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Mithun: A paradoxical Phenomenon
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    Default Mithun: A paradoxical Phenomenon

    Mithun: A paradoxical Phenomenon
    By: Dr. Usman Khawaja



    India is a very mysterious land and it is also just as varied. You have more than 100 languages and as many racial equivalents. In a land so rich it is absolutely impossible to find any chance of agreement on any single issue.

    The query here is who would be crowned the best star actor in this culturally rich diversity. The names that spring to your mind are many. There is Sanjeev Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, Kamal Hassan, Dilip Kumar and finally Mithun Chakraborty, not to exclude Uttam Kumar the predecessor king of Bengali cinema.


    Now no one can deny they need to see how the racial question divides India. The northern Indians have never accepted either Bengali or Southern male stars, whatever the persona or talent. While Hema Malini,`Vyjanti Mala and Sharmila Tagore have ruled the box office, no one other than Mithun from regional cinema has ever made into the top three coveted male star positions, as far as box office is concerned never mind the artistic merits of Pyar Jukhta Nahin and Disco Dancer, they were super hits.

    Mithun Chakraborty defies this so called bigotry as he was born of regional cinema and then despite his Bengali accent and looks, became one of the top most star in mainstream Bollywood without having to resort to the charity or support of Yash Chopra or Ramesh Sippy.

    Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan made their super hits and all the quality movies with Sippyís or Chopraís. In this way Mithun is a paradox and enigma, as he was labelled a poor manís Amitabh, despite Jaya Bachchan saying in 70s that he was more talented than Amitabh Bachchan and that is on record.

    Now looking at the resume no other actor has a movie like Mrigaya-The Royal Hunt, and no one ever will have the courage either in Hollywood or Bollywood to attempt that, in fact it seems to have inspired Apocalypto, itís a tribute to Mrinal Sen, Mithun Chakraborty and Mamta Shanker, which is unique in the world of cinema, even if you disregard the three national awards he won on the basis of his talent, rather than by influencing the juryís like Hum Tum and Black, which has become rife today, in fact national awards have become a joke in last few years, but he and Sanjeev Kumar won them when they were genuine.

    Hum Tum was a second rate version of Harry Met Sally done by a second rate Sharukh Khan copycat Saif Ali Khan, who landed a national award just as Amitabh Bachchan did in Black, a copy of Miracle Worker the great movie about Helen keller from the 60s, if anyone deserves an award in black itís the child artist who some how managed a natural performance despite the pretentiousness which engulfed black. How this award was attained only god can answer that question or the jury.

    Mithun Chakraborty has proven himself in multi-starrers like Ghulami opposite Dharmendra and Naseer Uddin Shah and in Hum Paanch too, where he was the best again. But also he has the versatility to play a romantic hero as in Prem Pratigya one of the best romantic movie on Indian screen opposite Madhuri Dixit, and that is what deserves to be called a love story, not the designer monstrosities that the Chopraís make in the name of love.

    I have yet to see Amitabh Bachchan play a romantic lead himself convincingly. In Kabhi Kabhie and Silsila all he did was frowning and brooding over lost love, in Bemisaal and Jurmana he was angry , name one love story like Aradhana or Amar Prem or Safar where any emotion of love has been ever been expressed by him convincingly in any movie.
    He was the angry young man of the 70s and had comic timing and his physique suited action roles, which were very popular in the 70s and 80s, but name any great love movies and you, come up with zilch; Kabhi Kabhie belongs to Rakhee, Shashi Kapoor, Sahir and Khayyam.

    There is no doubt whatever anybody says about Mithun Chakrabortyís dancing talent. He was the best and still is the best dancer Hindi screen has produced. Whether it is ethnic or disco dancing he has always been superb. Just watch him in Zeehale Muskin the song from Ghulaami or song from Disco Dancer. They are all done by him stylishly and flawlessly. Kamal Hassan can dance but Rajesh didnít even try neither did Dilip sahib, as for Amitabh Bachchan he copied the steps from Albela and Mootilal in every movie, at least he has the grace to admit it, but look at it today, Hrithik is the best now and he can do about five steps which he repeats in every movie hilariously.

    Mithun chakraborty was never cast by big movie houses he had to content himself with the so called B- grade cinema, yet he made gems like Ghulaami, Prem Pratigya, Gudia and Jallad.

    His bilinguality is another asset, while no one can deny the richness of Bengali cinema and its diversity, no Hindi actor has contributed to that, but Mithun has to Hindi cinema, thatís a compliment to him and an asset for Hindi cinema.

    The only other actor from India to rival him is possibly Kamal Hassan with Sadma and Ek Duje Ke Liye but his movies have never got the popular Bollywood appeal and he only appeared in a handful, unlike Mithun Chakraborty who is still working in Hindi mainstream like Elaan and Chingaari, despite Mani Ratnam and Amitabh Bachchan trying to discredit him in Guru he still managed too give the best performance in the fist half. The second half is comprehensible to only people who have no clue as to how a screenplay should be written as the journalist of Madhavan and Mithun chakraborty totally disappear in the second half which was a paradox in itself, as the script seemed to indicate the movie was a battle between the immoral industrialist Guru and the honest journalists Madhavan and Mithun Chakraborty.

    To glorify Abhishek Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan had to dub this incompetent actor very shabbily, in an awfully unrealistic speech from a stroke ridden man, Amitabh Bachchan didnít even give any consideration to the fact that a man suffering from a stroke would be dysphasic or stutter or stammer, he went on his Baghban like sermonising while Mr Ratnam, the director has been left to be a laughing stock at the expense of the Bachchan's, I wonder what Mr Ratnamís got to say for himself as I believe Mithun Chakraborty has raised some serious accusations about his role being ripped off, which is obvious as he and Madhavan are absent from the court scenes all together, what an idiosyncrasy and how convenient for the Bachchanís.

    I feel more sorry for people like them rather than Mithun who has a rich resume with movies like Gudia which were in competition in Cannes (not a single other stars has that merit,) and Titli which again won numerous international awards world over. While Gudia and Titli might not set the Indian box office on fire, their artistic merit like Mrigya-The Royal Hunt is unquestionable.

    Finally can I inform you that in 1987 a Russian magazine voted Mithun Chakraborty as one of the sexiest men on the planet, I think the only other actor is Dharmendra who was voted so by Italians in the 70s. So much for the North Indian bigotry as to Mithun as a second rate to Amitabh Bachchan, in fact I would think Mr Bachchan should take a bow to Mr Chakraborty and learn a few things from Mrigaya, Gudia and Titli rather then keep making second rate remakes of Hollywood classics like Miracle Worker and godfather as Sarkar and Black, after all it is originality which is immortal rather then even a master fake.

    I hope this is not taken as a racial or linguistic comparison. I am talking of the talent of an individual rather than creed or religion, language or age.

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    Damn the writer really don't like Amitabh however I will respond being a fan and that.

    Ratnam was never made into a laughing stock for Guru and from what I read most critics liked the film a lot and credited Mithun's role in it.

    Amitabh has done many romantic roles convincingly... along with his angry young man he always had a love interest... you think he frowned in each of them? Coolie and Satte pe Satta and also the wonderfully underplayed role in Sholay.

    Black and Sarkar were other films that many critics applauded Black more than Sarkar.. and Amitabh's performance fully deserved the National Award. Yes it was a remake but I could guarantee the Miracle Worker didn't have an old drunk teacher. You can't remake roles like that.

    Erm.. so yea


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    you have t read the article very carefully, writer is not saying he didnt like amitabh, the only think he is saying mithun is not poor man amitabh. he analysis the article vry well..

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    Bollywood aint black and white. I'm sure Mithun's great, even better than Amitabh in some areas but Amitabh has stayed the longest and has the more fans.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Guji-Ji View Post
    Bollywood aint black and white. I'm sure Mithun's great, even better than Amitabh in some areas but Amitabh has stayed the longest and has the more fans.

    I am not saying Amitabh is a bad actor-no one is a bad actor. Infact i am a huge fans of those amitabh movies like Chupke Chupke, Manzil, Anand, Zameer, Zanjeer, and many more... But recent flicks like Black or Ek lavya he has degraded his self this is my opinion..

    now coming to your comments, dont forget that too Mithun is also stayed in the industry.. despite giving flops.. he is still strongest in Bollywood..

    To me i think amitabh is just more method actor- he is not a natural actor- Mithun has a all He is a natural actor and also method- for example he can handle both commercial and art cinema. Amitabh is not capable handle art cinema. he always plays the character larger than his life- well i dont blame, amitabh may be directors like Mrinal sen others didnt want to experiment on him...

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkcolour View Post
    I am not saying Amitabh is a bad actor-no one is a bad actor. Infact i am a huge fans of those amitabh movies like Chupke Chupke, Manzil, Anand, Zameer, Zanjeer, and many more... But recent flicks like Black or Ek lavya he has degraded his self this is my opinion..

    now coming to your comments, dont forget that too Mithun is also stayed in the industry.. despite giving flops.. he is still strongest in Bollywood..

    To me i think amitabh is just more method actor- he is not a natural actor- Mithun has a all He is a natural actor and also method- for example he can handle both commercial and art cinema. Amitabh is not capable handle art cinema. he always plays the character larger than his life- well i dont blame, amitabh may be directors like Mrinal sen others didnt want to experiment on him...
    I disagree... I think Amitabh's recent flicks have showed how much versatality he has and is not just the 'angry young man' we saw in the 70s and 80s...

    Strongest in Bollywood? I have to disagree again... He is a legend in his own right like many others but strongest? I don't think so.

    Amitabh is not the greatest actor of all time even I will agree there... There have been many far greater and still greater than him like Om Puri, Nasseruddin Shah, Boman Irani, Irrfan Khan and loads of others... and yes Amitabh is commerical so why compare him to Mithun?

    And Amitabh has done art films with Hrithkesh Mukherjee... not so much anymore I agree.


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    lol I think guji will 'disagree' with anything thats not positive about the big B, sometimes judgements can be overruled by the heart mr G, we know your in love with him but take off the glasses



    errr I have no idea whats going on here, I havent watched bollywood films for a long time.




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    Lol man I just put that I don't think Amitabhs the best actor in bollywood.. how much of my glasses you want me to take off ?


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    Guji-ji,

    I have to disagree too- His recent flicks are trash- Film like Nishabd, Aag ka varma, Bhootnath all are trash also more recent ones God Great ho. What disastater and shamfeul movies... A versatile actor like Amitabh he should be shame of making those movies-- and honeslty speaking even worser than thos Mithun ooty base movies...

    Mithun is going very strong these days, coz he has got great movie coming in a lead roles, like Hason Raja, Zindagi tere naam, and many others...

    Any i always respected amitabh is a great actor- i hope to see Mithun and Amitabh in movie together- hope they create their old magic..

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkcolour View Post
    Guji-ji,

    I have to disagree too- His recent flicks are trash- Film like Nishabd, Aag ka varma, Bhootnath all are trash also more recent ones God Great ho. What disastater and shamfeul movies... A versatile actor like Amitabh he should be shame of making those movies-- and honeslty speaking even worser than thos Mithun ooty base movies...

    Mithun is going very strong these days, coz he has got great movie coming in a lead roles, like Hason Raja, Zindagi tere naam, and many others...

    Any i always respected amitabh is a great actor- i hope to see Mithun and Amitabh in movie together- hope they create their old magic..
    Films you've mentioned all had great performances from the Big B... it's sad you couldn't appreciate them... He shouldn't be ashamed.... should be proud..

    Sorry ain't heard of Mithun's latest... my overall point is in this day and age Amitabh is way more big than Mithun will ever be... sure Mithun's great and he deserves credit for what he has done and is doing but ask anyone who the greatest actor in Hindi Cinema is many will say Amitabh Bachchan. Doesn't mean he is a better actor... just bigger.


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    Mithun?

    From what I've seen of him, he's always on the sideline. He lacked the superstar appeal which amitabh naturally had, and of course he exploited it and landed himself in a very glamourous position to-date.

    But haven't seen much of his acting. If there is ANY comparison to Mister. B, then it would definately not be Mithun, but Dharmendra.
    Last edited by Zero; 11-09-2008 at 05:02.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    Mithun?

    From what I've seen of him, he's always on the sideline. He lacked the superstar appeal which amitabh naturally had, and of course he exploited it and landed himself in a very glamourous position to-date.

    But haven't seen much of his acting. If there is ANY comparison to Mister. B, then it would definately not be Mithun, but Dharmendra.

    dude to know more about- mithun yo have to have a vast knowledge--- even i think im not enough qualified to talk about mithun... BTW While Amitabh on his top rank only mithun gave him tough competition. yes even I think Dharmendra anothe legend... well that is your opinion to think about mithun ands it my opinion...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guji-Ji View Post
    Films you've mentioned all had great performances from the Big B... it's sad you couldn't appreciate them... He shouldn't be ashamed.... should be proud..

    Sorry ain't heard of Mithun's latest... my overall point is in this day and age Amitabh is way more big than Mithun will ever be... sure Mithun's great and he deserves credit for what he has done and is doing but ask anyone who the greatest actor in Hindi Cinema is many will say Amitabh Bachchan. Doesn't mean he is a better actor... just bigger.

    acording to you amitabh has great performance on those films-- but truth is it disasterous flop-- brother thats yor opinion-- i will stick to my opinion-- Even sorry to say that amitabh is not bigger-- its just an media hype.. well again if you think he is bigger he is then.. but i will also stick to my point...

    BTW I have seen Saudagaar and that his best performance... great acting by Nutan and also Amitabh..

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkcolour View Post
    acording to you amitabh has great performance on those films-- but truth is it disasterous flop-- brother thats yor opinion-- i will stick to my opinion-- Even sorry to say that amitabh is not bigger-- its just an media hype.. well again if you think he is bigger he is then.. but i will also stick to my point...

    BTW I have seen Saudagaar and that his best performance... great acting by Nutan and also Amitabh..
    Flop in the sense of performances or box office?


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