Theatrical release poster
|Produced by||Ganesh Jain|
|Written by||Robin Bhatt |
|Starring||Shah Rukh Khan|
|Cinematography||Thomas A. Xavier|
|Edited by||Hussain M. Burmawala|
|Distributed by||Eros Labs|
Baazigar (Translation: Gambler) is a 1993 Indian Hindi-language crime thriller film directed by Abbas–Mustan starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in the lead roles. It is a contemporary thriller about a young man who stops at nothing to get what he wants. The story was inspired by the 1991 movie A Kiss Before Dying. This was Shah Rukh Khan's breakthrough role as the sole lead and Kajol's first commercial success. Actress Shilpa Shetty was supposed to debut with Gaata Rahe Mera Dil, but it remained unreleased, and this became her debut film. Baazigar was the first film in which Shah Rukh Khan played the role of an anti-hero and the first which earned Khan a Filmfare Award for Best Actor. Initially this movie was offered to Armaan Kohli and Salman Khan to play the lead role, but they all rejected it as the role had negative shades.
Baazigar was a major commercial success upon release, and the first film of the famous Shahrukh Khan-Kajol pair. In addition to box office success, the film's soundtrack album composed by Anu Malik was also a success, selling 10 million units. The film brought actors Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, and Shilpa Shetty, and composer Anu Malik, to the limelight. It was remade in Telugu as Vetagadu with Rajasekhar, in Tamil as Samrat and in Kannada as Nagarahavu with Upendra.
Baazigar garnered ten nominations at the 39th Filmfare Awards, including Best Film, and Lux New Face of the Year and Best Supporting Actress for Shetty. The film won four awards, including Best Actor for Khan. Over the years the film has gained a cult classic status and is remembered for its popular dialogues, music, story and performances.
Ajay Sharma (Shah Rukh Khan) is a young boy who seeks revenge for his father's death caused by the actions of his trusted employer Madan Chopra (Dalip Tahil). Chopra has two daughters; the elder is Seema (Shilpa Shetty) and the younger is Priya (Kajol). Ajay begins a secret relationship with Seema, and later assumes the role of 'Vicky Malhotra', wearing brown contact lenses, to meet Madan Chopra. Chopra is impressed with 'Vicky' and Priya falls in love with him. This way, Ajay manages to date both Seema and Priya using different identities.
Later, under the pretense of testing her love for him, Ajay convinces Seema to decide to commit suicide with him, when her father arranges her marriage with someone else. They write and sign suicide notes, but he then tells her he was simply testing her and rips up his note while keeping hers. They make plans to get married at the registrar's office the next day. However, while waiting for the office to open, Ajay takes Seema to the roof of the building and suddenly pushes her off, murdering her. He then discreetly mails her suicide note to her home. Chopra hastily orders the case closed to prevent further embarrassment should the suicide note be discovered. Suspecting that her sister didn't commit suicide, with the help of her college friend, police inspector Karan Saxena (Siddharth Ray), Priya secretly continues the investigation.
Ravi, a college friend of Seema who had a crush on her, finds a photo of Seema and Ajay together at a birthday party. When Ajay finds out about this, he murders Ravi and forces him to sign a suicide note which makes it seem as if Ravi is Seema's murderer. Thus, the investigation is halted a second time. Meanwhile, Ajay posing as 'Vicky' slowly wins Chopra's confidence.
It is revealed through a flashback that Madan Chopra had been a project manager in the company run by Ajay's late father Mr. Sharma (Anant Mahadevan), but when Sharma discovered that he was embezzling money, he had Chopra imprisoned for three years. After Madan completed his jail term, he asked for forgiveness and Sharma decided to re-employ him. However, unbeknownst to anyone, Chopra had returned to exact revenge. One day, Sharma had to go on a business trip, so he handed a power of attorney to Chopra, who used the opportunity to become the company's de-facto owner. Sharma learned of this after returning, but it was too late. His family was ejected from their palatial home. Ajay witnessed Chopra molesting his mother when she came to ask for their home back, and she subsequently cursed him to tragedy and helplessness later on in life. Forced into poverty, Sharma's newborn daughter died of illness and Sharma died of a heart attack while trying to get her medicine, driving Ajay's mother insane with shock and unable to recognise him. Heartbroken, Ajay vowed to make Chopra pay. Ajay's only mission in life now is the downfall of Chopra.
Back in the present, Seema's friend Anjali (Resham Tipnis) discovers a photo of Ajay from college days. 'Vicky' and Priya get engaged. Anjali phones the Chopra residence during Ajay's engagement party to warn them that Ajay and 'Vicky' look the same. Ajay intercepts and kills Anjali, throwing her body in the river. A man and his dog find the body soon after, and Priya and Inspector Karan realize that the murderer is still alive.
History repeats itself with Chopra handing over the power of attorney to 'Vicky'. Ajay decides to hasten his plans on learning that Priya and Karan are hell-bent on finding the killer. His plan hits a glitch when he and Priya run into the real Vicky Malhotra (Adi Irani), Ajay's friend, whose identity he had taken. Priya becomes suspicious. After returning from his business trip, Chopra is shocked to find that the company is run by the Sharma group. Ajay reveals the truth of his desire to seek revenge and kicks Chopra out after humiliating him.
Priya learns of Ajay's true identity from Vicky and rushes to Ajay's home in Panvel. She is shocked to see a marriage locket with photos of him with her sister. Ajay comes home, where she confronts him with his misdeeds. He tells her his story and Priya realizes that it is her father who is at fault. Ajay introduces her to his mother, who hardly remembers him. Suddenly, Chopra arrives at his home, shoots Ajay in the arm and has his goons beat him up.
When his mother tries to intervene, Chopra injures her, angering Ajay. He fights the goons viciously and is about to kill Chopra when Chopra stabs him with a metal rod. Ajay laughs maniacally and impales Chopra with the same rod, killing him. He collapses in his mother's arms. In his last words, he says that he has regained everything and now only wants to rest. Priya and Karan watch despondently as Ajay dies in his mother's arms, finally at peace.
- Shah Rukh Khan as Vicky Malhotra (fake identity)/Ajay Sharma — Vishwanath and Shobha's son, Seema's murderer boyfriend, and Priya's fiancé
- Kajol as Priya Chopra — Madan Chopra's younger daughter, Seema's younger sister, and Vicky's fiancé
- Shilpa Shetty as Seema Chopra — Madan Chopra's elder daughter, Priya's elder sister, and Ajay's girlfriend who gets murdered by him for revenge on Madan Chopra
- Rakhee Gulzar as Shobha Sharma — Ajay's mother and Vishwanath's widowed wife
- Dalip Tahil as Madan Chopra — Seema and Priya's father, Vishwanath's employee, and Vishwanath's killer
- Siddharth Ray as Inspector Karan Saxena — Priya's friend
- Johnny Lever as Babulal — Servant of Chopra Household
- Anant Mahadevan as Vishwanath Sharma — Ajay's father who dies after a sudden heart attack that was a plan created by Madan Chopra
- Prithvi Zutshi as Desai- Company employee of Madan Chopra
- Resham Tipnis as Anjali Sinha — Seema's friend
- Daboo Malik as Ravi Shukla — Seema's friend and obsessive lover
- Dinesh Hingoo as Bajodia Seth
- Manmauji Taalia as the servant
- Adi Irani as Vicky Malhotra
- Sumeet Pathak as Young Ajay Sharma
- Sharad Sankla as Charlie (a guy in party)
- Raju Srivastav as a guy in party with Charlie
- Kavi Kumar Azad as Motu the cook
- Amrut Patel as Seema's driver
- Anu Malik as the musician at the engagement
The film's premise is a subversion of a concept loosely inspired by a Hollywood film, A Kiss Before Dying (1991), which itself was based on a novel of the same name. While it borrows the basic premise, Baazigar tells a different, subversive story. While Matt Dillon's character in A Kiss Before Dying is a villain who murders for money, Baazigar subverts this, with Shah Rukh Khan's character instead being a sympathetic anti-hero seeking vengeance for the brutal injustices done to his family.
Several A-list Bollywood stars were approached for the lead role, but they turned it down, due to the character being a murderous, negative anti-hero. Salman Khan was the first choice, but he turned it down, with his father Salim Khan saying Salman was not ready for such a gamble. Anil Kapoor and Akshay Kumar was the next choice, but he also rejected the offer, as it went against his "heroic" on-screen image. Shah Rukh Khan eventually convinced producer Ratan Jain that only he could pull off the role; Jain liked his confidence, and cast him in the role. However, his casting was criticized by trade pundits who incorrectly predicted that "a boy with cute dimples" would never be accepted as an anti-hero. Sridevi was supposed to play both female roles (twin sisters) as did Sean Young in original film, but the director realized that because of her popularity, the audience will not be able to sympathize with the hero if he kills the character played by Sridevi, hence they decided to cast different actresses.
The music was composed by Anu Malik and won him the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director. The song "Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein" bagged singer Kumar Sanu his fourth consecutive Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer after Aashiqui, Saajan and Deewana. Other singers featured in the album are Asha Bhosle, Pankaj Udhas, Alka Yagnik, Vinod Rathod and Sonali Vajpai. The soundtrack was released by Venus Music. Dr. Alban's song "It's My life" was also featured.
A soundtrack was also released in Marathi. The film's soundtrack album sold 10 million units, making it the best-selling Bollywood soundtrack album of 1993. The soundtrack "Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein" was inspired by the African hit "Yeke Yeke" and others.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Anu Malik chronology|
|1.||"Baazigar, O Baazigar"||Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik||07:31|
|2.||"Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein"||Kumar Sanu, Anu Malik||07:53|
|3.||"Kitabein Bahut Si"||Asha Bhosle, Vinod Rathod||06:28|
|4.||"Chhupana Bhi Nahi Aata"||Vinod Rathod||07:01|
|5.||"Chhupana Bhi Nahi Aata" (Not in Film)||Pankaj Udhas||05:31|
|6.||"Samajh Kar Chand Jis Ko" (Not in Film)||Vinod Rathod, Alka Yagnik||08:53|
|7.||"Aye Mere Humsafar"||Vinod Rathod, Alka Yagnik||07:29|
|8.||"Tere Chehre Pe" (Not in Film)||Kumar Sanu, Sonali Vajpai||07:09|
Baazigar was a commercial success and the fourth highest-grossing Indian film of 1993, below another Shah Rukh Khan film, Darr. Baazigar's collections in India were ₹7.75 crore nett and ₹14 crore gross, equivalent to ₹250 crore (US$35 million) adjusted for inflation.
Awards and Nominations
|Award||Category||Recipients and Nominees||Results|
|39th Filmfare Awards||Best Actor||Shah Rukh Khan||Won|
|Best Music Direction||Anu Malik|
|Best Male Playback Singer||Kumar Sanu for "Yeh Kali Kali Aankhein"|
|Best Screenplay||Robin Bhatt, Javed Siddiqui, Akash Khurana|
|Lux New Face||Shilpa Shetty||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Shilpa Shetty|
|Best Performance in a Comic Role||Johnny Lever|
|Best Lyricist||Dev Kholi for "Yeh Kali Kali Aankhein"|
|Best Male Playback Singer||Kumar Sanu for "Baazigar, O Baazigar"|
|Best Female Playback Singer||Alka Yagnik for "Baazigar, O Baazigar"|
The later Hollywood films Almost Famous (2000) and Baywatch (2017) feature strikingly similar covers to Baazigar. Covers of Almost Famous and Baywatch feature Kate Hudson and Priyanka Chopra, respectively, wearing sunglasses that reflect other cast members, similar to the sunglasses Shah Rukh Khan wears on the Baazigar cover.
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