Monday, June 27, 2011

Kya Bhidu...The Jackie Shroff saga

While growing up in the 90s' back at home, i was always fascinated by a visit to the barber's shop. It was a delightful experience for me to notice so many people, come in sporting different hairdos and go out with new mane. While it came to facial hair, the barber applied copious amounts of lather on the peoples faces and rubbed them clean. But after that, came the most critical part - trimming and shaping the mustachios (for those who sported them). It is here that the barber, narrowed his eyes, picking his finest pair of scissors and a small comb and asked the customer the most distinguished question that has ever been asked to a moustached person in India - "Jackie Shroff style kar dun?" (shall i style it like Jackie Shroff?).

Jackie Shroff pretty much immortalised the "Hero with a Moustache" in India. Of course there was also Shroff's contemporary and best partner in movies, Anil Kapoor, who was another moustache weilding hero, but the elegance, the Debonairish charm and the personality Jackie Shroff commanded in his prime, was hands and heads above the rest. Infact if you look at the career graph of this actor, you may feel its always style over substance. However it is also true that whenever given a chance, Shroff has performed genuinely and given stellar performances as the leading man.  Let's look at five of my favourite Jaggu Dada movies:

1. Hero: "Jaise Asli Heera dhoondne ke liye Johri ki nazar chahiye, waise hi Asli Hero chhunne ke liye Ghai ki Nazar  jaroori hai" (Just like you need a real jeweller to find the best diamond, you need Subhash Ghai to find a real HERO). How Subhash Ghai, India's best Showman since Raj Kapoor zeroed down on Shroff to be the leading man in his new movie is astounding, Especially with Jaggu Dada's local goon history during his Teen Batti days and a wee bit role in Swami Dada, it is harder to believe how he could be the choice of a leading banner to be their leading star. However history was written, Hero went on to be a huge hit and Jackie did very well as a debutant in a leading role. The haunting flute piece remains etched in memory. So does Sanjeev Kumar, who had a hilarious supporting role.

2. Kaash: Chances are, not many people have heard of this movie. For me, this remains as an endearing performance by Jackie and Dimple Kapadia in a tearjerking melodrama. Jackie demonstrates human failure competently as the superstar turned struggling father/alcoholic. I have very faint memories also of a stupid boxing match between Jackie and Dalip Tahil. "Baad Muddat" is another thing altogether.

3. Gardish: I remember as a kid reading the next line on the "Gardish" poster - "Wanted to be a man of law, NOW wanted by Law" !! And i kept trying to comprehend what it meant. This was a favourite childhood activity, getting to know 2% of a movie from a trailer or a poster and then trying to guess what the movie would be about entirely !! My follies apart, Gardish in my opinion is Jackie Shroff's masterpiece. How a sober, calm guy ends up becoming a Goon, and without any fault of his own..remains to be seen here. Brilliant support by Amrish Puri, in a non villainous role after ages. "Hum na samjhe the baat itni si...khwaab sheeshe ke..Duniya patthar ki"" takes me into melancholy everytime.

4. Parinda: I did not credit Anil Kapoor with this movie, as one of his best performances. I will not even give that credit to Nana, although he really was the scene stealer in the movie with his crazy-eccentric Anna act. But fact remains that this is one of the best restrained performances given by Jackie in a long time. Very maturely acted and always shown the right amount of emotions (he either under does or over does that mostly). Infact in retrospection, if there ever was a leading man in 1989, who could be cast in a movie about the Mumbai underworld, it had to be Jackie. Our Man won his only "Best Actor (Lead) - Filmfare" for this film.

5. Angaar / Mission Kashmir : It was tough to pick a 5th one amongst a lot of "good but definitely not great" works of Mr. Shroff. "Angaar" was Jackie's take on the conventional "Angry young man" syndrome of Bollywood. It's a hard hitting movie, extreme measures, extreme violence, extreme dialogues and Shroff does full justice to his pivotal role. On the other hand you have him playing Hilal Kohistani, an incarnation of Pure evil, with Kohl lined eyes, brainwashing the youth to lead terror in Kashmir. This movie showed a lot of promise for Jackie, and audiences felt, he now has another area to exploit his acting - the negative area. It didn't happen though.

When i looked up wiki, to confirm if Jaggu Dada has any good releases coming up, i wasn't too startled by his recent condition. In the last year, there were 3 Jackie Shroff releases are - "Ek second jo zindagi badal de", "Mussa - The Most Wanted" and " Bhoot and Friends". To say that this veteran actor is loosing it, wouldn't be an irrational statement. Recent memories of Jackie, on TV are instances when he is being bashed up by Salman, in "Veer" which is being aired for the nth time, or praising magicians with "sahi hai bhidu..mast kiya ekdum" some random show. In context to the present situation, I am reminded of the war scenes in "Border", at the time when Sunny and Co. were wrecking havoc yet getting their asses kicked, Jackie kept marching from one end of his fighter plane tyo another, in a state of utter helplessness, muttering - "Can't fly in the night..Dammit...Can't fly in the night" !!!!!


  1. Super shit man....Jackie would be so happy to read this.....damn neat man...really makes me relive those good old Hindi film moments yet again

  2. Ram Lakhan is another one - especially the scene between Anil and Jackie, where jackie dada breaks down .."Teri tarakki se jalta hun mai...aisa lagta hai tujhe"

  3. yeah dude..Jackie shroff crying is another thing all together..whiule Ram lakhan was heart touching..Yaadein scene was laughable !!

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