The immortal dialogue from a landmark movie and lines perfectly delivered by the legendary actor, Amrish Puri in Mr. India (1987) is still fresh in our minds and everyone who has watched the film remembers it with a kind of enthusiasm which can only be matched by the effect of a truly great movie. Now when the news is out that a remake of this epic-scale movie is about to come out, it is certainly fun to revisit the classic and discover some cool facts which makes this movie unique.
Just one movie old:
This was the second venture by Shekhar Kapur as director. The previous movie he directed was Masoom (1983) which also stands as one of the most sensitive films made in India. Only with two movies in his resume, he cemented his stature as one of the most talented directors working in the business, displaying an amazing versatility at the same time.
Best screenwriter duo of all time:
Arguably the most famous screenwriting duo in Indian cinema, Salim-Javed wrote a number of classics and were primarily responsible for establishing the ‘angry young man’ image of megastar Amitabh Bachchan. The last film Salim -Javed wrote together was Shakti (1982) and announced an official split as a team after that. Till now, only for this movie they have come together to write a film (the idea was based on a script they wrote when they were still working as a team) which would go onto become arguably the best sci-fi movie of Hindi cinema. Shekhar Kapur was primarily responsible for convincing them to come together for the project as he knew that a movie with this kind of scope would need the best scriptwriter duo of all time.
Where did Mogambo come from?
Saleem-Javed were heavily influenced by the American-Western movies (the influence of American epic The Magnicificent Seven (1960) can be seen in the movie). Keeping this in mind, it is highly probable that the name Mogambo was taken from an American-Western movie of the same name Mogambo (1953) directed by one of the most influential director of all time, John Ford.
Box Office glory:
Even after that, this movie was not the bigest but the second biggest hit of that year (1987). First one was Hukumat directed by Anil Sharma. Strange but true, everybody seems to remember Mr. India more than Hukumat.
Still no awards:
Despite attaining cult status in no time, Mr. India didn’t get the Filmfare award that year in any category as no ceremony took place for two consecutive years (1987 & 1988).
Hard to believe! But this is true that the veteran actor was considered at first to play the role of Mogambo but everyone involved in the movie realized that there can be none other than Amrish Puri who could do justice to the legend of one of the top three villians of Hindi cinema.
With so much of legacy this movie carries on its shoulder, it is going to be a litmus test for the makers to see whether they will be able to recreate the same magic again. Expectations will indeed run high considering that the role of the ultimate baddie is supposed to be played by Salman Khan (true challenge for the superstar when he prepares to step in the shoes of such an iconic role). The idea of remaking classics is always brave and challenging (although it’s a mistake at times), still it is commendable on the part of producers that they are attempting once again to entertain and mesmerize us the way Mr. India did 25 years back & went on to register itself among 100 great films of all time on the centenary of Indian Cinema.