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Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘angry young man’ was created only by Salim Khan: ‘Javed Akhtar wasn’t my partner when I wrote Zanjeer’

While most have credited Salim-Javed for creating Amitabh Bachchan's angry young man image, Salim Khan has always maintained that it was he, and not Akhtar, who should claim solo credit.

By: Entertainment Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: October 21, 2021 9:09:03 am
Amitabh BachchanAmitabh Bachchan's Angry Young Man image in Zanjeer was written by Salim Khan (Eros Entertainment)

Actor Amitabh Bachchan was the angry young man of the 70’s and 80’s, an image that was defined by his film Zanjeer. He broke away from the quintessential hero avatar that had no greys, and became more relatable to the masses. He channelled the audience’s anger and frustration with a broken system. While most have credited Javed Akhtar and Salim Khan’s partnership for the creation of this image, Salim Khan has always maintained that it was he, and not Akhtar, who should claim solo credit for giving birth to Amitabh Bachchan’s rebellious image.

In an old interview, Salim Khan told ETC, “The Angry Young Man image was conceptualized by me for the film Zanjeer. Javed wasn’t even my partner when I wrote the film. It was only after I had sold it, that Javed became my partner,” clarified Salim Khan, and added, “And I believe even Javed would confirm that it was solely my creation.”

Salim Khan is certain that he had a prominent role in shaping Amitabh Bachchan’s career as a superstar. “If Amitabh doesn’t remember, I’d like to remind him that his two successful associations, with Manmohan Desai and Prakash Mehra were because of me. I’d called Amitabh to Juhu Hotel and introduced him to Manmohan Desai, while we were there to discuss the script of Chacha Bhatija. Prakash Mehra was shooting at Rajkamal for Pyar Ki Kahani. I’d called Amitabh to the sets and introduced him to Prakash Mehra,” he said.

Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar terminated their famous association in 1982. It was a partnership that resulted in some of the most iconic films of Bollywood, including Sholay, Don and Mr India.

Later, Amitabh acknowledged that the intensity of Salim-Javed was never captured again, “It’s a shame that they parted ways, they were truly unbeatable. Quite often, the media would conjecture – what will happen to Amitabh Bachchan without Salim–Javed? Really, once they separated I couldn’t ever get that kind of intensity again, that power was missing,” he had said.

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