Don,” a Hindi film released on May 12, 1978, featuring Amitabh Bachchan in the lead role is one of the most successful Bollywood films of the 20th century. Directed by Chandra Barot and produced by Nariman Baria and Nariman Irani the movie went on to become a cult classic in Bollywood. ‘Don’ is the only Hindi film which has been made seven times in different languages including the 2006 remake featuring Shahrukh Khan. Several factors contributed to Don’s success. Let’s discuss it one by one.
1. Amitabh Bachchan’s Performance: Amitabh Bachchan played the dual role of Don, a wanted criminal, and his look-alike Vijay, a simple, law-abiding citizen. Bachchan’s stellar performance in the dual roles earned him accolades and cemented his place as the leading actor of the Indian film industry.
2. Gripping story and screenplay: The film’s engaging story, combined with Salim-Javed’s taut screenplay, kept the audience at the edge of their seats. The intriguing blend of action, crime, and suspense struck a chord with viewers, making it a memorable experience.
3. Memorable dialogues: The film’s memorable lines, written by Salim-Javed, added to its appeal. Lines such as “Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahi, namumkin hai”(Catching Don is not just difficult; it’s impossible) became iconic and etched themselves in the hearts of Hindi cinema fans.
4. Innovative direction: Chandra Barot’s direction was innovative, and the stylish execution of scenes, characters, and the film’s overall appearance helped create a strong impact.
5. Stellar supporting cast: The film boasted a talented supporting cast that included Zeenat-Aman, Pran, Helen, Iftekhar, Om Shivpuri, and others. Their strong performances in significant roles enhanced the film’s overall quality.
6. Chartbuster music: Composed by the duo Kalyanji-Anandji, with lyricist Anjaan, the film had a memorable soundtrack that appealed to the masses. Songs such as “Khaike Paan Banaras Wala,” “Yeh Mera Dil,” and “Main Hoon Don” became chartbusters and complemented the film’s success.
The combination of these factors helped make “Don” a successful and iconic film in the history of Hindi cinema. The movie’s appeal still lingers today, as evident in the successful 2006 remake starring Shah Rukh Khan taking on the lead role.
By Akshat Sharma