Amitabh Bachchan's Most TERRIFYING Villains!
When you are known to the world as an angry young man, it's vital the villains you fight are just as challenging and annoying.
And so Amitabh Bachchan's fight with absolute evil whether to seek revenge or justice has provided Hindi films with a pronounced assembly of villains ranging from heinous and sleek to obsessive and corrosive.
Not only did their mischief provide nasty twists in Big B's reel life but it was their legacy of malevolence that propelled Bachchan's various Vijays into becoming a larger-than-life emblem of necessary rage and astonishing heroics. And for that we are eternally grateful.
Here then is a look at some of his best-known nemesis.
Seth Dharam Dayal 'Teja', Zanjeer
Before the city came to know him as 'Loin,' an extremely polished Ajit made life hell for AB as the vile underworld gangster Teja in the latter's breakthrough film, Zanjeer.
From murdering the hero's parents while he was still a kid to falsely implicating his honest cop in a bribery case leading to imprisonment to sending goons after his girlfriend, Teja's crime list is pretty hefty. It's only fair he receives an equally stinging fate in the climax.
Image: Ajit in Zanjeer
Gabbar Singh, Sholay
Gabbar Singh is stuff unpleasant legends are made of -- the kind mothers scare their kids from to put them to sleep. The boorish dacoit with the best one-liners, played by an unprecedented Amjad Khan, spreads his terror across all of Ramgarh with his menacing laughter and cruel deeds in Ramesh Sippy's multi-starrer epic.
And just to prove how unbeatable Gabbar is, Bachchan's Jai ends up losing his life in a bid to provide cover for his best friend (Dharmendra) while singlehandedly taking on the mad bandit's equipped army.
Image: Amjad Khan in Sholay
Dilawar, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar
This time it's possessiveness over a courtesan that triggers Amjad Khan's nefarious behavior. Though a hardboiled criminal, his Dilawar nurses a soft spot for Zohra (Rekha) but in a film where everyone is in love someone else, Zohra declines to reciprocate as she's already weak on AB's Sikandar.
As it so happens, Sikandar too isn't interested in her and pining for his childhood sweetheart (Raakhee).
Only fiery Dilawar is oblivious to all these back stories and goes after Sikandar with pointless hostility that leads to a stabbing climax for both the men.
Image: Amjad Khan in Muqaddar Ka Sikandar
Although Ramesh Sippy's villainous creation, Shakaal is heavily influenced by 007's super nemesis Blofeld, Kulbhushan Kharbanda lends it enough style and sophistication to make it his own in the lavishly-scaled underperformer, Shaan.
But in the bad guy's book 'with great power comes great irresponsibility' and so there's no way in the world Bachchan and Co. are going to spare him after he lets loose a pack of rowdy dogs on his elder brother (Sunil Dutt).
Image: Kulbhushan Kharbanda in Shaan
Though he's not as charismatic or famous as Teja, Gabbar or Shakaal, Om Shivpuri's Vardan and the shock element it brings has gained more prominence over the years with Farhan Akhtar reviving it into a franchise featuring Shah Rukh Khan.
Considering Don's original crooked aspect is Bachchan himself until he is redeemed by his gold-hearted lookalike, it's imperative to provide the racy action thriller with an unforeseeable evil. And that's how Vardan parading as Interpol Officer Malik comes in the picture.
Image: Om Shivpuri in Don
Shani Seth, Kaalia
Amjad Khan played the Lex Luthor to AB's Superman in quite a few memorable films.
In Kaalia too, he provides all the mandatory anxiety with his cool, calculated malice as the inimitable Shani Seth prompting Bachchan to declare, 'Yeh aag meri taraf se tumhare khilaaf jung ka elaan hai, Shani Seth'.
From vying with the hero for a pretty lady's sparkling diamonds to setting up a series of traps in his mirror maze of a den with overzealous gadgets at play, Khan conveys wicked with effortless relish.
Image: Amjad Khan in Kaalia
Kaaliram, Barsaat Ki Ek Raat
Amjad Khan continues to direct his much adored on-screen negativity towards Bachchan to play the proverbial 'rayees baap ki bigdi hui aulad' as Kaaliram in Shakti Samanta's Barsaat Ki Ek Raat.
Be it brawling in bars and abducting local village women to appease his libido or evoking AB's wrath well enough to garner an entire song of insult, Kaaliram ka phat gaya dhol, which, needless to say, he doesn't take lightly, Kaaliram is the A to Z of hopeless.
Image: Amjad Khan in Barsaat Ki Ek Raat
Kancha Cheena, Agneepath
While Sanjay Dutt made quite an effective baddie in the Agneepath reboot, the original Kancha Cheena is something else altogether. Courtesy the reliably dynamic and glossy Danny Denzongpa.
The actor plays a ruthless criminal posturing as an affluent businessman with such unaffected composure and grandeur almost distracting us from acknowledging Bachchan's desire to avenge his father's brutal murder and retrieve Mandwa.
Image: Danny Denzongpa in Agneepath
After Mukul S Anand's Agneepath, Denzongpa rocks yet another face of evil with the edgy, aggressive Bakhtawar in the same filmmaker's Hum.
Only this time there's an attempt to somewhat showcase a human side to him since the reason for his hounding Amitabh Bachchan's Tiger is because he believes the latter to be the cause of his family's slaughter.
Image: Danny Denzongpa in Hum
Mukhtar Singh, Shahenshah
He may have queried about Mukhtar Singh in Kaalia but Bachchan offers an actual face-off with the name in question in Tinnu Anand's Shahenshah.
It also leads up to the all-famous introduction, 'Rishtey mein toh hum tumhare baap hote hain. Naam hai Shahenshah.'
Although Mukhtar Singh, played by Praveen Kumar (better known as Bheema in BR Chopra's TV-series Mahabharata, is mostly a burly henchman and not the prime antagonist (Amrish Puri is), his contribution to this moment is mammoth enough to render him significant.
Image: Praveen Kumar in Shahenshah