Late Review | Shakti (1982) | the Clash of Titans One Must Watch

Shakti Review by Siddtalks
Photo Courtesy: Cinestaan

After a long and extensive search on Google finally I found that Shakti, the 1982 epic is available on Zee 5 OTT. There have been two classics in the last century which can be termed as the ‘Clash of Titans.’ One of the two is Shakti which released in the early 1980s and then there was Saudagar which was released in the early 1990s. Both these movies have one common factor and that is Dilip Kumar, the legendary actor of our Bollywood.

In Saudagar Dilip Kumar was cast against Raaj Kumar and here in Shakti, he has a dual with none other than Amitabh Bachchan. Apart from yesterday’s watch, I remember I have watched Shakti only twice before. First when it was released and I saw it with my family at a community VCR telecast which was normal during those days. The second time I don’t remember when, but it can be easily one or two decades back only. Before we talk more about Shakti, let us know a little bit about its story.

Important Info about the movie

Movie Name: Shakti (1982)

Cast: Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Rakhee Gulzar, Smita Patil, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Vikas Anand, Ashok Kumar (Guest Appearance), Anil Kapoor (Guest Appearance), and Amrish Puri.

Story and Screenplay: Salim-Javed

Music: Rahul Dev Burman

Producers: Mushir-Riaz

Director: Ramesh Sippy

Run Time: 167 minutes

Filmfare Nominations: Best Film (won), Best Director (Ramesh Sippy – Nominated), Best Actor (Dilip Kumar – won, Amitabh Bachchan – Nominated), Best Actress (Rakhee Gulzar – Nominated), Best Story (Salim-Javed – Nominated), Best Screenplay (Salim-Javed – Won), Best Sound Design (P Harkishan – Won)

Synopsis of Shakti

Ashwini Kumar (Dilip Kumar) is a police officer in Mumbai Police and he narrates the entire story of his life to his grandson Ravi (Anil Kapoor). Once Ashwini arrests a goon called Yashwant (Goga Kapoor) and the gang leader of Yashwant, JK (Amrish Puri) kidnaps Ashwini’s son Vijay and asks Ashwini to release Yashwant from the custody to get his son back. But Ashwini not only refuses this offer but also says that JK may kill his son but he won’t compromise with his ethics and duty by releasing Yashwant. Vijay manages to run away from the grip of JK and his goons, but those words of his father remain in his mind forever.  He starts to believe that his father doesn’t care about him at all.

This belief against his father continues to become stronger and stronger as he grows as a young Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan). Then circumstances too make sure that this feeling of Vijay against Ashwini turns into hate. Every time when Vijay gets into legal trouble, the circumstances are such that Ashwini couldn’t help him despite being the Deputy Commissioner of Mumbai Police.

Vijay gets solace in the company of Roma (Smita Patil) whom he loves very much and also gets married to her later. Also, there is a ‘businessman’ KD Narang (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) who has been always a supporter of Vijay from childhood, by letting him run away when he was kidnapped and till now by giving him a job in his hotel. Once JK’s goons attack KD Narang outside his hotel and Vijay saves his life, from then on Vijay becomes the right hand of Narang who actually is a smuggler and a strong opponent of JK.

Things take a sudden change when Vijay gets arrested by his own father and while on the way to the jail to meet Vijay, Vijay’s mother Sheetal (Rakhee Gulzar) gets killed by JK. After paying shradhdhanjali to his mother Vijay manages to run away from the police and after certain efforts, he gets the information that JK, the killer of his mother is leaving India via a fake passport.

Ashwini Kumar also gets the same information and he too goes to the airport with his team where Vijay is already there with a clear-cut intention to kill JK. After a struggle, Vijay manages to find JK and then kills him and Ashwini helplessly watches this incident happening from the distance. Now Vijay is on the run and Ashwini is following him, to arrest his son.

Review of Shakti

As mentioned above it is a clash of titans, two giants of Bollywood Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan, so the movie always gives you a mouthwatering experience. And if you are a fan of both Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan like me, then you won’t feel tired watching Shakti again and again. This movie is very different from the movies which used to be made during those days. Throughout its 167 minutes runtime, it remains serious and sometimes tense. During those days there used to be a few comic scenes to release the tension of the audience but here the director Ramesh Sippy and the writers Salim-Javed remained true to the cause and kept the story as it is without experimenting with anything or trying to release some tension.

Because it is tense and serious a few people may find it a bit boring while going through it, but believe me, if you are into it right from the first scene you won’t feel any boredom. There are three songs in the movie and one of them is ‘RD Burman gem’ as well but none of them don’t hurt the soul of the movie. It is a treat to watch Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan as father and son, and the exchange of dialogues when they are in one frame.

One might say that Dilip Kumar has got more importance than Amitabh Bachchan, but then the story actually revolves around Dilip Kumar only. Because Amitabh Bachchan has to underplay his character to look intense, Dilip Kumar has to get all the attention. I am sure even Amitabh Bachchan knew that time that he can remain the shadow of Dilip Kumar only else he wouldn’t have gone to Ramesh Sippy and demanded this role for himself.

If Amitabh Bachchan doesn’t get enough attention then one could easily understand why Rakhee and Smita Patil’s supporting roles have not got the attention. But they were good enough to mark their presence, especially Rakhee who played the perfect mother, always finding herself in a soup between the struggle of husband and the son.

This was one of the first major roles Amrish Puri has played during his early career, which started around the age of 50. Probably from Shakti only he got enough attention from other producers and directors and from then on he would have got bigger banners like Subhash Ghai and others.

I talked about Saudagar at the start of this article and the major difference I found in Shakti if I compare it with Saudagar considering it clash of titans, Saudagar was more of an ego clash between Raaj Kumar and Dilip Kumar. Whereas in Shakti, one can easily find mutual respect between Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan. Before and after Shakti Amitabh Bachchan has always maintained that he has been a great fan of Dilip Kumar and he has even copied his style in some of his movies, so much respect is bound to show on screen as well.

All in all, this classic, according to me, is very much an underrated movie, should be watched by each and every die-hard Bollywood fan like me. If you are reading this article and have watched Shakti already then do share your views about it in the comments. If you haven’t watched it yet then go watch it and then let me know your views about it.

Happy watching….!

24th May 2021, Monday




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