When Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Angry Young Man’ Tag Was REJECTED By Prakash Mehra

Prakash Mehra, who directed the film Zanjeer, disagreed with the tag of Angry Young Man given by people to Amitabh Bachchan's role in Zanjeer.

Prakash Mehra is one of the veteran directors in the Cine industry who made excellent movies, like ‘Haseena Mann Jayegi’, ‘Lawaaris’, ‘Namal Halaal’ and many others. He was termed as the director who brought violence to the screen because of his movie “Zanjeer”. But compared to today’s films like ‘Animal’, ‘Dev. D’, ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ and others, Zanjeer wasn’t a violent movie at all. The audience labeled Amitabh Bachchan as ‘Angry Young Man’ due to the character he portrayed in Zanjeer. But Prakash Mehra never agreed with the term Angry Young Man. He expressed his disapproval in an exclusive interview with Lehren. 

When Zanjeer was released, it was a hot topic amongst the audience. Prakash Mehra said, “People spoke about me that ‘He is the person who has introduced violence on the screen.’ But Zanjeer was not a violent story at all.” He outlined the story of the film as an outburst of the inner conflict of the character. “Zanjeer was not even 20% of what is happening today”, he added. The film left its impact on audiences’ minds, and they felt it was the most violent content they have ever seen. Apart from whatever label audiences had put on, Zanjeer released in 1973 starring Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bhaduri was a box office hit. 

In the interview, Mela director talked about the interference of the censor board in the films’ content. He said that many members of the censor board don’t even know how the films are made. He cited a very good example of the censor board intervening in the movie. Bandit Queen made in 1994 received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival, but despite the recognition it gained at international level, the censor board cut out some scenes before releasing it in India. Watch this entire interview of legendary Prakash Mehra to know about the debate he put regarding Zanjeer and Censor Board. 

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