From 'Jhund' to 'Uunchai': Looking at Amitabh Bachchan's momentous 2022
Legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan turned 80 this year. But going by his busy schedule and back-to-back releases, who can tell? This year, Big B was miles ahead of several other leading actors in the country and had not one but five releases that proved he would never lose his mojo. Amid these, he also found time for a game show! Let's trace his 2022.
Big B's first release of the year was Nagraj Manjule's emotionally potent biographical sports drama Jhund. While the lack of buzz meant that there was next to no anticipation for the movie, Jhund would have probably been a massive hit had it been released before the pandemic in a different climate. Nonetheless, it garnered immense critical acclaim and is now streaming on ZEE5.
Runway 34, which starred and was directed by Ajay Devgn, is an aviation thriller—a genre that hasn't been explored much in India. Though Bachchan appears only in the second half, as always, he effortlessly left a profound impact and added gravitas to the film. Despite mostly positive reviews, it was an average box office grosser, but it eventually found love on Amazon Prime Video.
'Brahmastra: Part One—Shiva'
Yet another film in which Bachchan appeared only in the second half, but he added immense value to Ayan Mukerji's Brahmastra: Part One—Shiva, which relied heavily on his explanatory voiceover at the beginning and undisputed command of Hindi. He essayed the role of Guru Arvind, who helps Shiva (Ranbir Kapoor) undergo a rite of passage and discover his true purpose for the greater good.
In Vikas Bahl's emotionally moving and soul-stirring Goodbye, Big B collaborated with Rashmika Mandanna for the first time. The family drama dissects grief and people's varied reactions to it, and Bachchan, as usual, aced the role of a recent widower who tries hard to grapple with the reality of his wife's sudden demise. The film, which also stars Neena Gupta, is streaming on Netflix.
The superstar of the millennium's last release this year was Rajshri Productions' Uunchai, a film that put together a never-seen-before ensemble of Bachchan, Anupam Kher, and Boman Irani. It traversed the story of a deep, affectionate bond between three senior citizens, a topic seldom touched upon in Hindi cinema. The film also marked ace director Sooraj Barjatya's comeback to direction after seven years.
'Kaun Banega Crorepati'
While staying a thoroughly busy man with back-to-back releases, Big B also found the time to shoot for his long-running game show Kaun Banega Crorepati, which was in its 14th year this time and was telecast on Sony TV. This year, to commemorate 75 years of Independence, the jackpot cash prize of Rs. 7.5cr had an additional round of Rs. 75L.