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AMITABH’S DUAL ROLE IN DON 

A MARKED DIFFERENCE

BY K.V. VENUGOPAL

don

Amitabh Bacchan has played the double role in the Hindi film ‘Don’, in a contrasting style. When Don shouts at queer pitch: If “Don Ko Pakadna mushkil nahin hai, namunkin hai”.(It is not only difficult to catch Don, but well-nigh-impossible, too) exhilarates the audience, the sober role played by the innoncent Vijay and his minimalist voice impresses the movie-goers.

The mega-star has performed in his own inimitable style the role of the wrong-doer and the good samarithan. For example, when the Don challenges his detractors with his deep and baritone voice, especially in a plot to murder Helen, the mild-mannered Vijay with a wonderful sense of humour impresses upon the heroine Zeenat Aman about his innocence in the murder of her sister Helen. If Don is looking larger than the screen presence after his introduction in the title song “mere diwano, mujhe pehachano, zarase aya mehun don”, amidst deafening applause, Vijay, on the contrary, introduces himself politely with “Mein to Bombay Nagariyatho Deku Babuwa”. If Don’s body language and dialogue deliveries portray the typical underworld leader, Vijay adopts a low profile and move around with poor, downtrodden and the toiling masses. For instance, when the heroine tries to take him from a slum, Vijay bursts into “Kaike paan banaraswala”, much to the delight of the audience. The singer Kishore Kumar, virtually ran around the studio, chewing and spitting the pan, to match up Vijay’s dancing prowess.

Don is shrewd enough to understand the psyche of other people and could spot the enemies like God Father. He has the intrinsic ability and uncanny anticipation to anticipate the arrival of cops. Vijay, on the other hand, is too naïve, to distinguish between the good and bad people. For example, he blindly believes Om Shivpuri. But by the time he realizes the nefarious designs of the wicked and pretending-to-be Interpol Officer’s instructions to his henchmen “chalo boys take care of him”, the damage was already done. Vijay curses his inability to judge people and murmurs with volley of expressions: “arre main kitna bada urluka patta tha”.(What a dum-founded idiot I am).

Don hates to chew paan, whereas Vijay is diametrically opposite to him. Without Masala and Jarda pan, his day will not start. If Don has the habit of mixing English with his sophisticated Hindi, Vijay cherishes in using Bojpuri dialect and would shudder to think of any word in English. Don always meant business while dealing with other people, Vijay has the knack of creating a lasting impression in the minds of even the people, who are reluctant to speak. Normally, in any dual-role film, either the hero or the villain impresses the public. But in Don, Amitabh with his superlative performance as a gang leader and an innocent hero, had carved out a niche for himself. If he created terror in the minds of the audience in a particular scene with his handsome look and powerful dialogues as Don,, he made the film-goers at utmost ease, when the scene required Vijay to tone down his voice before taking steps to nab the culprits.

Don has penchant for wearing colourful suits, Vijay opts for country bumpkin costume, more so when he sings and dances to the tune of ‘Kaike Paan Banaraswala’. If Don’s grey colour suit and tie was an attraction to the audience, Vijay’s Bihari-type Dhoti and banian-like red-colour dress has attracted the movie-goers. Vijay creates a viable impact in his favourite green pant-white shirt attire, while relating an unfortunate incident to Pran. He also shows his yellow-colour hand-kerchief several times while dancing and singing with the heroine for the duet song “Iska thera ok kadi agaye”. If Don preferred to wear chocolate colour pant and black-shirt, when the situation was not conducive, Vijay excelled in lunge and tee-shirt, more so in tricky situations.

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