Late filmmaker Manmohan Desai’s movie ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ has completed 45 years of its release in Hindi cinema and will be celebrated in Israel with a special screening.
Veteran actress Shabana Azmi, who starred alongside Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Vinod Khanna, Neetu Singh and Parveen Babi, has recalled her casting in the movie, which released in 1977.
Shabana, who played one of the leading protagonists in the movie, recalled her casting in the film, as she said, “I had worked with Manmohan Desai in ‘Parvarish’ and enjoyed doing the film very much.
“One day while ‘Parvarish’ was in the last lap, he came to meet me in Ranjit Studios and he said, ‘Shabana I am producing a film for the first time and of course directing it as well and I want you to be a part of it’.”
She added: “Frankly there is no big role for you in it but woh Vinod Khanna meri jaan kha jaayega, he will say there is a heroine opposite Amitabh and Rishi Kapoor then why isn’t there a heroine opposite me, so I am just ‘ghusaoing’ (pushing) you in to keep my sanity. I found it so amusing, warm and lovely that he was not making any excuses and was saying it as it.”
Sunil, veteran actor Pran’s son, was an assistant director on the movie, and he is sure that the movie will be liked by the people of Israel.
He added: “Manmohan Desai was a magician, it was a great experience to work on the sets of such a movie, gosh, it’s been 45 years, feels like yesterday.”
‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ focuses on three brothers separated in childhood who are adopted by families of different faiths: Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity. They grow up to become, respectively – a police officer, a qawwali singer, and the proprietor of a bootleg tavern in a poor neighbourhood.
On the special screening, Kranti Gada, COO, Shemaroo Entertainment said: ” ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ is an iconic Bollywood movie with the perfect blend of action, comedy and romance. It holds a special place in every Indian’s heart and we are proud to bring this celebrated film to Israel especially as it comes in the 60th year of Shemaroo.”
Ketan Desai, son of late Manmohan Desai and assistant director on the film shared that when they were making this film, they did not know if this would work at the box office or fail miserably.
“Not in our wildest dreams did we imagine that this would be a blockbuster and a complete bonanza and would go on to be considered as one of the top films of Indian cinema. Thank you for showering my father and the film with so much love and affection. I am truly humbled.”