Shades of a Hero


Much has been said about Yash Chopra's chiffon-clad heroines. But then, he was the maker of heroes as well. Angsty, feisty, temperamental, romantic, obsessive and funny — he created them as having many different facets. Talk takes a look at some of Chopra's favourite actors and their characters.

Amitabh Bachchan

Deewaar, Trishul, Kabhi Kabhie, Kaala Patthar, Silsila

The angry young man was called Vijay, and the romantic hero was called Amit in all of Chopra's films with Bachchan. Deewaar, Trishul and Kaala Patthar showcased Bachchan's angst and cynicism towards the society at large and earned him the tag of 'angry young man'. Chopra, who saw Bachchan as a complete actor, also projected the actor's softer side through romantic dramas such as Kabhi Kabhie and Silsila.

Rajesh Khanna

Ittefaq, Daag, Vijay

That Chopra had an eye for the stars is evident from the fact that he worked with Rajesh Khanna much before he earned the 'superstar' tag. In a thriller titled Ittefaq, Chopra made Khanna portray the role of a neurotic who is blamed for his wife's murder. Soon after, when superhit Aradhana made Khanna an overnight superstar, Chopra took stock of Khanna's romantic image and cast him in a musical love triangle Daag, and in the multi-starrer family drama Vijay.

Shashi Kapoor

Deewaar, Kaala Patthar, Trishul, Kabhi Kabhie, Waqt

The first time Chopra worked with Kapoor was in Dharamputra. So impressed was he with Kapoor's work ethics that Chopra continued to cast him in his future films. Kapoor, more often than not, played second fiddle to Bachchan. It was perhaps Chopra's directorial skill that gave Kapoor his career's best roles — from the righteous police officer Ravi in Deewaar, to the happy-go-lucky, understanding husband Vijay in Kabhi Kabhie, the peace-loving engineer in Kaala Patthar and the cheerful Shekhar in Trishul. When it came to Kapoor, Chopra's moulding qualities were impeccable.

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