The ongoing IPL season has taken its toll on new Bollywood releases and more so in Muscat where we get to see less than half of all Bollywood releases. I was getting a deprived sort of feeling and so when I was surfing the TV Channels and chanced upon AAA, I just glued myself to the chair and watched on…here is my take on AAA!
There are two popular connotations for AAA (members of ANTI ACRONYM ABUSE, pardon me); one is of course the AAA battery (although I haven’t till now figured out why the bigger size battery has only two As!) and the other one which is popular in the US : American Automobile Association. It would seem very unlikely that I would venture to write about either the battery or automobiles in America.
Acronyms for movies were not as popular even late in the seventies as they are now. Perhaps film titles were not that long or did not adapt themselves to easily pronounceable acronyms; can you imagine an acronym like JPKHH? Incidentally that acronym would have stood for the Dev Anand starrer JAB PYAAR KISISE HOTA HAI! But the lack of acronym culture for movie titles did not prevent this movie, about which this write-up is about, from being addressed in conversations or watched numerous times in 1977 and for a number of years after that.
AAA was a golden jubilee hit; perhaps one of the last movies in its genre to have hit this landmark. Another important but not noticed landmark: AAA was one of the four movies directed by this prolific director in 1977 and according to http://www.boxoffice.com, these four movies featured in the top five box-office grossers of that year! The only odd one out was the Nasir Husain directed HUM KISISE KAM NAHIN.
AAA makes no claims to be a classic; but certainly ranks amongst one of the most celebrated entertainers ever to have been made by Bollywood in the seventies and eighties. It is what one could call a POORA PAISA VASOOL movie. I had seen the movie a couple of times and enjoyed it. And this time too, I enjoyed it immensely, although obviously there was no surprise element as to which scene would follow which. But AAA was no suspense thriller. It had a foundation based on the familiar lost and found theme with innumerable incredulities packaged in an intelligent manner. For example people fed on doses of Bollywood productions of those years would have certainly witnessed a person losing eyesight in an accident and regaining it at a temple in another accident, siblings getting lost and found through carefully orchestrated accidents and various such clichéd happenings. AAA scores not because of them, but in spite of them. And that is where the director’s and script writer’s contribution comes in. Power packed dialogues like “Aisa to aadmi do hi baar bhagta hai. Ek Olympic race mein aur doosra agar police ka chase ho!”
Of course, good music helps and all of AAA’s songs have been chart busters and superbly filmed; the contribution of the three lead actors has meritoriously fetched for one of them the Best Actor Award from Filmfare that year.
AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY was directed by Manmohan Desai, had music by Laxmikant Pyarelal, lyrics by Anand Bakshi and starred Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor and Vinod Khanna along with their love interests being played by Parveen Babi, Neetu Singh and Shabana Azmi. Other stalwarts who featured were thespians Pran, Nirupa Roy, Jeevan and Ranjit. And now we hear that Asutosh Gowariker is thinking of remaking AAA! And if that doesnt happen in the next twelve months, I am going to watch the original once more!!