Friday, March 18, 2011

Thank you so much for your generous wishes to Shweta

Jalsa , Mumbai       Mar  17,  2011     Thu  11 : 13 PM
First off … thank you so much for your generous wishes to Shweta. I have insisted that she reads the blog and all the responses to get a gist of how much she is loved. Else I threatened her that I shall copy all of them and email it to her … which would be an exercise in itself … but then …
And tonight I wait … awake again for the midnight to wish Shweta’s husband Niky a happy birthday for the 18th !! They are both the same age … Niky a day younger ! So wishes to him and glory and happiness for their life together.
And Moses from Israel sends me a photograph of Abhishek and me during one of our earlier visits to the erstwhile Soviet Union, now Russia. And we have sat together and reminisced those days spent and all the thoughts of the visit and in particular little incidents that occurred during our stay. One that stands out most on seeing this picture is that soon after, Abhishek was besieged by an entire bus load of Russian girls, who insisted he gave them his autograph !! Ha ! And he did ! And felt very important while it all lasted. If I am not mistaken it was his first ever autograph. Neither he nor I did ever imagine that he would join the movies and be doing this act on a daily basis !
I am greatly taken up also in todays comments by Satyam, who has as always, raised very pertinent observations, on the death of ‘characters’ in the movies by the ‘actor’ that plays them. Its a good observation and one that deserves greater attention. I am not prepared yet academically to give it due response, but it is something that draws my attention and I would like to dwell on it in the days to come. How the character in film leaves lasting impression of the actor involved and when the actor shifts his ‘loyalties’ to another character in other film and set up, how the identity of the previous lives on after. And if he or she does not adhere to the characteristics of the one that has a strong identification, what effect it has on the viewer ! Very interesting !
To me it justifies a kind of betrayal to the fan or the audience, if we have not complied with certain traits that have left a strong indelible impression on the mind of the fan or viewer. I felt ‘Nishabd’ in more recent times challenged me as an actor, and I believe it provoked me enough to delve into areas where I had not been and that it gave me an opportunity to go beyond what I had been doing earlier. But … one sentence from a die hard fan got me thinking on why the film failed. There was another recent reaction to it from a dear lady friend of mine in journalism, and I shall talk about it someday, but that one obtuse reaction was equally alarming.
The wife of the DOP on the film, a very generous and committed fan of my films, on coming to know from the publicity, that it was a story of a 60 year old that fell in love with someone 18, simply refused to go to see the film ! Her argument. How can Amit ji do something like this ? How can he fall in love with a 18 year old !! It was not the name of the character that was falling in love. It was Amitabh Bachchan for her. And that is where all debate and discussion can begin.
“Ram Gopal Verma’s film Nishabd (2007), delves into the web of dark obsession where
Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan), an older man falls for his daughter’s eighteen-year-old friend Jia
(Jiah Khan). The film was a box office flop. It had to be. No wife would take her husband to
see this kind of a story. No point giving the old geezer ideas. No young people want to see
the potential of their father’s misbehaviour. No man could admit to his family he wanted to
see it. Sad, because it is an important film. It is a deep, serious work of art wherein the riveting last scene,
Vijay explains to his wife’s brother, Shridhar (Nassar) what stops him from killing himself,
even though he has lost everything. Every day, he drives to a cliff and stands at the edge and
contemplates jumping to his death. In a heart-breaking performance, Vijay (Amitabh) says:
Aisa nahi hai ké mai marné sé darrta hun. Parr socha ké uské yaadon ké saath
kuch din aur jee lu [it is not as if I am afraid of dying. But then I think, just to be
with her memories, I could live for a few more days].
When the camera pans to his brother-in-law’s face, there is no judgement or reproach
in his eyes. Instead, there is a look of recognition between two men of the dark state
of being. Two raw nerves touching delicately, in an almost shared anguish but too
awkward for one man to comfort the other.”
This above piece from Madhu Trehan a senior respected journalist, studied the craft from Columbia Univ., NYC, sister to Aroon Purie, owner and Editor in Chief of INDIA TODAY, India’s Time magazine and running AAJ TAK and Headlines Today Tv channels. Madhu is married to Naresh Trehan, one of the top most cardiac surgeons of the country, also trained and studied in NYC.
Satyam’s claim that his identification with a Vijay or an Anthony or a Heera and then their subsequent ‘death’ in most other films of recent release, has caused a dilemma, or an absence, that the fan or the audience may not necessarily want to appreciate. He could be right. And it could in a sense explain why certain films of certain actors that have adhered to what the audience expects from them, have always succeeded and why when they have done something ‘different’ - another misnomer in our Industry jargon - they have failed, despite their legendary box office legacy !
Which then leads us to, whether you weigh an actors capability by large box office bonanzas, or those delicate ‘artistic’ films where he has given perhaps sensitive performances, but, because of poor sales at the counter, has not fallen within the radar and scope of his assessment as a performer, simply because many people never got to see it. We shall continue to talk about and laud the Sholays and Amar Akbar Anthonys and Muqaddar Ka Sikandars of the world, but seldom speak about those delightful films of Hrishikesh Mukherji - Bemissal and Jurmana, which to me were very exciting and challenging as an actor !
So …. the debate continues … and more time shall be spent on it later perhaps ..
For the moment it is past 12 and the wishes to Niky have been conveyed and I must now listen to the wishes of my body which insist I lay it to rest ..
Good Night ! Shabba Khair, Shubha Ratri …
Amitabh Bachchan
Source:  Big B Blog bigadda

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