Fabulous 70s Jodis

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Shashi Kapoor & Amitabh Bachchan – Before we had the homoerotic but wonderful Qurbani (1980) celebrating bromance, we had the fun and frolic of the Shashitabh! One of the most memorable jodis of the 70’s, Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan appeared in 11 films together with brilliant results. The two had appeared in earlier films like Bombay Talkie (1971) but at that time Shashi was the star, and Amitabh was a struggling extra, who unfortunately had his scenes chopped. Their most momentous pairing was Deewaar (1975), directed by Yash Chopra, they played brothers Vijay and Ravi who are on opposite sides of the law. Deewaar established Amitabh as a huge star, but it’s the scenes with Shashi that we can see his ‘Angry Young Man’ persona appear, especially the iconic scene where Vijay has attained everything but his mother’s approval which Ravi has, as an upright police officer. This duo did many other dramatic films together, and whenever they come on screen, it’s sheer fireworks to see these two opposing actors face off, Kapoor with his subtle stage touch and Bachchan with his very Method way of expressing his emotions. The ‘Shashitabh’ jodi is at their best in zany masala films like Suhaag (1979) which allows the two serious actors to cut loose and send up their personas. One hilarious scene is the song “Teri Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi” in which Amitabh dressed in traditional Punjabi bhangra attire pesters Shashi to settle down and get married, Shashi’s facial expressions are priceless and Amitabh is such a natural at comedy as he is with his dramatic roles.

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