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Shabana Azmi On Amar Akbar Anthony Which Completes 43 Years

In  1977  Movie  Moghul Manmohan Desai had two  blockbuster releases Amar Akbar Anthony and Parvarish. Both starred Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Neetu Singh and  Shabana Azmi.

How  did  Desai  manage to shoot two multi-starrers with the same  cast simultaneously?

Shabana  sheds  some light  on the 1977  double  bill .  “I had almost completed Parvarish with Manmohan Desai and had a blast .One day he came to my shooting at Ranjit Studio and said in his candid manner ., “Shabbo I’m producing a film . Usmein there is no khaas role for you magar woh Vinod Khanna meri jaan kha jayega ki why is there no heroine opposite me when both Amitabh and Rishi have heroines!! Toh you please do the film for me !”

Shabana  who  loved MKD’s cinema  in spite  of it being diametrically  opposite to her aesthetics  readily  agreed. “I almost fell down  laughing and said yes immediately.We, that is Neetu ,Me,Vinod Khanna  and Amitabh Bachchan were shooting Parvarish and AAA on 2 different floors of RK Studios simultaneously ! MD and AB would flit from one to the other!”

Shedding  light on  the most famous  sequence in  AAA where  Mr Bachchan does a drunken monologue with his mirror Shabana says, “I watched AB giving 14 perfect takes of that famous drunken scene in AAA where he puts the plaster on his image in the mirror . He got it right each time but it was difficult for the camera because it was complicated .AB didn’t once express frustration.Then both hopped over to the next floor on the Parvarish set where the climax was being filmed.If you narrate  this to a Hollywood star he would faint.”

In an interview to me in 1986 MKD described AAA as a ‘shit’ film .

Says Shabana, “Among his  films  Aa Gale Lag Jaa he always had a special corner for . He used to also cry buckets when he watched Mehmood’s Kunwara Baap. But we all had a ball shooting both Parvarish and  AAA and he was totally convinced that AAA would be a blockbuster.”

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