Multi-starrer films are as good as the cast in it. There have been many films throughout the history of Bollywood wherein big names share silver screen together, and do it convincingly. Films like Satte pe Satta, The Burning Train, Hum Saath Saath hain, have been notable with their performances and screen writing, but we cannot ignore the contribution of Amar Akbar Anthony, which is still fresh in our memories and entertains us every time we watch it.
Amar Akbar Anthony, a 1977 drama film, directed by Manmohan Desai, and starring Vinod Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Parveen Babi, Neetu Singh and Shabana Azmi among others, is a full package entertainer with all the emotions one wishes out of a film. The story revolves around three brothers who get separated from each other while they are still very young, and raised with three different religions after being adopted. The essence is about finding their true self, their family, and love during the journey of the film. The background of how their father survives a mob and leaves them in the park gives an edgy start to the story, and gives the audience, a sense of connectivity to the plot.
The first half is dominated by the story finding itself with the current lives of the brothers and how they face each other not knowing their relationship yet. This is filled with humour, romance and graceful songs that entertain the audience thoroughly. Rishi Kapoor as Akbar does a fine job with his effortless comedy and charm, and Amitabh Bachchan is a heartthrob as Anthony, and well, how could we forget the mirror scene where Anthony talks to himself after getting beaten up. Also, Vinod Khanna’s role is of a cop and he keeps it pretty grounded as intended. The fight scene between Amar and Anthony is one to watch for, and also the diverging personalities of the two actors makes it much more interesting. The ladies have done a brilliant job portraying the love interests of three brothers, and though their characters did not have enough depth, they brought out the best with they had in the script.
The second half is when things get gritty and emotional, when they realise that they are siblings and learn about their past and their enemy Robert, who betrayed their father. The story takes a deep dive into the bond of the family and how the three of them, together fight against Robert and his gang. The climax is set beautifully with the female protagonists are captured by Robert and Amar, Akbar, Anthony arrive in disguise to save them and deal with the antagonist. This is brilliant execution of comedy with action, and as we expect from an entertainer, it deserves a happy ending. The scene where they finally get to meet their father is priceless and gives a warm end to the film. The songs are catchy and reminiscent of the 70s era, with the title song being one of the favourites of the generation.
Overall, if you love Amit sir, Vinod sir and Rishi sir, and want to watch them perform brilliantly together, this is the film for you. Don’t expect an oscar level writing, because it’s not ine of those. But what makes it special is that it gives the audience a much needed entertainment package, with emotions, drama, songs and a lot of action!