April 12th, 7:00PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)
Some people might recognize a lavishly constructed India tourism commercial that began airing on television about a year ago. In it a series of individuals most Americans would have no great cause to recognize without an interest in Indian popular culture or politics. Towards the end of the commercial there is an older man dressed in white. He takes a few steps forward and gives the audience a firm but benevolent gaze before stating that it is definitely a good idea to come to India. That was not a person you just encountered, that was Amitabh Bachchan.
In an age of cinema patronage to rival any era in film history, Amitabh Bachchan was an angry young man, or at least that is how crowds liked him. When faced with injustice, be it criminal or civil, he always would fight back. Or at least he would ignore the injustice initially for the sake of his old mother, or family, or even an idea that he could work within the system to restore order or even perhaps he investigating the whereabouts of the people who killed his parents and was consequently involved in a romantic drama to occupy the time. Then later he would fight back and injustice would pay. He was also in Sholay (1975.)
Amitabh Bachchan plays two roles, something he was known for at the time. A mobster and a nobody destined to collide. One of the most popular films of the hot year of 1978, Don has been remade five times to varying degrees of success, most recently in 2007 as well as its own parody film in in 1998. There is still a magic in this era of Indian filmmaking and it lingers.India, Director Chandra Barot, Cast Amitabh Bachchan, Zeenat Aman and Iftekhar, 175 minutes, in Hindi with English subtitles