Bachchan in Deewaar(1975), The Peak of Angry Young Man!

Bachchan in Deewaar(1975), The Peak of Angry Young Man!

People generally agree with the fact that Amitabh Bachchan’s “Angry Young Man” born with his super hit “Zanzeer”. There is a truth behind this notion. But this doesn’t mean that Bachchan never showed his fire in any film he acted before “Zanzeer”. Interestingly he played a villain in one of his early films “Parwana”. Madan Mohan composed melodious tunes with “Simti Si Sharmayee Si” and the timeless classic “Yu na Sharma Faila de…”. The song itself was a peculiar one as it was sung by Kishore and Rafi. Kishore sang in a joyous mood for Navin Nischal and Rafi for Bachchan with almost a suppressed cry but in a bachground. Rafi’s haunting sad tone actually revealed the pain of a defeated heart of Bachchan who loves with Yogita Bali but shattered when comes to know that she loves other guy Navin Nischal. At the end of this song Bachchan breaks his wine glass with a bare hand clinching the fist with frustration and anger. You can find similar glimpse of anger in his others films like “Anand” also.

Bachchan started the era of “Angry Young Man” in Hindi Films with ‘Zanzeer”. This anger was not the regular melodramatic display of frustration but the suppressed hidden dynamite type of emotion that would explode at any time. This particular and special type of emotional exhibit that Bachchan brought to Hindi films was constantly used in almost all the action flicks he acted in; irrespective of the plot. But the portrayal of this anger in “Deewaar” (1975)was different than the rest of his films. In fact it was so natural, real and well blended with the plot that I am compelled to call this performance as a peak of “Angry Young Man” in Bachchan’s film career. Before getting into the details I must make it clear that I am taking just a part of the move into account where Bachchan plays a coolie in a dockyard. Though the entire film is brilliant with no loose ends, I wish to concentrate on just a part of it.

The film begin with the dark, gloomy background of his father being charged as a deceitful union leader who compromised worker’s welfare with his family’s security and eventually beaten up badly by the mob of angry workers who are waiting for good news but felt cheated by him. Someone marks little Bachchan’s hand with the words saying his father is thief. His anger keeps on building and the life brings more frustrations with poverty that crystallizes his rage. Rebellious Bachchan doesn’t believe in god, he sits outside the temple while his mother goes inside the temple and worship. Viewers are almost sure that this suppressed volcano is just about to burst. The plot builds more tension with the death of co worker in the dock who denies paying regular ransom and dies accidently. That works as the last straw on camel’s back. Bachchan decide to fight back; meets his rivals in the warehouse and speaks that famous line “ Peter tum log muze dhundh rahe ho magar main tumhara yahan intazaar kar raha hum”.

The action followed by the exchange of words seems to be realistic simply because of the brilliant display of anger by Mr. Bachchan. Usually hitting 8 – 10 guys at a time by hero is a normal practice in Hindi Films. Nobody bothers about whether it looks unnatural or exaggerated. But this particular action sequence can be considered a brutal one as compared to 70s standard. He keeps on hitting them with shovel till they collapse. According to me, this is one of the most natural action sequences Bachchan has ever performed in his film career. At the end he is fully exhausted, but emerges as a winner, manages to snatch the key from villains pocket and opens the door. Then he goes for the tap, opens it and pours a load of water on his head to cool down. You will rarely find this kind of complete action sequence with the explosion of emotions, action and more important, finishing of the scene with the remarkable indication of the burning heat inside.

Atul Thakur

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