Aamir, Hrithik, Emraan: Meet Bollywood's magicians!
Just because we believe in movie magic doesn’t mean we love our movie magicians. A staggering majority of the names on this list of Bollywood magicians are misses rather than hits, but what the hey -- it’s hard to carry off a top hat, okay?
In tribute to the tap-dancing Aamir Khan in Dhoom 3, here’s a list of Hindi cinema’s many magicians:
Aamir Khan in Dhoom 3
There was a lot of pre-release buzz about Aamir playing an acrobat in the upcoming Dhoom 3, but that’s only part of his on-stage story.
Apparently he’s a big-name illusionist in the new film, taking on from father Jackie Shroff’s legacy as a stage magician. Oh, and he’s a criminal -- but you knew that already, right?
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Image: Aamir Khan in Dhoom 3
Emraan Hashmi in Ek Thi Daayan
Hashmi played a magician called Bobo in this horror film which, unique to Hindi cinema, tried to at least show how magicians manage to trick the audience -- even though the trick itself was blatantly lifted from Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige.
Either way Hashmi wasn’t a bad showman and had good patter, but it’s just that the filmmakers forgot he was a magician halfway into the film.
Image: Emraan Hashmi in Ek Thi Daayan
Hrithik Roshan in Guzaarish
Roshan tried gamely to play a magician in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzaarish, and while his performance wasn’t bad at all -- even though there was a bit too much digital imagery and not enough sleight of hand -- the same can’t be said for Bhansali’s film which turned out to be an absolute disaster.
Image: Hrithik Roshan in Guzaarish
Kay Kay Menon in Drona
Goldie Behl's massively-budgeted superhero fantasy flop was filmed in Prague, Bikaner, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Namibia -- and stayed away from actual scriptwriters throughout all those locations.
Anyway, Kay Kay Menon was a part of this Abhishek Bachchan vehicle, playing an evil magician called Riz Raizada.
Image: Kay Kay Menon in Drona
Amitabh Bachchan in Jaadugar
This Prakash Mehra film told the story of a magician (Bachchan) out to stop another magician (Amrish Puri) who was posing as a godman and exploiting naive villagers.
Amitabh's Goga was a showman to the core, right from the crazy jackets to the sawing-off-women, and while his tricks might have worked on stage, the film didn't.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Jaadugar
Amitabh Bachchan in Toofan
Oddly enough, almost immediately alongside Jaadugar came Ketan Desai's Toofan, featuring Bachchan in a double role, as both a masked crime-fighting bounty hunter as well as a fun-loving magician and trickster.
Kids loved Bachchan's Shyam Jaadugar, one who could turn wood to rope and coffee to lassi.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Toofan
Saeed Jaffrey in Ajooba
In Shashi Kapoor's lavishly produced kiddie fantasy, Shammi Kapoor played the kind Sultan of Baharistan. And like every medieval court, his too has a magician, played here by Saeed Jaffrey.
Jaffrey's Ameer Baba gives the Sultan a magic sword and drives it into a stone pillar, making room for an Excalibur-like legend.
Image: Saeed Jaffrey in Ajooba
KS Ramesh in Pushpak
In Srinivasa Rao Singeetham's classic silent comedy, all the attention is on the wily Kamal Haasan and the diabolical Tinnu Anand, but that's just a conjuror's trick as Haasan falls in love with a magician's daughter, played by Amla.
The magician himself was played by KS Ramesh, ensuring complete believability.
Image: KS Ramesh in Pushpak