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On His Birth Anniversary The Best Of Amrish Puri

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Amrish Puri died 10 years ago, leaving a legacy of 200 films in a 30-year career, during which he worked with avantgarde directors like ShyamBenegal and Govind Nihalani and also did outright kitsch.In his early years, most of the work he did was either quality-oriented work or mainstream commercial films where he used his powerful voice and screen presence to accentuate the cinematic definitions of evil. Puri’s truly fecund phase as Bollywood ‘s most dependable character-actor, or actor of character, began in 1992.

On his  birth anniversary on 22 June here’s a checklist of his best films.

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Nishant” (1975) – Playing the eldest brother in a family of cruel zamindars who abduct and rape a schoolteacher’s wife, Amrish Puri struck a note of immediate and everlasting terror in viewers’ hearts. Though the film had other terrific actors, it was Amrish who dominated the show in every way possible. The role had apparently been written for Bengali actor Utpal Dutt who excelled at playing obdurate disciplinarians. Amrish, too, went on to make a great impression on mainstream Hindi cinema as the unrelenting patriarch.

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nishant

Phool Aur Kaante” (1992) – Though this was the launch pad for Ajay Devgan, it was Amrish Puri who stole much of the debutant’s thunder as the good-natured don who wants to win his estranged son’s respect back. Amrish admitted this film was a turning point in his career.

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phool aur kaante

Muskurahat” (1992) – In the year that “Phool Aur Kante” brought grey glory into Amrish’s black persona, he also went out-and-out benign in this wonderfully heart warming story of a sullen old man and a young woman who brings a smile on his frowning face. In the two pivotal roles, Amrish and Revathi were outstandingly synchronised. Director Priyadarshan went on to cast Amrish in most of his Hindi films, including 2004’s “Hulchul” where the actor played an obdurate village leader who’ll go to any lengths to settle scores with his enemies.

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Muskurahat

Viraasat” (1997) – When Priyadarshan was roped in to remake the Tamil blockbuster “Thevar Magan” who but Amrish Puri could play the benign zamindar, modelled on Marlon Brando in “The Godfather”? In the Tamil original it was the theatrical thespian Shivaji Ganesan who played the main role. Amrish modelled his performance on none. He was one of his kind.

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Virasat

“Mr India” (1987) – Screen villainy got a new face, and so did Amrish Puri’s career. Playing the comic book bad-guy MogamboPuri gave a new caricatural twist to celluloid villainy. Partly comic-bookish, partly like the typical arch-villain from James Bond films (he wore a Hitlerian costume throughout), Amrish scared and amused the kids. His antagonism was unique. The role was originally offered to Anupam Kher and apparently taken away when he couldn’t quite deliver what director Shekhar Kapur had in mind.

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Mr-India

Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge” (1995) – Amrish’s best phase as an actor came not as a villain but as a stern disciplinarian with principles that the new generation finds impossible to uphold. More than Shah Rukh Khan, Amrish was the pivotal character of Yash Chopra’s all-time blockbuster. As the London-based Chowdhary Baldev Singh who pines to return to his village in Punjab, Amrish’s character propelled the plot through its tumultuous romantic karma. He was undoubtedly exceptional.

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DDLJ

Pardes” (1997) – Amrish Puri’s second famous NRI’s part spotlighted by his patriotic song “Yeh mera India”. Interestingly, Amrish was a part of every film by Subhash Ghai, from “Ram Lakhan” and “Saudagar” to “Pardes” and “Yaadein” and the just released “Kisna“. “Pardes” remains special for how different Amrish made this NRI seem from the one in “Dilwale Dulhaniya…”

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Pardes

Ghaatak” (1996) – Arguably Amrish’s single most accomplished performance in a commercial film, “Ghaatak” featured him as the eccentric idealist (a role that Puri patented) from Uttar Pradesh who comes to Mumbai for medical treatment with his son (Sunny Deol) only to encounter the worst possible corruption in the city. The theme of disillusionment with corruption was reified in Amrish’s wizened face. Every wrinkle in his face told its own story.

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Ghatak

Nayak” (2001) – As the wily, wicked and grotesque chief minister who gets his comeuppance from a common man (played by Anil Kapoor), Amrish was larger than ‘laugh’. More than any of the other versatile and virile characters that he played, the role of the uni-dimensional corrupt politician showed how ably Amrish could transform a stereotypical role into a pageant of parody. Coolly caricatural and yet purely individualistic… that was Amrish Puri.

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Nayak

Sharaarat” (2002) – As Prajapati, a cantankerous partly delusional old man thrown into an old folks’ home, Amrish was one of a gallery of veterans, and yet a natural cheerleader. Amrish’s scenes of verbal sparring with the bratty Abhishek Bachchan gave to the drama a rippling resonance.

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Sharaarat

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Why On  Earth Is Sushmita Sen Smoking A Cigar In Aarya’s First  Look?

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Aarya

Season 3  of Aarya is being shot as  you read this, and naturally Sushmita Sen is  super-kicked about it, so kicked that she has put  out a  video where she is seen  in the  best Lady Boss version of herself.

Alarmingly, she is seen puffing away at a  cigar, to  complete her Badass Lady Boss image.

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 There was a  time when women smoking  cigarettes  in Hindi cinema signaled vampishness. If a female actor was  shown smoking it meant she had evil designs  over the  hero, and life in general.

 Sushmita being Sushmita, a cigarette won’t do. A  cigar it is, to go with her formidable image. The last Bollywood actor I saw smoking a cigar  on screen was Premnath in the 1970s. Back then so  many  people didn’t die of cancer  by smoking.

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 These are  different far more dangerous  and deadly times.

Sushmita is an iconic  actor.She  needs to be more careful about the image  she projects . Smoking  a  cigar doesn’t  enhance a woman’s(or a  man’s) muscle power. Nor does it make her look cool.

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About shooting for the third season of Aarya  Sushmita says, “Aarya is synonymous with my name.  I have lived as Aarya for two whole seasons and the love received by the audiences has only encouraged me to do more. Walking on the sets of Aarya Season 3 makes me feel at home and gives me  a sense of empowerment. I’m grateful to the entire team at Disney+ Hotstar, Ram Madhvani Films and Endemol Shine India for the vision of creating Aarya and taking it to newer heights with every season.”

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Shah Rukh, Deepika, John Will Meet The Media  On Monday At 4 pm(But There’s  A Catch)

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Pathaan

Pathaan has effectually discredited the  efficacy  of media interactions to promote  a  film. The  film’s lead actors Shah Rukh  Khan, Deepika Padukone  and John Abraham did not conduct any  press or portal interviews  to  promote the  film.

And  yet Pathaan  is  a blockbuster.

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 This  weekend  the Pathaan producer Aditya  Chopra  of  Yash Raj Films  took a call on behalf  of  the Pathaan team  to do one media  meet at the Taj Land’s End in Mumbai  on Monday January 30 at 4 pm.

The  three principal actors  and  director Siddharth Malhotra  will address  the  media.

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 But  here’s the catch: the media will not be allowed to ask any questions. There will be no  Q& A s or  one-on-one  interactions.This  basically means that the  Pathaan  team will  have an opportunity to  say what it wants  to the media. But the  media will have no say.

Make what  you will of this  one-way traffic.

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A  source close  to Yash Raj informs  me that this is  the   pattern  regarding the media that  Yash Raj will follow for  future  releases: no  press meets  no promotional  engagements.

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Fake Projects of Pathaan Director Being Planted In Media

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Pathaan

Siddharth Anand Denies Considering  Any Project With  Deepak Mukut

A  word of caution to those marketing and publicity wizkids  who think  it’s okay to  plant fake stories  on (fake) projects  with the Pathaan director.

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 It is  not.

Such baseless announcements  are meant only to  raise  the equity  of the  producers  with whom Siddharth   Anand’s name is  linked. One  such  producer whose name  has cropped up after the  spectacular success of  Pathaan is  Deepak Mukut.

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There were  reports  everywhere that Siddharth Anand’s next would  be with Mukut.

Turned out to be a false rumour.

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A  source in the  know informs, “Siddharth now has to complete Fighter  starring Hrithik Roshan and  Deepika Padukone  for Yash Raj.Then  he  is   committed to direct the sequel to War 2 for  Yash Raj films.  They will then start  work on the  next film in the Pathaan  franchise. There is no scope  or  room for any outside  projects  for Siddharth Anand. So every announcement  that  you read of a  new film  to be  directed by Siddharth Anand  for an  outside  producer is likely to  be  a hundred  percent fake.”

When I asked Siddharth Anand  about the  supposed project  with  producer Deepak Mukut he promptly replied,  “NOT AT ALL.”

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Pink Director’s Next  Featuring Yami As A Crime Reporter To Stream From February 16

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Yami

Anniruddha Roy  Chowdhury whose  Pink  featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu was one of  the  most important  films of  2016, is all set to  release his  next  Hindi film.

Entitled LostAnniruddha’s film , based on true  events, will see Yami Gautam Dhar(that’s  what the actress calls herself after her marriage)  as a crime journalist. LOST is an emotional social thriller that represents a higher quest, a search for lost values of empathy and integrity.

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Inspired by true events, Lost is a story of a bright young woman crime reporter in her relentless search for the truth behind the sudden disappearance of a young theatre activist.

Lost

Lost

Says Aniruddha  “The shoot of LOST has been an incredible journey. I have been eager for the release of our hard-worked venture. The film is a realistic highlight of media in a social context and I am sure that it will give the audience a compelling watch. I am curious about its release and see the responses it shall get. I hope they will welcome it with open hearts.”

Yami Gautam Dhar  who plays  the lead  of  the  crime reporter  says,   “I can’t be happier and more proud of the film’s selection for the opening night at CSAFF. I feel like its one that the people will connect to and will be the one that you cannot miss, especially in the current age and time. I have loved playing this role because it was such a special experience, it allowed me to explore so many layers of emotions as an actor and the entire team has worked really hard on it. I genuinely cannot wait for the film’s release, especially to see the reactions of the audience to it.”

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The crime investigation  drama boasts a stellar cast. Along with Yami, the film will feature Pankaj Kapur, Rahul Khanna, and an ensemble of younger talent, including Neil Bhoopalam, Pia Bajpai, and Tushar Pandey, in pivotal roles.

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