Baazigar (English: Gambler) is a 1993 Indian crime thriller film directed by Abbas–Mustan starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in the lead roles. It is a contemporary thriller about a young man who stops at nothing to get what he wants. This was Shah Rukh Khan's breakthrough role as the sole lead and Kajol's first commercial success. Actress Shilpa Shetty was supposed to debut with Gaata Rahe Mera Dil, but it remained unreleased, and this became her debut film. Baazigar was the first film in which Shah Rukh Khan played the role of an anti-hero and the first which earned Khan a Filmfare Award for Best Actor. Initially this movie was offered to Armaan Kohli and Salman Khan to play the lead role, but they all rejected it as the role had negative shades.
|Produced by||Ganesh Jain|
|Written by||Robin Bhatt
|Starring||Shah Rukh Khan
|Music by||Anu Malik|
|Cinematography||Thomas A. Xavier|
|Distributed by||Eros Labs|
|12 November 1993|
Baazigar was a major commercial success upon release, and the first film of the famous Shahrukh Khan-Kajol pair. The film brought actors Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, and Shilpa Shetty, and composer Anu Malik, to the limelight. The movie is loosely based on the 1991 movie A Kiss Before Dying, which itself was based on a novel of the same name.It was remade in Tamil as Samrat with Ramki, in Telugu as Vetagadu with Rajasekhar, and in Kannada as Nagarahavu with Upendra.
Ajay Sharma (Shah Rukh Khan) is a young boy who seeks revenge for his father's death which was a result of the actions of his trusted employee Madan Chopra (Dalip Tahil) Chopra has two daughters, the elder one is Seema (Shilpa Shetty) and the younger one is Priya (Kajol).
Ajay finds a way to cozy up to Seema in a plan to take revenge upon her father by seducing her. Meanwhile, the younger daughter Priya travels with her father Madan Chopra to Madras (now Chennai), for Madan's final kart race before he retires permanently. Madan has never lost before, but comes across Vicky Malhotra (Ajay Sharma in a disguise of brown contact lenses). Vicky allows Madan to win by slowing at the last corner and tells him that he couldn't beat his "guru". Vicky then charms Priya by saying that he lost the race as he couldn't break the heart of a beautiful girl. Thus his ploy of winning in spite of losing (meaning Baazigar) succeeds as he wins Priya's heart. This way, he manages to date both Seema and Priya simultaneously using different identities. Later, as a test to Seema over their love, Ajay and Seema both write identical suicide notes when her father arranges her marriage with someone else. However, Ajay convinces her he was simply testing her resolve by making her write a suicide note and rips up his own suicide note while keeping hers. Then under the pretense of marrying her, he takes her to the registrar office and then pushes her off the roof. The police start making investigations and Chopra hastily has the case closed to prevent any further embarrassment once the suicide note is discovered. Ajay uses Seema's death to get close to both Priya and Chopra. Priya however, suspects that her sister didn't commit suicide. With covert help of her college friend and police inspector Karan Saxena (Siddharth Ray), she investigates the matter secretly.
Ravi, a college friend of Seema, gives a clue to Priya about Seema's secret lover. Ravi finds a photo of Seema and Ajay together at a birthday party. When Ajay finds out about this, he murders Ravi and forces him to sign a suicide note in which makes it seem as if Ravi is the murderer of Seema, and not Ajay (making Priya and Inspector Karan believe that Ravi must have been Seema's secret lover and murderer). Thus the investigation is halted for a second time considering all the proofs and evidences planted by Ajay. Ajay begins a double game whilst keeping both the parties in the dark and slowly wins Chopra's confidence.
Fooling both the police and the Chopra family, Ajay has a flashback remembering the days of his late father, of when Ajay's father, Mr Sharma (Anant Mahadevan), discovers that his project manager Madan Chopra is embezzling money under his nose, and Sharma has Madan thrown in jail.
After Madan completes his jail term, he re-approaches Sharma and asks for forgiveness. Sharma rebukes him, but later decides to re-employ Chopra at the pleas of his wife Shobha, who takes pity on his daughters. However, Chopra has returned to exact revenge on his former boss and slowly but surely regains the confidence of Sharma. When Sharma has to go on a business trip, he hands power of attorney over to Chopra, who waiting for such an opportunity, usurps control of Sharma's company and becomes its de facto owner.
When Sharma learns of this treachery, it is too late and his family is ejected from their home as the house and property were mortgaged by Chopra and more tragedy strikes the Sharma household when his newborn daughter dies of fever and Sharma suffers a severe heart attack and dies, while his wife Shobha goes insane. Heartbroken by all of these events, Ajay swears revenge and vows to make Chopra pay in the same coin.
Meanwhile, Seema's friend Anjali (Resham Tipnis) discovers a photo of Ajay from college days; Soon Vicky and Priya get engaged and are planning the wedding day. At this time, Anjali thinks that she recognizes Vicky phones the Chopra residence during Ajay's engagement party. Ajay intercepts a phone call during his engagement party and quickly arrives at Anjali's place, kills her then stuffs her body in a suitcase, and throws it in the river. A man and his dog find the body soon after. Soon after these events, Priya and Inspector Karan realize that the murderer is still alive.
Meanwhile, history repeats itself, with Chopra handing over the power of attorney to "Vicky". Ajay decides to hasten up his plans on learning that Priya and Inspector Karan are bent on finding the killer.
Ajay's plan hits a glitch when he and Priya run into the real Vicky Malhotra (Adi Irani), Ajay's friend whose identity he had taken. Priya becomes suspicious and decides to contact the real Vicky. After returning from his business trip, Chopra is shocked to find that the company is run by the Sharma group. Ajay reveals the apparent truth of his desire to seek revenge on his father's death to Chopra and kicks him out of the company after humiliating him.
Meanwhile, Priya learns of Ajay's true identity from Vicky and rushes to Ajay's home in Panvel. She is shocked to see a picture of Ajay and finds a marriage locket with photos of him with her sister. Ajay comes home, where she confronts him with his misdeeds. He tells her the whole sad story. Priya then realizes that it is her father who is at fault, not Ajay. Ajay introduces her to his mother, who hardly remembers him as her son. But Madan comes there and shoots Ajay in the arm and has his goons beat him up.
When his mother tries to intervene, Madan pushes her injuring her and angering Ajay, who defeats Madan's goons. A chase between Madan and Ajay ensues and Ajay is about to kill Madan, but decides to stop, however, Madan stabs Ajay with a metal rod and laughs over his victory, Ajay begins laughing manically in return and stabs him back, finally killing him. He returns to his mother and collapses in her arms. In his last words, he says that he has regained everything that is meant to be there back and now only wants to rest in her arms. Priya and Karan watch despondently as Ajay dies in his mother's arms, finally at peace.
- Shah Rukh Khan as Ajay Sharma/Vicky Malhotra
- Kajol as Priya Chopra
- Shilpa Shetty as Seema Chopra
- Raakhee Gulzar as Shobha, Ajay's mother
- Dalip Tahil as Madan Chopra
- Siddharth Ray as Inspector Karan Saxena
- Johnny Lever as Babu Lal, the head servant
- Anant Mahadevan as Vishwanath Sharma, Ajay's father
- Resham Tipnis as Anjali Sinha, Seema's friend
- Dinesh Hingoo as Bajodia Seth
- Manmauji Taalia as the servant
- Adi Irani as the real Vicky Malhotra
- Master Sumeet as Young Ajay
- Sharad Sankla as Charlie (a guy in party)
- Daboo Malik as Ramesh
- Raju Srivastav as a guy in party with Charlie
- Harpal as Motu the cook
- Amrut Patel as Seema's driver
The film's premise was inspired by a Hollywood film, A Kiss Before Dying (1991). While it borrows the basic premise, Baazigar tells a different, subversive story. While Matt Dillon's character in A Kiss Before Dying is a villain who murders for money, Baazigar subverts this, with Shah Rukh Khan's character instead being a sympathetic anti-hero seeking vengeance for the brutal injustices done to his family.
Several A-list Bollywood stars were approached for the lead role, but they turned it down, due to the character being a murderous, negative anti-hero. Salman Khan was the first choice, but he turned it down, with his father Salim Khan saying Salman was not ready for such a gamble. Anil Kapoor was the next choice, but he also rejected the offer, as it went against his "heroic" on-screen image. Shah Rukh Khan eventually convinced producer Ratan Jain that only he could pull off the role; Jain liked his confidence, and cast him in the role. However, his casting was criticized by trade pundits who incorrectly predicted that "a boy with cute dimples" would never be accepted as an anti-hero. Sridevi was supposed to play both female roles (twin sisters) as did Sean Young in original film, but the director realized that because of her popularity, the audience will not be able to sympathize with the hero if he kills the character played by Sridevi, hence they decided to cast different actresses.
The music was composed by Anu Malik and won him the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director. The song "Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein" bagged singer Kumar Sanu his fourth consecutive Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer after Aashiqui, Saajan and Deewana. Other singers featured in the album are Asha Bhosle, Pankaj Udhas, Alka Yagnik, Vinod Rathod and Sonali Vajpai. The soundtrack was released by Venus Music. Dr. Alban's song "It's My life" was also featured. The song "Ae Mere Humsafar" is based on the Telugu song "Letha Chaligalulu", composed by Rajan-Nagendran.
A soundtrack was also released in Marathi.
|Soundtrack album by Anu Malik|
|Anu Malik chronology|
|"Baazigar O Baazigar"||Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik||Shahrukh Khan and Kajol||Nawab Arzoo|
|"Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein"||Kumar Sanu, Anu Malik||Shahrukh Khan and Kajol||Dev Kohli|
|"Kitabein Bahut Si"||Asha Bhosle and Vinod Rathod||Shahrukh Khan and Shilpa Shetty||Zafar Gorakhpuri|
|"Chhupana Bhi Nahi Aata"||Vinod Rathod||Siddharth and Kajol||Rani Malik|
|"Chhupana Bhi Nahi Aata"||Pankaj Udhas||In soundtrack, excluded in the film||Rani Malik|
|"Samajh Kar Chand Jis Ko"||Alka Yagnik and Vinod Rathod||In soundtrack, excluded in the film||Zameer Kazmi|
|"Ae Mere Humsafar"||Alka Yagnik and Vinod Rathod||Shahrukh Khan and Shilpa Shetty||Gauhar Kanpuri|
|"Tere Chehre Pe"||Kumar Sanu and Sonali Vajpai||In soundtrack, excluded in the film||Rani Malik|
Baazigar was a commercial success and the fourth highest grossing Hindi film of 1993.
Awards and nominationsEdit
- Best Actor — Shah Rukh Khan
- Best Music Direction — Anu Malik
- Best Male Playback Singer — Kumar Sanu for "Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein"
- Best Screenplay — Robin Bhatt, Javed Siddiqui, Akash Khurana
- Lux New Face — Shilpa Shetty
- Best Supporting Actress — Shilpa Shetty
- Best Performance in a Comic Role — Johnny Lever
- Best Lyricist — Dev Kohli for "Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhen"
- Best Male Playback Singer — Kumar Sanu for "Baazigar O Baazigar"
- Best Female Playback Singer — Alka Yagnik for "Baazigar O Baazigar"
The later Hollywood films Almost Famous (2000) and Baywatch (2017) feature strikingly similar covers to Baazigar. Covers of Almost Famous and Baywatch feature Kate Hudson and Priyanka Chopra, respectively, wearing sunglasses that reflect other cast members, similar to the sunglasses Shah Rukh Khan wears on the Baazigar cover.
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