Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) : Movie Review
Starring Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan
Produced and directed by Manmohan Desai
Music by Laxmikant Pyarelal
Amar Akbar Anthony is the story of three brothers who, by a twist of fate, get separated in their childhood only to get reunited as adults. Kishan Lal is a husband and father of three, working as a driver for Robert, a gangster. Robert causes a road accident and to avoid being caught by the police, pleads Kishan Lal to take the blame. Having a mighty heart, Kishan Lal serves time in prison in lieu of Robert. Upon his release however, he is shocked at his master’s betrayal to him and his family. A sudden turn of events then leads to the dissolution of the family. What follows is a light-hearted film of how the three separated brothers are brought up in three completely different communities, and their subsequent union with one another.
Actors Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan totally nailed their performances as Amar, Akbar and Anthony, making it seem like the roles were tailor made for them! The three brothers have contrasting persona on screen, and their execution by these actors is par excellence. But, of course, the movie wouldn’t have reached its pinnacle of success without the participation of other esteemed actors and crew members. Pran, Jeevan, Nirupa Roy and the three leading ladies Shabana Azmi, Neetu Singh, Parveen Babi, have all played significant roles in the making of this film.
The songs of the movie are well known among viewers of various age groups. From the catchy “My name is Anthony Gonsalves” to the chart-topping qawwali “Parda hai parda“, Laxmikant Pyarelal’s foot-tapping music further enlivens the cinematic experience of this feature presentation. There are 6 official tracks in total, each one setting a different mood.
With numerous characters and a detailed plot, it would appear as if Amar Akbar Anthony is a complex film. In reality though, the labor put in by producer/director Manmohan Desai seems effortless. The story has the ability to keep the viewers’ interest alive from the beginning, meandering through each and every independent character, and gradually connecting the dots to bring everyone together, in one interdependent unit. This coming together of family seems more like some magic cast by destiny, rather than the telling of a writer.
All in all, there’s lots to look forward to – Amitabh Bachchan’s bandage scene, the picturisation of songs, the climax and much more! Also, you see, the whole country of the system is juxtapositioned by the haemoglobin in the atmosphere because you are a sophisticated rhetorician intoxicated by the exuberance of your own verbosity. So, one must watch it!
Rating – ****