It was there, amidst Tintins , Asterix and old Indrajals did I find this rare gem. A superhero comic book starring Amitabh Bachchan. Mind blown.
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This comic book even had a personal message from the actor on what looks like personalised stationery. The first scene would often show Bachchan the actor. Or as we used to say, Bachchan, the "hero" as kids we never called them actors, but heroes or heroines, as if being a one was a full time job. In The Hijack , Bachchan gets a visit from a group of kids from across the world, who were on their way to Disneyland.
They happened to be in Mumbai and came to visit him as two children in the group were of Indian origin and were fans of his. They are on their way after a short interaction and Bachchan goes about his own routine when he hears the plane carrying the children is hijacked. Bachchan gets into Supremo mode in red spandex, a gold pendant and weird toga like over skirt and lands up at the scene of the crime with a little help of one of his heroic sidekicks, Sonali, the talking dolphin. Supremo arrives calms down the harried police officers and saves the day. Of course, with some help from another sidekick — the impossibly smart falcon, Shaheen.
The bad guys are soon beaten up and handed over to the police and the children are thrilled and all is well with the world. When we really believed our heroes to be, well… heroes. His other successes that year include Parvarish and Khoon Pasina. He once again resumed double roles in films such as Kasme Vaade as Amit and Shankar and Don playing the characters of Don, a leader of an underworld gang and his look-alike Vijay. His performance won him his second Filmfare Best Actor Award. In , Bachchan starred in Suhaag which was the highest earning film of that year.
In the same year he also enjoyed critical acclaim and commercial success with films like Mr. Amitabh was required to use his singing voice for the first time in a song from the film Mr. Natwarlal in which he starred with Rekha. He also received Best Actor nomination for Kaala Patthar and then went on to be nominated again in for the Raj Khosla directed film Dostana , in which he starred opposite Shatrughan Sinha and Zeenat Aman. Dostana proved to be the top-grossing film of In , he starred in Yash Chopra's melodrama film Silsila , where he starred alongside his wife Jaya and also Rekha.
When Big B was a comic book hero and the world was a safer place
Other films of this period like Shaan and Shakti which pitted him against the veteran actor Dilip Kumar were not successful at the box office but Ram Balram , Naseeb and Lawaaris were successful. In he played double roles in the films Satte Pe Satta and Desh Premee which succeeded at the box office. In he played a triple role in Mahaan and starred in the top-grossing film of that year Coolie.
On 26 July , while filming Coolie , in the University Campus in Bangalore, Bachchan suffered a near fatal intestinal injury during the filming of a fight scene with co-actor Puneet Issar. Bachchan was performing his own stunts in the film and one scene required him to fall onto a table and then on the ground.
However, as he jumped towards the table, the corner of the table struck his abdomen, resulting in a splenic rupture from which he lost a significant amount of blood.
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He required an emergency splenectomy and remained critically ill in hospital for many months, at times close to death. The public response included prayers in temples and offers to sacrifice limbs to save him, while later, there were long queues of well-wishing fans outside the hospital where he was recuperating.
Nevertheless, he resumed filming later that year after a long period of recuperation. The film was released in , and partly due to the huge publicity of Bachchan's accident, the film was a box office success and the top-grossing film of that year. The director, Manmohan Desai, altered the ending of Coolie after Bachchan's accident. Bachchan's character was originally intended to have been killed off but after the change of script, the character lived in the end.
It would have been inappropriate, said Desai, for the man who had just fended off death in real life to be killed on screen. Also, in the released film the footage of the fight scene is frozen at the critical moment, and a caption appears onscreen marking this as the instant of the actor's injury and the ensuing publicity of the accident. Later, he was diagnosed with Myasthenia gravis. His illness made him feel weak both mentally and physically and he decided to quit films and venture into politics.
At this time he became pessimistic, expressing concern with how a new film would be received and stated before every release, "Yeh film to flop hogi! In , Bachchan took a break from acting and briefly entered politics in support of long-time family friend, Rajiv Gandhi. He contested Allahabad's seat of 8th Lok Sabha against H. Bahuguna, former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and won by one of the highest victory margins in general election history His political career, however, was short-lived: he resigned after three years, calling politics a cesspool.
The resignation followed the implication of Bachchan and his brother in the "Bofors scandal" by a newspaper, which he vowed to take to court. Bachchan was eventually found not guilty of involvement in the ordeal. Thereafter Bachchan started supporting the Samajwadi Party, the political party to which Amar Singh belonged. Bachchan has continued to do favours for the Samajwadi party, including appearing in advertisements and political campaigns. These activities have recently got him into trouble in the Indian courts for false claims after a previous incident of submission of legal papers by him, stating that he is a farmer.
A year press ban against Bachchan was imposed during his peak acting years by Stardust and some of the other film magazines.
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In defence, Bachchan claimed to have banned the press from entering his sets until late In , Bachchan returned to films, playing the title role in Shahenshah , which was a box office success. After the success of his comeback film however, his star power began to wane as all of his subsequent films like Jaadugar , Toofan and Main Azaad Hoon all released in failed at the box office. The hit film, Hum , for which he won his third Filmfare Best Actor Award, looked like it might reverse the trend, but this momentum was short-lived and his string of box office failures continued.
Notably, despite the lack of hits, it was during this era that Bachchan won his first National Film Award for Best Actor for his performance as a Mafia don in the film Agneepath. These years would see his last on-screen appearances for some time. After the release of Khuda Gawah in , Bachchan went into semi-retirement for five years.
With the exception of the delayed release of Insaniyat , which was also a box office failure, Bachchan did not appear in any new releases for five years.
Bachchan turned producer during his temporary retirement period, setting up Amitabh Bachchan Corporation, Ltd. ABCL in , with a vision of becoming a 10 billion rupees approx.
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ABCL's strategy was to introduce products and services covering an entire cross-section of India's entertainment industry. ABCL's operations were mainstream commercial film production and distribution, audio cassettes and video discs, production and marketing of television software, and celebrity and event management.
Soon after the company was launched in , the first film it produced was Tere Mere Sapne, which did not fare well at the box office but launched the careers of actors like Arshad Warsi and southern film star Simran. ABCL produced a few other films, none of which did well. Though Mrityudaata attempted to reprise Bachchan's earlier success as an action hero, the film was a failure both financially and critically. The fiasco and the consequent legal battles surrounding ABCL and various entities after the event, coupled with the fact that ABCL was reported to have overpaid most of its top level managers, eventually led to its financial and operational collapse in The company went into administration and was later declared a failed company by the Indian Industries board.
The Bombay high court, in April , restrained Bachchan from selling off his Bombay bungalow 'Prateeksha' and two flats till the pending loan recovery cases of Canara Bank were disposed of. Bachchan had, however, pleaded that he had mortgaged his bungalow to raise funds for his company. Bachchan attempted to revive his acting career and had average success with Bade Miyan Chote Miyan , and received positive reviews for Sooryavansham but other films such as Lal Baadshah and Hindustan Ki Kasam were box office failures. He played a stern, older figure that rivalled the character of Shahrukh Khan.
As an actor, he continued to perform in a range of characters, receiving critical praise for his performances in Aks , Aankhen , Khakee and Dev The film starred Bachchan as an aging teacher of a deaf-blind girl and followed their relationship. Taking advantage of this resurgence, Amitabh began endorsing a variety of products and services, appearing in many television and billboard advertisements.
All of them were successful at the box office. His later releases in and early were Baabul , Ekalavya and Nishabd , which failed to do well at the box office but his performances in each of them were praised by critics. In May , two of his films Cheeni Kum and the multi-starrer Shootout at Lokhandwala were released. Shootout at Lokhandwala did well at the box office and was declared a semi-hit in India, while Cheeni Kum picked up after a slow start and only had average success. A remake of his biggest hit, Sholay , entitled Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag , released in August of that same year and proved to be a major commercial failure in addition to its poor critical reception.
He received positive reviews from critics who hailed his performance as his best ever since Black. Bachchan was slated to play a supporting role in his first international film, Shantaram , directed by Mira Nair and starring Hollywood actor Johnny Depp in the lead. The film was due to begin filming in February but due to the writer's strike, was pushed to September The film is currently "shelved" indefinitely.
Vivek Sharma 's Bhoothnath , in which he plays the title role as a ghost, was released on 9 May Sarkar Raj , the sequel of the film Sarkar , released in June and received a positive response at the box-office. Paa , which released at the end of was a highly anticipated project as it saw him playing his own son Abhishek's Progeria-affected year-old son, and it opened to favourable reviews, particularly towards Bachchan's performance. In , he debuted in Malayalam film through Kandahar , directed by Major Ravi and co-starring Mohanlal.
The film was based on the hijacking incident of the Indian Airlines Flight Bachchan declined any remuneration for this film. In , he played the role of the friendly ghost in the sequel Bhoothnath Returns. The next year, he played the role of a grumpy father suffering from chronic constipation in Piku. Bachchan will next appear in Ram Gopal Varma's Sarkar 3. The show was well received. In , Bachchan hosted the fourth season of KBC.
The fifth season started on 15 August and ended on 17 November The show became a massive hit with audiences and broke many TRP Records. The Show also grabbed all the major Awards for its category. Bachchan continued to host KBC until The sixth season was also hosted by Bachchan, commencing on 7 September , broadcast on Sony TV and received the highest number of viewers thus far. In , he debuted in the fictional Sony Entertainment Television TV series titled Yudh playing the lead role of a businessman battling both his personal and professional life.