ApunKaChoice : Bollywood


Amitabh Bachchan'The perfect role Amitabh Bachchan'
18th Jan 2006  13.11 IST
By Agencies  

He is enacted almost all the roles in super successful career in Bollywood. But there is one for Amitabh Bachchan , which is thought to be the perfect by a famous lyricist-scriptwriter.

And that famous lyricist-scriptwriter is none other than Javed Akhtar - the man behind the persona of Bachchan's 'Angry Young Man'.

But there is one role that Akhtar feels that has not yet been written for Bachchan - that of a lawyer and if Akhtar were to pen a role for Big B, it would be that of a lawyer.

"I think Amitabh Bachchan has a perfect voice modulation and tremendous presence. This is one role that has not been written for him," Akhtar says.

For someone who has scripted super hits like, Zanjeer , Deewar , Sholay , 'Seeta Aur Geeta', Don , 'Trishul', 'Sagar' and Mr. India , it seems difficult to digest that Akhtar is petrified, each time he sees a blank sheet of paper.

"When I get a new project, I feel like running away to a small town, growing a beard and changing my appearance so that no one recognises me. The period before a script comes to mind is one of humiliation - where false confidence and ego goes out of the window," Akhtar says rather modestly.

He says that despite having a considerable body of work behind him, he hasn't arrived at a formula for success.

But I can tell you the sure-shot formula to writing flops, he quips. "One is to write for the audience as opposed to what you like and the second is to try and attempt something 'great'.

Akhtar explains that in both the cases the writer will fail because in the first case the author is attempting something below his standard and in the latter above his capability.

"Write what you like. Neither are you unique, nor are the audience. What is good will be universally appreciated," he stresses.

However, he believes even at the risk of contradicting himself - that all work that is "good and sincere work" may not be successful.

He points to Lakshya and 'Main Azad Hoon' as case in point. "I wrote it with cent per cent passion but they failed at the box office."

All art forms including writing needs one to be schizophrenic. The more the schizophrenia, the better the piece of work, says Akhtar.

For someone who draws lineage from seven generations of poets-writers, Akhtar almost didn't become a scriptwriter. He started as an assistant director. " In those days dialogues used to arrive on the sets minutes before the scene was to be shot. I would volunteer to tweak dialogues that directors were unhappy with, in a bid to retain my job."

Film director Madhusudhan encouraged Akhtar to practice the craft of writing. "I asked him for books I could read up and he asked me to read as many scripts as possible instead," Akhtar says.

Speaking about the lack of meaningful cinema, Akhtar says that it is a reflection of the business of cinema.

"Earlier producers asked us to write scripts that would run in small towns. Hence the protagonist was from the working class and his concerns were reflected. Now the producer is happy if he gets an NRI and city audience.

The hero is well-off and suave. Thus aspirations of 76 per cent of the people recede to the background," Akhtar opines.

"Cinema today may have better locales, techniques, swankier homes and cars but somewhere it has lost its soul."

However, Akhtar links this problem to that of commercialization. I think parents educate their children for the sole purpose of enabling them to earn money. They discourage them from spending time with arts and books. "How will they develop tastes and learn to identify quality," he questions.

Known to be vocal about socio-political issues he hopes that instead of creating artificial problems, the polity would focus on real problems like education, health, infrastructure, water and power.

Akhtar's forthcoming projects include Karan Johar 's Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna , J.P. Dutta 's Umrao Jaan and son Farhan Akhtar 's 'Don'.

Amitabh Bachchan
Javed Akhtar
Mr. India
Karan Johar
Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna
J.P. Dutta
Umrao Jaan
Farhan Akhtar

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