|Produced by||Ganesh Jain|
|Written by||Robin Bhatt |
|Starring||Shah Rukh Khan|
|Cinematography||Thomas A. Xavier|
|Edited by||Hussain M. Burmawala|
|Distributed by||Eros International|
|Box office||₹14–18 crore|
Baazigar (transl. Gambler) is a 1993 Indian Hindi language action thriller film directed by Abbas–Mustan and produced by Venus Movies. It stars Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Dalip Tahil; while Raakhee, Shilpa Shetty, Siddharth Ray, and Johnny Lever appear in supporting roles. It is a contemporary thriller about a young man seeking to avenge the fall of his family. The story is loosely based on Ira Levin's 1953 novel A Kiss Before Dying and its 1991 film adaptation of the same name. This was Shah Rukh Khan's breakthrough role as the sole lead (his first as an anti-hero), Kajol's first commercial success and Shetty's film debut. The film also features Dalip Tahil, Raakhee, Siddharth Ray and Johnny Lever as other supporting characters with soundtrack composition by Anu Malik.
Baazigar had a global theatrical premiere on 12 November 1993, coinciding with Diwali. Made on a budget of ₹20 million, the film was declared a super hit at box office with worldwide accumulation of ₹140 million. Apart from emerging as a major financial success, the film has become a cult film over years due to its suspense, screenplay, story, music and starcast performances. It helped establish Khan, Kajol, Shetty and Malik in Bollywood and the soundtrack has sold over 10 million units.
The film earned 10 nominations at 39th Filmfare Awards ceremony. It won Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Music and Best Actor for Khan. A Telugu remake, Vetagadu, was released in 1995, before a Tamil remake, Samrat, was released in 1997 and a Kannada remake, Nagarahavu, was released in 2002.
Ajay Sharma(Shah Rukh Khan) is a young boy who grows up to seek revenge for his father's death caused by Madan Chopra(Dalip Tahil), a rich businessman. Chopra has two daughters; the elder is Seema(Shilpa Shetty) and the younger is Priya(Kajol). Ajay begins a secret relationship with Seema. Chopra takes part in his last car race, only to learn that another participant, Vicky Malhotra, who Ajay assumes the role as, let him win on purpose to meet him. 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, Ajay convinces Seema to commit suicide with him, when her father arranges her marriage with someone else. They write and sign suicide notes, but he then lies that 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 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, Priya secretly continues the investigation with the help of police inspector Karan Saxena, an old friend from college.
Ravi, a college friend of Seema who had a crush on her, tells Priya that he has a photo of Seema and Ajay together at a birthday party back at his hostel. Before Priya can reach Ravi to see the photo, Ajay finds out about this and murders Ravi. In their struggle he forces him to sign a suicide note, which makes it appear as though 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 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's wife( Rakhee Gulzar) persuaded her husband 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 the power of attorney to Chopra, who used the opportunity to become the company's owner. Sharma learned of this after returning, but it was too late. His family was ejected from their palatial home after Chopra took a loan on Sharma's name. Ajay witnessed Chopra eve-teasing his mother when she came to ask for their home back, and she subsequently cursed him to tragedy and helplessness later on in life. 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 meets Priya and Ajay at a jewellery shop. She also discovers a photo of Seema and Ajay at her birthday party. '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 the phone call, impersonates Chopra, arrives at Anjali's place, and kills her, stuffing her body in a suitcase and throwing it in a river.
History repeats itself with Chopra handing over the power of attorney to 'Vicky'. However, a man and his dog find the body soon after, and Priya and Inspector Karan realize that the murderer is still alive. Ajay decides to hasten his plans on realizing that Priya and Karan are hellbent on finding the killer, and that he has fallen in love with Priya. His plans hit a glitch when he and Priya run into the real Vicky Malhotra, Ajay's friend, whose identity he had taken, which makes Priya suspicious. After Chopra returns from his business trip, he 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.
Priya learns of Ajay's true identity from his friend, 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 then tells her his story and also tells her that due to the poverty her father forced his family into, his father died of a heart attack, and his younger sister died of illness. His mother went into a state of shock as a result of the loss of her husband and daughter, and in her mental instability she is unable to Ajay as her son. Priya realizes that it is her father who is at fault as Ajay introduces her to his mother. Chopra arrives at his home, shoots Ajay in the arm, and has his goons beat him up.
Soon his mother comes back to her senses and when trying to intervene, Chopra injures her, angering Ajay. He fights the goons viciously and is about to kill Chopra when he is persuaded by police inspector Karan to have mercy for his mother's sake. Chopra takes the opportunity to stab him with a rod. Ajay laughs and impales Chopra with the same rod, killing him. He collapses in his mother's arms. Priya, Inspector Karan, and his mother watch despondently as Ajay dies of his injuries, finally at peace.
- Shah Rukh Khan as Ajay Sharma / Vicky Malhotra (Fake) — 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 The real 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
- Harpal Singh (actor) 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.
|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) had strikingly similar posters to Baazigar. The posters of the two films feature Kate Hudson and Priyanka Chopra, respectively, wearing sunglasses that reflect other cast members, similar to the sunglasses Shah Rukh Khan wears on the poster for Baazigar.
- M.K. Raghavendra (15 December 2014). Seduced by the Familiar: Narration and Meaning in Indian Popular Cinema. OUP India. p. 258. ISBN 978-0-19-908798-3.
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- Press Trust of India (13 August 2012). "Melody will return to Bollywood songs: Kumar Sanu". Business Standard. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
- Vijayakar, Rajiv (4 November 2015). "Anu Malik and Shah Rukh Khan: Sharing more than birthdays". Bollywoodhungama.com. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
- "Music Hits 1990-1999 (Figures in Units)". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
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- "Did Baywatch copy the poster featuring Priyanka Chopra from Shah Rukh Khan's Baazigar and Kate Hudson's Almost Famous?". Bollywood Hungama. 20 April 2017.
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