Retro In A Metro: 'Amar Akbar Anthony' Review

By Tanmay Shukla

Indian Cinema is currently going through a paradigm shift, organically, as it is the need of the hour with the takeover of the next generation of makers and consumers. Masala Films in the vein of classics like Amar Akbar Anthony cannot exist today in their quintessence. Most of the 'masala' films these days can be labelled as'despicable attempts' to imitate the supposed 'formula' for box-office success. Masala is still there, its ingredients however have adjusted to the prevailing contemporary thought. Dance, Music and dialogues which only 'heroes' can pull off are the few constants from the typical formula while keeping up with the audience and 'west' in terms of its 'look and feel' are the variables in the new formula. 

Amar, Akbar, Anthony is loved by audiences of the present and the past for entirely different reasons. It was released at a time when India desperately needed hope to recover from the economic loss from war, drought and famine, and to endure the Emergency period. The film resonated with life of a 'common man' at the time of its release. Its magical nature to effectively capture the everyday struggles while also not getting too caught up in the rage associated with it but instead focused on providing audience with a sense of 'hope' through brotherhood and love. Amar Akbar Anthony is loved by audience of the present as they saw it on TV when they were younger and when the times hadn't radically changed as they have now.

One remarkable quality of Amar Akbar Anthony is the music and lyrics of its songs. While each and every song is legendary in its own right, be it the incredibly romantic "Hum Ko Tum Se Ho Gaya Hai Pyar", or the Easter-Egg dance number "My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves", the one which stands out is "Parda Hai Parda" sung by Mohd. Rafi. The lyrics by Anand Bakshi is sheer poetry filled with fervent emotions and pinch of satire, like the poetry of Akbar Allahabadi, the actual poet whom the character of Raju draws from. The qawalli and the lyrics are strong enough to stand alone and when they are combined they become a masterpiece.

Much has already been written about the dance, the music, the dialogues, the characters and all the action in between. All of that is mere ostentation when placed parallel with the story which provides flexibility to incorporate the fantastical elements while also serving as a platform for the emotional connect. The story features divine interventions and extraordinary coincidences, in the life of people with dreams but deprived of opportunities. It struck a chord with the people because it infuses tremendous hope and consolidates beliefs on traditional values on the verge of being considered incompatible by disillusioned masses amidst the rapidly changing world around them. The director, Manhoman Desai, cleverly gave the people what they wanted instead of what they needed, they got sweet sugar-coated candy instead of bitter pills. Times have changed. They were moved by the maudlin mania, they were crying then, and they are laughing today. But what has remained true is that they still enjoy it regardless of all that has changed. This is the enigma where we find ourselves today. Maybe it is the sweet candy that we needed after all.

On behalf of everyone who was present to see Amar Akbar Anthony on the big screen, we all cannot be more thankful to Zee Classic for their brilliant initiative 'Retro In A Metro' which is reviving the popularity of timeless cult-classics specially in a time when the present generation don't get to see on the big screen the movies revered by older generations. It also serves as a space to spread awareness about our culture and the way of life which reflects beautifully and honestly in the films of the past which were essentially a product of their time and paves the way for discussions which are constructive and relevant in countless ways. 

About Retro In A Metro

Zee Classic, in continuing with its tradition of promoting the classic works of Indian cinema, has envisaged a unique initiative, in association with 92.7 Big FM, which endeavors to recreate the charm of classic Hindi films with ‘Retro In A Metro’. Here is a wonderful opportunity for film enthusiasts to revisit the cult classics of Hindi cinema at a theatre in Mumbai every week on a Thursday evening, starting from August 3, 2017. Retro In A Metro brilliantly packages classic content and blends it with the best of movie watching experience. As part of it, four of Hindi cinema's greatest cult classics viz. Andaz  Apna ApnaJaane Bhi Do YaaronAmar Akbar Anthony, and Karz would be screened, respectively, every Thursday at 8 PM at Cinepolis,  Andheri for the month of August as follows:

Andaz Apna Apna
3rd August 2017
 8 PM
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron
10th August 2017
 8 PM
Amar Akbar Anthony
17th August 2017
 8 PM
24th August 2017
 8 PM

To know more, the movie-lovers can log on to

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!  

People who liked this also liked...
Share on Google Plus


Post a Comment

Thanks for sharing for valuable opinion. We would be delighted to have you back.