Amrish Puri – the indispensable actor bollywood.
Amrish Puri was indispensable during the 80s and 90s and bollywood producers and directors never thought of making any film without the versatile actor. Having a baritone voice and expeience of acting in stage, he initially performed in landmark films of Shyam Benegal like Bhumika, and Govind Nihalini’s film Akrosh, Ardha Satt. Very soon, the bollywood directors used his voice to give him roles of villain in blockbusters like Shakti. He played the role of a smuggler, who kidnapped Dilip Kumar’s son at a young age to blackmail him to release his gangmember. He kept the balance of the film and was ultimately killed by Big B.
Similarly in Mashal, he played the role of a smuggler who ruined the life of Dilip Kumar who was an honest journalist. With the death of Wahida Rehman, the wife of Dilip Kumar, he became a greater lawbreaker and indulged in unlawful businesses. Dilip Kumar killed Amrish Puri, before he could ruin the career of Anil Kapoor, another journalist.
He was also sublime in the film Ghayal, where being a big industrialist, he used the police force for his own security but could not stop Sunny Deol, the brother of Raj Babbar, whom he killed before from exposing him before the police. Om Puri and Meenakshi also acted very well in the film. Amrish Puri also had very clear comedy concept and he showed it in the film Chachi 420, with Tabu and Om Puri, where he was the father of Tabu and almost got involved in an affair with Chachi played by Kamal Hussain. He showed his skills also in the film Jhoot Bole Cowa Kate, where he maintained strict discipline in the house and stood in the way of marriage of Juhi Chawla with Anil Kapoor.
If he was sublime in the negative characters, he was also elegant in the honest characters like the one he played in the film Ghatak, opposite Sunny Deol, where he was suffering from incurable disease and was insulted, rebuked and beaten up by Danny and his group as his son tried to raised voice against the anti-socials of the society. Even as a grandfather he impressed the viewers in his role in the film Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai, with Tushar Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor. It is not possible to highlight his best films in a career of more than 400 films in a small article but whenever viewers watch Sanjay Dutt’s Vijeta, Anil Kapoor’s Nayak, Shahrukh and Salman’s Karan Arjun, they realise that the film would have been incomplete with the powerful performance of Amrish Puri.
By: CR Chatterji.