There’s no one as candid and off-kilter as Ram Gopal Varma and it shows even in his wishes and homage to Amitabh Bachchan on the superstar’s 80th birthday. Sharing his writing exclusively with ETimes, RGV lists his reasons for why he feels Mr Bachchan can be re-christened with a new epithet – The B Bomb. In his own, inimitable style and words, RGV’s birthday wishes are quoted here ad verbatim.

“Blown away by Zanjeer”

On 11th May 1973, Amitabh Bachchan exploded like a BOMB in the minds of the audience across the while they watched ‘Zanjeer’ on its first day. Whether they were Hindi speaking or Telugu speaking or Tamil speaking or whichever-language speaking audiences, it just did not matter. They just got blown away by the never-before-seen intensity. This BOMB communicated through his body language, his voice and his eyes.

“Cheers for Khuddar”

The first time I consciously registered his effect on the audience was while watching a scene from ‘Khuddar’ in Vijaywada. It was a scene when the BOMB, after coming to know that his brother lied, barges into a discotheque where his brother is grooving away with a girl and as he shouts at the DJ to stop the music, he looks at his brother with hurt-filled eyes. Just then a gang of vicious-looking bouncers move menacingly towards him.

In an emotion-choked voice, the BOMB says that he will break their legs if they try to stop him and there was an audible gasp in the theatre from the viewers when he said this. The interesting point is that none of the guys in the theatre could speak Hindi as Vijayawada is a Telugu-speaking town.

So what did they connect to? It is just the compressed raw emotions of anger, betrayal, helplessness and above all the hurt he managed to communicate which seemed like he was going to burst like a BOMB if provoked.

“An inspiration to other superstars”

All the superstars of the South including Rajinikanth, NT Ramarao and Chiranjeevi became what they became from the remakes of his films. Apart from that, most actors and directors including me, were drawn into the film industry because of the influence of the BOMB called Amitabh Bachchan.

Karan Johar’s favourite films of the BOMB are Kabhie Kabhie and Silsila, which I dislike compared to my favourites like Deewaar and Zanjeer, which Karan might not like as much. I dislike seeing him in movies like The Last Lear and Black, whereas Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Rituparno Ghosh might not want to make films like Nishabd with him.

So how he manages to be equally effective in such diverse roles with different directors is because the B BOMB is a rare kind of an EXPLOSIVE substance, who will allow itself to be conformed, adapted and shaped up in any which way one wants to BLAST off. He can convey every emotion required by any particular filmmaker.

“Assessing Amitabh Bachchan”

I have the unique credit of being a director who did the highest number of films with him, more than any of his directors. I had the opportunity to study his craft extremely closely and I noticed that behind the obvious power and intensity, there is tremendous sensitivity. One day, I shockingly realised that for all the reputation he has as the GREATEST ACTOR ever, he doesn’t act at all. He just feels the emotion of the character he is playing and that’s what EXPLODES in the theatres.

Incidentally, the B BOMB was conceived in the same year as the A BOMB (through the Manhattan Project) in 1942. But the difference between the ATOM BOMB and the BACHCHAN BOMB is while the former killed thousands and thousands of people and showered them with ashes, the latter entertained millions and millions of people and showered them with joy.

B BOMB, I hate to see anyone getting older but in your case, you just keep getting better and better and now at 80 you are looking better than when you were 30. Happy Birthday Sarkar!



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