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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Monday, October 03, 2005

TIME on Big B’s comeback

The number of films that Amitabh is doing this year (films released plus those under production) will probably outnumber that done by other leading Bollywood actors and actresses. Big B’s rise from the brink of bankruptcy (ABCL) is captured in this latest article in TIME magazine:

Only five years ago, it looked like it was all over for the King of Bollywood. After ruling Indian cinema as its undisputed superstar for a quarter century, Amitabh Bachchan began to bomb. A succession of films bled money. Endorsements dried up. Even his company's 1996 production of the Miss World beauty pageant was plagued by protests from both Indian conservatives and feminists. By the turn of the millennium, Bachchan found himself $20 million in debt and staring obscurity in the face. "The industry thought he was finished," says Ram Gopal Varma, director of Bachchan's latest hit, Sarkar. So did Bachchan. "Every actor has to reconcile himself to the day when he is ignored," he tells TIME. "And that's what I began to do."

Today the man known as the Big B is bigger than ever. The last two years have seen a string of box-office successes and a level of critical acclaim unprecedented in his 35-year career. Bachchan shot 11 films last year and has signed up for nine more this year, up from only four in 2002. He has endorsement contracts with a total of 17 brands, from Parker Pens to Pepsi, making his white goatee and neat brown hair common on billboards and TV screens from Jakarta to Johannesburg. And in August, he returned to host a second series of the blockbuster television game show Kaun Banega Crorepati, the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? "He's a mythic figure," says Bend it Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha. Bachchan's friend, Reliance billionaire Anil Ambani, calls him "the biggest star India has ever known."

At 62, Bachchan is delighted to find himself at a whole new peak in his career. The opportunities are quite remarkable," he says. "The chance to play different characters, read different scripts, work with different directors. I look forward to every morning. What else can I do?" As Bachchan and India are discovering, more than either once thought.

Other India related topics published in the International Media this week:

Sania makes it to the cover of TIME and is featured in the list of Asian Heroes for the year 2005

Newsweek on whether the Left parties can spoil the Capitalist future.


  • That's an amazing recovery for him.. I started liking his works only recently - after he started acting in characters of his age. I never used to watch his 80's and 90's works that eagerly, since Rajini used to do the samething here in Kollywood.

    By Blogger Ram.C, at 9:42 AM  

  • while bachchan and sania deserve their share of media space, i'd like to point out that we shouldn't get carried away by the smart circulation tricks of time magazine. the time magazine that we read is essentially TIME ASIA. and even for Asia, i am told time magazine has different covers for different regions. it's highly possible that the sania cover story is for south asia.

    By Blogger anantha, at 10:33 AM  

  • I guess AB totally deserves any coverage he gets... IMHO, h eis the best actor in Indian cinema of all times... Hail the Big B!

    By Blogger Nirav, at 11:23 AM  

  • i think Big B deserves all the praise he gets and much more than dat. v r talking abt a guy who ruled not only bollywood probably the indian cine world. this is a guy whose name is known to every Indian. He lost everything he had and was nearly bankrupt. but still to be brave and rise from the ashes, he has once again proved that he is THE BIG B.

    By Blogger Nallavan, at 12:00 PM  

  • IN most cases, you become a hero if you lose everything and then suddenly redeem yourself...The same with Apperentice fame Ronald Trump, if i m not wrong..Its the calculative risk that tkes these ppl to new heights..

    Thr is a school of thot that communism cant really exist without capitalistic gains..They are intermingled. Its a contradiction in terms...As the article neatly states, it just boils down to spoiling the capitalistic future...

    By Blogger Chennai chatter, at 12:14 PM  

  • AB suffers from over exposure - am quite =tired of seeing his face on everything - every ad and movie that seems to have an apprearance from AB now

    By Anonymous Charu, at 10:23 PM  

  • @Ram,
    Even I haven't seen most of his classics. Hope to catch them sometime

    I do agree with u. I guess Time Asia covers all regions except Japan. Not sure whether they have a Mandarin edition targetted at the Chinese market.
    But the Asian covers South asia + South East Asia. I am not too sure about the Middle East version

    He does stand out among the current crop of actors

    his story is quite inspiring

    @Chennai Chatter,
    Thanks for drawing parallel between Donald Trump and AB. Both have staged a remarkable comeback.

    AB is there is all ads and in most of the recent movies. this does dilute the value of his image. guess he needs to selective as quality is more important.

    By Blogger Kaps, at 12:18 AM  

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