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Updated: August 15, 2013 17:50 IST

Trishul (1978)

Vijay Lokapally
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24dfr trishul
24dfr trishul

Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjeev Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Waheeda Rehman, Rakhee

Some landmark spots of Delhi, the soulful combination of Sahir Ludhianvi and Khayyam, a trusted ticket to success in Salim-Javed and Yash Chopra, an enviable star cast that showcased the best and some upcoming talent made for this entertaining offering. It had a compelling combination to ensure the success of the movie in a year that saw the audience relishing winners like “Don”, “Muqaddar Ka Sikandar”, “Khatta Meetha” and “Satyam Shivam Sundaram”. For “Trishul” to have emerged a super hit was a tribute to the makers of this excellent film that appealed to every section of the society.

Continuing the glorious association involving Salim-Javed and Amitabh Bachchan, this was another chapter in the angry hero subject that the two writers revelled in. Beginning with “Zanjeer” where the protagonist innately burned from an incident that left deep scars on his life, to “Deewar”, which earned the rebellious hero sympathy from the audience despite being on the wrong side of the law, to the iconic “Sholay”, “Don” and finally “Trishul”, where the hero is a bitter soul, out to seek revenge that forms the root of the story, the writers scripted an eventful section of Amitabh’s journey during a critical phase of his career.

There is a difference though. If “Zanjeer” saw Amitabh in an aggressive posture, raising his voice to make his point, “Trishul” presents a contrasting image of him, silent and scheming, using unconventional methods to win his battles. Sanjeev Kumar, in the role of a construction magnate, is just the opposite – a short tempered and insecure businessman. Of course, Sanjeev holds his ground firmly despite the script greatly supporting Amitabh in the principal role.

The plot includes Shashi Kapoor and Hema Malini as the romancing cogs in the narration, losing no time in announcing their love with a peppy “Kehte darti ho dil mein marti ho”. Shashi Kapoor is a natural when he plays the flirting and happy-go-lucky son of a wealthy father even as we have a 20-year-old Sachin and Poonam Dhillon, barely 16, as the younger pair dancing to Nitin Mukesh-Lata number “Gapuchi gapuchi gum gum”. The movie, ironically, opens with Gupta and Shanti singing “Aapki mehki huyi zulf ko”, a mature composition that does justice to the Sahir-Khayyam combination.

It is the story of an illegitimate son Vijay (Bachchan) of unmarried couple Raj Kumar Gupta (Sanjeev Kumar) and Shanti (Waheeda Rehman). Gupta rises from an ambitious engineer to a construction magnate but in the process discards Shanti, who is carrying his child. A self-respecting and strong individual, Gupta comes across a weak person when he succumbs to his mother’s desire that he marry the daughter of his boss.

Shanti leaves the city to bring up her son. The hardships take a toll on Shanti’s health and she dies but not before sharing her past with Vijay, who returns to haunt Gupta and destroy his empire by employing all the machinations that constitute competition in the world of business. Vijay, with support from Geeta (Rakhee), succeeds in his mission and leaves Gupta bankrupt but is accepted in the family to mark a happy ending.

There are some memorable confrontation scenes, with impactful dialogues by Salim-Javed, that bring the best out of Amitabh and Sanjeev, who looks no less dapper than any. There is a stand out scene where Vijay declares Gupta his “najaayaz baap (illegitimate father).” The boisterous response from the audience is vivid because “najaayaz baap” was quite unheard of. Amitabh, backed by the script, steals the thunder on most occasions, and looks perfect when sulking in the “Har taraf husn hai jawani hai” number. Despite the attractive cast, this movie was about Amitabh and Sanjeev, both giving sterling performances.

For residents of the Capital, there are some nostalgic moments to relive of the good old Delhi, of the sparsely occupied roads, of Lodhi Gardens and Golf Club, of Old Fort and Lutyens creations, of Teen Murti and Odeon theatre, and, of course, the climax at the Pragati Maidan. The ever-youthful director Yash Chopra ensures there is not one dull moment in this well-crafted movie.

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