Movies, the people who made Amitabh Bachchan a star: the ‘angry young man’ who defined the 1970s

“Jab tak baithne ko na kaha jaye, sharafat se khade raho. Yes Hai Police Station, Tamheer Bab Ka Ghar Nahi.”

when Amitabh BachchanVijay said these lines in Zinger Prakash Mehra, The audience got their first glimpse of the character who would eventually be known as “The Angry Young Man”. Movie after movie, Amitabh Bachchan became synonymous with his on-screen avatar of Vijay, and the audience cheered him on loudly. Although he wasn’t the “traditional hero” who knew right from wrong, he was a hero to the fans because he wasn’t apologizing and channeling their anger.

Unlike many stars before him like Rajesh KhannaDev Anand Dilip Kumar, Amitabh’s Vijay was not the romantic star but what he championed had a broader relationship with the audience at the time. Vijay had a certain anxiety that struck a chord with the masses, thus, the “Angry Young Man” became a phenomenon.

Over the years, “The Angry Young Man” has been analyzed by scientists around the world. The idea for the character came from an ordinary man whose idealized image of a morally righteous life began to change as he realized that the system was stacked against him. To finally take control of his life, he had to disregard law and order and go down an unconventional path. His delusion that a happy society was just began to crumble and the anger was reflected in cinema in the early 1970s. Amitabh portrayed various shades of this character in films like Deewar, Trishul, Don, Muqaddar Ka Sikander, Kaala Patthar, Laawaris, Shakti and others.

In a conversation with Syed Ferdows Ashraf in 1998, director Prakash Mehra said that when he chose Amitabh for Zanjeer, the actor was struggling with one twist after another. Mehra was the first director to bring “The Angry Young Man” to the screen, but the director revealed that this particular term to describe the character was not given by writer Salim Javid, it’s a name that came from the press. “The name of the angry young man from the press,” he said. Unlike a late reversal of the character, Zanjeer Vijay dresses as a cop but his frustration with the system makes him sleepless. Since Mehra was the first person to bring this character to life, without any indication at all, he explained the character’s anger. “If you watch the movie, you will discover that it is the inner struggle of someone who is suffocating and wants to fight the system. He cannot do it alone,” he told Ashraf.

Dewar gave Amitabh Bachchan the kind of success that propelled him to stardom.

Most of the films of the “Angry Young Man” era were written by Amitabh duo written by Salim Javed (Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar). While much has been written about Vijay’s social and economic makeup, writers often say that at that time they were not consciously imbibing these characteristics into their work, but it certainly affected their mental formation. In a session during the Jaipur Literature Festival in 2017, Javid spoke about the unstable political era of the 1970s and how it affected the psyche of the common man. It was a politically unstable time, unconstitutional forces were emerging. Judgments of the higher courts were overturned. And that was the time before the emergency where perhaps for the first time, we realized that a socialist way of life (which we thought) would bring happiness, joy, and prosperity (that) on the next page of the calendar…nothing happened. So those dreams were shattered and somewhere the average Indian was losing faith in law, order and institution. So it’s no surprise that an angry young man came in, and he was very direct and frank,” he said.

Amitabh was the actor who became the face of those emotions in the masses. Javed added that Bergo from mother of india (played by Sunil Dutt) and Gunja from Gunja Jumna (played by Dilip Kumar) may have been earlier versions of the character who may not have been widely associated, but by the time the ’70s rolled around, a sense of rage was starting to spread.

Kala Patar Vijay of Kaala Patthar was thinking about his failure at sea.

The common man’s anxiety has been translated differently into each of these perceptions by Amitabh. While the man in Dewar was angry because his father left the family and left him with a tattoo written on it “Mira Bab Chor Hai” The man from Kala Patar was still getting over the shock of the ship he had left behind. His anger at Trishul arose from the fact that his father had left his pregnant mother for a rich woman, and they had to fight for a morsel. Vijay In Dawn became a victim of circumstances after his life was threatened, while he had to take care of two young children.

Vijay’s influence was such that the man who could have been seen as a villain in previous decades is now the character of the hero. Many of these films were multi-starred, and Vijay was often cast as a traditional hero, which made him more appealing to the audience.

Salim introduces the grumpy young Javed to Zinger, but as their journey and Amitabh progresses, it becomes a symbiotic relationship. With Deewar, Sholay, Don and Kaala Patthar, they went on to create many masterpieces together. In fact, Amitabh was not even the first choice for Dewar, It was Rajesh Khanna, who lost the role Because Salim Javid convinced director Yash Chopra that no one but Amitabh fits the law. In an interview with Lata Khubchandani in 2000, Salim Khan said, “Amitabh is one of the best actors who has ever appeared on the Hindi film scene. His character inspired the quality of films we wrote for him. We retained his personality, talent, and acting ability and wrote films around these criteria. These roles were not interchangeable. It was destined for him, written for him.” It is often credited to Amitabh that Salim Javid’s writing was such that any actor who would have landed in Vijay’s shoes, would be a star but in hindsight, one could say that Amitabh was destined for these roles.

Amitabh Bachchan Vijay wants Trishul to avenge his mother who was left behind by Sanjeev Kumar RK Gupta.

Amitabh’s role with the angry young man became his “worker” today, and soon other filmmakers and writers were casting shades of this character in films such as Qadar Ka Sikander, Sohag, Al Awares among others. Late actor and writer Kader Khan wrote dialogues for several films of Manmohan Desai and Prakash Mehra. In a conversation with Lata Khubchandani for Rediff, Khan shared that Amitabh’s charisma had a lot to do with his voice and writers made sure they used it while writing for him. Amitabh has this innate talent for speech, but he has also trained himself. He is an actor who has put effort in all aspects of acting. The potential was in him and he had refined it. Most people feel good about themselves, but not Amitabh. He said, “He works hard and is loyal to his profession.”

Explaining the popularity and immediate relevance of his roles, Bachchan himself said, “There was a kind of pent-up rage in the minds and hearts of young people in India, something they desired that was neither said nor out. Perhaps in these roles the way they were written and perhaps the way they were done, they found a statement Subtle to say. There was a tremendous identification by the people, the youth, and the characters that I was doing. Because of that identification, they became very popular.”

As the ’80s progressed, the era of the angry young man began to ebb and soon came to an end. As Javed Akhtar said on Lit Fest, “People can’t stay angry for long.” The ‘Angry Young Man’ character hasn’t disappeared from cinema in a while and we still see patches of it in mainstream movies, but the images of this character have always been associated with Amitabh Bachchan and will remain a part of his legacy.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *