Mr. Barjatya saw Amitabh Bachchan, he looked at him and said " No heroine would like to work with you. You are very tall. You should take your famous father's footstep and write poetry like him"
On the third day, Amitabh went to Mohan Studio with Mr. Raj Grover for the audition. Mr Mohan Saigal asked Mr. Raj Grover to give him a few lines to prepare for the audition whatever he feels suitable. He was given a few romantic lines, Amitabh also added few lines from Madhushala. This audition was not approved. So Amitabh Bachchan was once again was dejected.
Before Amitabh Bachchan was to leave for Calcutta, Sunil Dutt promised him that he will give him a role in Reshma Aur Shera as soon as he will start the film. Sunil Dutt kept his photograph with him. KA Abbas the famous director was starting a film Saat Hindustani and he was looking for seven new faces for that film. Sunil Dutt recommended him for one of the seven characters 
The shooting of Reshma Aur Shera started first, though he played a dumb character in that film his voice was being appreciated by one and all unit members. It was Sunil Dutt and Manoj Kumar who were appreciative of Amitabh before any of his films released. It was Saat Hindustani completed first and released first. His performance was appreciated by many. Similarly in Reshma Aur Shera though his role was short but he was highly appreciated.
Before Reshma Aur Shera his second film Parwana was released. In this film, Amitabh plays his first negative role as an infatuated lover-turned-murderer. The film had Navin Nischal as a hero but Amitabh's performance was appreciated.
Another film released before Reshma Aur Shera was Anand of Hrishikesh Mukharji. It stars Rajesh Khanna in the lead role, with a supporting cast including Amitabh Bachchan, The role of Babu Moshay became immortal. From this film the making of a big star began.
During the shooting of Saat Hindustani Amitabh and Anwar Ali, the younger brother of Mahmood became friends. Mahmood liked Amitabh Bachchan and treated him as his younger brother, he even asked him to live in his house. He gave him a separate room to live in. He offered him the role of hero in Bombay to Goa released in 1972.
At the time of the making of Guddi, he became a friend of Jaya Bhaduri. Both of them worked together as Hero and Heroine in two films Bansi Birju and Ek Nazar released in 1972, both the films flopped but their love story was hit. In the meantime Prakash Mehra was starting Zanzeer,  he wanted to take Dharmendra as his hero but Dharmendra couldn't give him dates, then Dev Anand was approached who denied the film as there were no song situations for the hero in the film. Raj Kumar was also approached but he refused the film. It was Pran who suggested Amitabh's name and also supported by Salim Javed, the role went to Amitabh. Zanjeer proved to be the biggest turning point in Big B's life professionally as well as personally. The film not only made him a star overnight, and also tied the knot with Jaya Bhaduri.
In his Blog Amitabh Bachchan wrote that  he wanted to celebrate the success of Zanjeer with Jaya in London (they were yet to be married) when he received a diktat from his father late poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan: "Who all are going came the query from Babuji... names disclosed.. 'Jaya is also going with you... you both are alone... yes... if you have to go, marry and go',"
The year 1973 was also when he married Jaya, and around this time they appeared in several films together: not only Zanjeer but also subsequent films such as Abhimaan, which was released only a month after their marriage and was also successful at the box office. Later, Bachchan played the role of Vikram, once again along with Rajesh Khanna, in the film Namak Haraam, a social drama directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and scripted by Biresh Chatterjee addressing themes of friendship. His supporting role won him his second Filmfare Best Supporting Actor award.
In 1974, Bachchan made several guest appearances in films such as Kunwara Baap and Dost, before playing a supporting role in Roti Kapda Aur Makaan. Just after that his film Majboor was released. The film was a success at the box office 
In 1975, he starred in a variety of film genres, from the comedy Chupke Chupke and the crime drama Faraar to the romantic drama Mili. This was also the year in which Bachchan starred in two films regarded as important in Hindi cinema history, both written by Salim-Javed. The first released on 15 August 1975, was Sholay, which became the highest-grossing film ever in India at the time, The other was Deewaar, directed by Yash Chopra, where he worked with Shashi KapoorNirupa RoyParveen Babi, and Neetu Singh, and earned another Filmfare nomination for Best Actor. The film became a major hit at the box office in 1975,   Now he became the most sought after Hero of Bollywood. Every producer wanted to make a film with him. 
With his brilliant acting skills and his ability to deliver blockbusters after blockbuster, Bachchan was set for the long haul. The importance of being Amitabh Bachchan is not limited to his career, although he reinvented himself and experimented with his roles and acted in many successful films.
Here are Rare Songs from Amitabh Bachchan Films Pre Zanjeer
Songs of Saat Hindustani 1970

Songs of Pyar Ki Kahani 1971

Songs of Sanjog 1972

Songs of Ek Nazar 1972

Songs of Ek Nazar 1972

Songs of  Bansi Birju 1972

 Song of Raaste Ka Pathar 1972

Songs of  Raaste Ka Pathar 1972

 Bandhe Haath 1972

Songs of Bombay To Goa 1972

Songs of Bombay To Goa 1972

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Javed Akhtar - A journey from a Ghost Writer to Super Star Writer

Javed Akhtar was born on 17th Jan 1945, His father was a  famous poet and Lyricist but he had to struggle in his early days in Bombay. He came to Bombay On October 4,1964  Within six days of his arrival he had to leave his father's home. He had 27 paise in his pockets. He had no certainty of either food or shelter.
 He managed to write dialogue for a minor film for Rs100. Sometimes he gets some work as an assistant or otherwise but often even this work eludes him.
He used to write a few scenes for the producers as Ghost Writer, The credit went to the ScreenPlay writer of that film.For this, he was paid a meagre amount of Rs 100.
For a year he had been living in Kamaal Studio (present-day Natraj Studios). He slept wherever he fancy-sometimes in some verandah, sometimes in some corridor, sometimes under some tree. He also slept for few days at the Mahakali Caves (these ancient Buddhist Caves in crowded East Andheri near Kamalistan Studio were a part of a desolate landscape in those days where hemp smoking mendicants layabout).
For a few days he lived with a friend who was a gambler, he taught him the tricks of gambling. For a few days, the cards provided the means of survival. After some days a famous and successful writer called and offered him a job at Rs 600 per month. The work was to ghostwrite for him. There was a struggle of 5 years for him. At last in November 1969 he got some work which in film parlance is called a "break"..
 He got a job as an independent scriptwriter on Yakeen which flopped. Akhtar then joined with his friend Salim Khan to develop the story for Adhikar.After that both wrote for G P Sippy for Andaz, the film was hit and after that Rajesh Khanna asked them to write the screenplay of Haathi Mere Saathi.
Their first big success was the script for Andaz, followed by Adhikar (1971), Haathi Mere Saathi and Seeta Aur Geeta (1972). They also had hits with Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973), Zanjeer (1973), Haath Ki Safai (1974), Deewaar (1975), Sholay (1975), Chacha Bhatija (1977), Don (1978), Trishul (1978), Dostana (1980), Kranti (1981), Zamana (1985) and Mr. India (1987). They have worked together in 24 films including two Kannada films – Premada Kanike and Raja Nanna Raja. Of the 24 films they wrote, 20 were hits.
Javed is an Urdu poet before writing songs for films he was writing poetry.It was Yash Chopra who insisted him to write songs for his film Silsila(1981). After that he gave us many memorable songs He won 5 National Awards for his songs and also 5 Filmfare Awards for lyrics. In 2013, he received the Sahitya Akademi Award in Urdu, India's second highest literary honour, for his poetry collection Lava.
He was also nominated a Rajya Sabha MP.from Nov 2009 to Nov 2015.
He married to Honey Irani, with whom he had two children, Farhan Akhtar and Zoya Akhtar, both film directors and actors. The father-and-son duo has worked together in films such as Dil Chahta HaiLakshyaRock On!! and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara with Zoya. He divorced Irani and later married Shabana Azmi, the daughter of eminent Urdu poet, Kaifi Azmi.
Some of his Popular Songs

Song of Silsila 1981

Song of Sagar 1985

Song of 1942: A Love Story 1994

Song of Tezaab 1988

Song of Refugee 2000

Song of Lagaan 2001

Song of Veer Zaara 2004

Saturday, 29 December 2018

The Meteoric Rise of Rajesh Khanna

There has been no other star in the film industry who saw such a meteoric rise within such a short span of time.  He starred in 15 consecutive solos hit films from 1969 to 1971, still an unbroken record. He was the first Hindi actor whose films ran to full houses for months on end in non-Hindi speaking areas.
He had substance as well as charisma. The innocence and freshness we can see in his performances, that vulnerable, lost look-all created a persona that gave joy to hearts and romance that made hearts skip a beat. 

Rajesh Khanna (29 December 1942 – 18 July 2012) made his debut in 1966 with Aakhri Khat. During his career, he appeared in more than 168 feature films. It was the 1969 film Aradhana,  he rose to "instant national fame" and film critics referred to him as the first superstar of India. In 1971, he acted in Haathi Mere Saathi, which became that year's highest-grossing film and the biggest grosser ever till then. He had all the films hits except Badnam Farishte in 1971 that was the first film flopped at the box office since his consecutive 17 hits from 1969.
.During the peak of his career he would be mobbed during public appearances. Fans kissed his car, which would be covered with lipstick marks, and lined the road, cheering and chanting his name. Female fans sent him letters written in their blood.
Music remained one of the biggest attractions of all Rajesh Khanna films throughout his career. His films were always known for the music with chartbuster soundtracks. The reason for this was that Khanna used to personally sit in music sessions with music directors such as Kalyanji Anandji, R. D. Burman, Shankar Jaikishen, Lakshmikant Pyarelal, S.D. Burman, Bappi Lahiri and select tunes for duets and solo songs in his films. He used to be personally present for the recording of the solo songs to be picturised on him.
Rajesh Khanna was indeed a Superstar, but we’re sure he wouldn’t have been the same without Kishore Kumar. Kishore Kumar who usually sang for Dev Anand and for himself in the films took the permission from Dev Anand to sing for Rajesh Khanna in Aradhana songs. It was the music of Aradhana that created two sensations in Bollywood one was Rajesh Khanna and the other was Kishore Kumar.

'Rajesh Khanna once in an interview said  "Kishore Kumar was my soul and I was his body,"  Along with RD Burman, Kishore Kumar and Rajesh Khanna churned out one hit after the other. ‘Kati Patang’ released in 1970 was this trio’s first film together. Songs like ‘Yeh Shaam Mastani’ and ‘Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai’ hit the bull’s eye. Kishore Kumar's songs can be called a key reason of many Rajesh Khanna’s films. 'Aap Ki Kasam', 'Amar Prem', 'Mere Jeevan Saathi', the list of their successful films together is endless. Listen to the best songs of the duo here
Song of Aradhana 1969

Song of Aradhana 1969

Song of Aradhana 1969

Song of Sachaa Jhutha 1970

Song of Kati Patang 1970

Song of Kati Patang 1970

Song of Amar Prem 1972

Song of Mere Jeevan Saathi 1972

Song of Aap Ki Kasam 1974

Song of Mehbooba  1976

Song of Agar Tum Na Hote  1983

Thursday, 11 October 2018

The Voice that was rejected by All India Radio became the USP of Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan, who had wished to become a radio presenter before he tried his luck in Bollywood, his was rejected by  All India Radio Delhi. He tried in Bombay too by visiting the studios multiple times but failed to make the cut as Ameen Sayaani didn’t clear him. Later in an interview, he regretted denying him an audition.
Amitabh Bachchan was first heard rather than seen. His richly textured voice provides the sardonic voiceover in Mrinal Sen’s satire 1969 Bhuvan Shome.
Bollywood had many Actors with a powerful voice and great dialogue delivery. As per my knowledge these people may or may not be equally big stars but their voice had an impact.In the present scenario, Amitabh Bachchan remains the No one, no other actor near him with such a powerful voice and powerful dialogue delivery. He has been a narrator, a playback singer, and presenter for numerous programmes.He is the only actor who gave his voice as Sutradhar in more than 20 films. Renowned film director Satyajit Ray was so impressed with Bachchan's voice that he decided to use Bachchan as the narrator in his 1977 film Shatranj Ke Khilari.In this blog I discuss some of the films in which he gave his voice 

Bhuvan Shome - Cult Classic Groundbreaking Indian Film - Narrated By Amitabh Bachchan(watch from 7:25 to 8:25 minute)

After Bhuwan Shome it was Hrishikesh Mukherjee who took his voice in 1972 film Bawarchi as narrator. Later Satyajit Ray took him as narrator for 1977 film Shatranj Ke Khiladi. The film was set in the backdrop of the British annexation of Avadh and starred Sanjeev Kumar, Amjad Khan and Saeed Jaffrey in key roles. Also, this may be the only Satyajit Ray film that Amitabh Bachchan has worked for.

J P Dutta also used his services as the narrator in his 1985 film Ghulami. Again in 1989 film Batwara he worked as a narrator. In 1996 in his own production Tere Mere Sapne he was the narrator. In 1999 film Hello Brother his voice was used as the God's voice.

Aamir Khan starrer required a strong and credible voice for Lagaan and there was no one else who could fit the bill other than Amitabh Bachchan. Ashutosh Gowariker who was the director of Lagaan approached Big B yet again for a voiceover in his period drama, Jodhaa Akbar. And this time around, the film starred none other than Aishwarya Rai, who is Amitabh Bachchan’s daughter-in-law in real life.
He also gave his voice for 2005 film Parineeta. He mentioned in an interview how lending his voice for Parineeta made him nostalgic because of his strong connection with Bengali culture and literature.  

In recent years he gave his voice for Ra one and Krishh 3, he will be lending his voice to the Hindi version of 'The Big Friendly Giant', a 2016 American fantasy adventure film directed and produced by Steven Spielberg. The film is based on the 1982 novel of the same name by Roald Dahl.
A unique film was released in 2015 named Shamitabh written and directed by R. Balki. The film features Amitabh BachchanDhanush and Akshara Haasan, in her debut, .Dhanush who plays a deaf and mute junior artiste.He meets assistant director Akshara Pandey (Akshara Haasan) who is impressed by his talent. She shows his video, shot on her phone, to her director, Anay Verma (Ivan Rodrigues), but he rejects casting a mute hero. Akshara's father, a doctor, treats Danish after he gets into a fight with security guards. On his recommendation, Danish and Akshara arrive at Finland to meet his friend who shows Danish their new "Live Voice Transfer Technology", that uses embedded micro-recorders and ear-pieces and enables mute people to communicate via a "borrowed" voice.
On returning to Mumbai meet Amitabh Sinha played by Amitabh Bachchan and ask him to lend his voice to Danish; he accepts, and signs an agreement not to disclose himself as Danish's voice. So in this film, Amitabh voice was used for the hero as well as himself. 

            Amitabh Bachchan lends his voice - Shamitabh

Besides giving his voice for films he sang for himself in many films. Here are some of the songs sung by him.

The first song is sung in a film Mr Natwar Lal
Song of Mr Natwar Lal 1979

Song of Silsila 1981

Song of Laawaris 1981

Song of Silsila 1981

Song of Baghban 2003

Song of Baghban 2003

Song of Nishabd 2007

Song of Shamitabh 2015

                                          Ekla Cholo Re Full Song from Kahaani

                                                            Tu Chal | PINK | 2017

Song of 102 Not Out 2018

Friday, 29 December 2017

Rajesh KhannaThe Hysteria he whipped up during his heyday.

 Born as Jatin Khanna on 29th Dec 1942, was India's first superstar, a heart-throb who had women trying to commit suicide when he tied the knot with Dimple Kapadia in 1973.The nation sat up and took notice of this unknown actor with a charming smile and a twinkle in his eye.

His smile in his heydays made millions of his female fans' hearts skip a beat. There are various stories of his besotted female fans marrying themselves to his photographs. Such was his craze for this Amar Prem lover boy that his fans wrote letters to him in their blood.During the peak of his career he would be mobbed during public appearances. Fans kissed his car, which would be covered with lipstick marks, and lined the road, cheering and chanting his name.Rajesh Khanna was God, there has never been such hysteria.

He made his film debut in the 1966 film Aakhri Khat, directed by Chetan Anand, followed by Raaz, directed by Ravindra Dave, both of which were a part of his predetermined prize for winning the All-India United Producers’ Talent Competition. G.P. Sippy and Nasir Hussain were the first to sign Rajesh Khanna after he won the contest.
From  Aradhana(1969) he rose to "instant national fame" and film critics referred to him as the first superstar of India. He starred in 15 consecutive solo hit films from 1969 to 1971, still an unbroken record.
Sharmila Tagore  in an interview to The Indian Express said  that "women came out in droves to see Kaka. They would stand in queues outside the studios to catch a glimpse, they would marry his photographs, they would pull at his clothes. Delhi girls were crazier for him than Mumbai girls. He needed police protection when he was in public. I have never seen anything like this before or since.
During the filming of Amar Prem there was a scene that needed to be shot at Howrah Bridge with a boat carrying Khanna and Sharmila under the bridge. The authorities ruled this scene out as they realised that if the public found out that the star would be there, it may create problems on the bridge and that it might collapse due to the amount of people trying to get a glimpse of their favorite actor.
Several songs sung by Kishore Kumar in the 1970s were based on Rajesh Khanna. During the filming of the song 'Mere Sapnon Ki Rani' in Aradhana, Sharmila Tagore was shooting for a Satyajit Ray film and director Shakti Samanta had to shoot their scenes separately and then join the scenes together. In the 1970s, his chemistry with Sharmila TagoreMumtazAsha ParekhZeenat AmanTanuja and Hema Malini were also popular with audiences.

He died on 18 July 2012, at his bungalow, Aashirwad, in Mumbai.His funeral was attended by nearly 9 lakh people and his fans had come from places like Surat, Ahmedabad, California, Singapore and from other foreign countries.Police had to resort to lathi-charge to control the crowd of fans who had gathered for the procession from Khanna's Bandra house to the crematorium.
 His name will be written in golden words." Amitabh Bachchan was quoted as saying: "The word 'superstar' was invented for him, and for me it shall ever remain his, and no others .. !! His generation and the generations that follow, shall never be able to describe, or understand his phenomena .. !!"
A Tribute to Rajesh Khanna With Some of My Favorite Songs
Song from Aradhana 1969

Song from Khamoshi 1969

Song from Safar 1970

Song from Kati Patang 1971

Song from Amar Prem1972

Song from Mere Jeevan Saathi 1972

Song from Daag 1973

Song from Prem Nagar 1974

Song from Mehbooba 1976

Song from Thodisi Bewafaii 1980

Song from Agar Tum Na Hote 1983