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Baazigar 1993.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAbbas-Mustan
Written byRobin Bhatt
Akash Khurana
Javed Siddiqui
Produced byGanesh Jain
Champak Jain
StarringShah Rukh Khan
Shilpa Shetty
Rakhee Gulzar
Dalip Tahil
Siddharth Ray
Johnny Lever
CinematographyThomas A. Xavier
Edited byHussain M. Burmawala
Music bySongs:
Anu Malik
Distributed byEros International
Release date
  • 12 November 1993 (1993-11-12) (India)
Running time
182 minutes
Budget4 crore
Box office32 crore

Baazigar (transl. Gambler) is a 1993 Indian romantic thriller film directed by Abbas–Mustan and produced by Venus Movies. It stars Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in lead roles while Raakhee, Shilpa Shetty, Dalip Tahil, Siddharth Ray, and Johnny Lever appear in supporting roles, with the soundtrack composed by Anu Malik. The film is 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.[1] This was Khan's breakthrough role as the sole lead (his first as an anti-hero), along with being his eighth film out of eighty throughout his 30-year career, Kajol's first commercial success and Shetty's film debut.[2][3]

Baazigar was released on 12 November 1993, coinciding with Diwali.[4] Made on a budget of 40 million, the film was declared a success at the box office with a worldwide gross of 320 million.[5] 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 performances of the cast.[6] It was the first collaboration between Khan and Kajol, who went on to become one of India's most beloved on-screen couples. It helped establish Khan, Kajol, Shetty and Malik in Hindi films and the soundtrack has sold over 10 million units.[7]

At the 39th Filmfare Awards, the film earned 10 nominations and won 4 awards including Best Actor for Khan and Best Music Director for Malik.[8] A Telugu remake, Vetagadu, was released in 1995,[9] before a Tamil remake, Samrat, was released in 1997 and a Kannada remake, Nagarahavu, was released in 2002.[10]


Ajay Sharma is a young boy who grows up to seek revenge for his father's death caused by Madan Chopra, a rich businessman. Chopra has two daughters; the elder is Seema, and the younger is Priya. Ajay begins a secret relationship with Seema. Chopra takes part in his last car race in Madras, 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, Ajay 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. Chopra decides to get 'Vicky' and Priya engaged.

It is revealed through a flashback that Chopra had been a project manager in the company run by Ajay's late father Mr. Sharma, 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 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, and his 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 that evening. Anjali phones the Chopra residence during Ajay's engagement party to warn them that Ajay and 'Vicky' look the same, to which Babulal, head servant of the Chopra household, answers. As Babulal tries to inform Priya about this, Ajay intercepts the phone call, 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' when he has to go on a business trip. However, a man and his dog find Anjali's body soon after on a beach, and when Priya and Inspector Karan hear about this, they 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 recognize 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 and laughs maniacally. Ajay laughs back and impales Chopra with the same rod, killing him. He tells his mother that he has regained everything and collapses in her arms. Priya, Inspector Karan, and his mother watch despondently as Ajay succumbs to his injuries, finally at peace.



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 Shahrukh Khan's character instead being a sympathetic anti-hero seeking vengeance for the brutal injustices done to his family.[11]

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. Anil Kapoor was the first choice to play the leading role. He however turned it down due to unavailability for the dates assigned. Then Salman Khan was approached, but he was removed, with his father Salim Khan saying Salman was not ready for such a gamble. Akshay Kumar was the next choice, but he too rejected the offer, as it went against his "heroic" on-screen image. Shahrukh eventually convinced producer Ratan Jain and Ganesh 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.[11] Initially, Sridevi was supposed to play both female roles (as twin sisters) as did Sean Young in the original film, but the director realized that due of her popularity, the audience would not sympathize with the hero, if he kills the character played by Sridevi, hence they decided to cast different actresses.[12]


The music was composed by Anu Malik and won him the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director.[13] The song "Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein" earned singer Kumar Sanu his fourth consecutive Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer after Aashiqui, Saajan and Deewana.[14] Other singers featured in the album are Asha Bhosle, Pankaj Udhas, Alka Yagnik, Vinod Rathod and Sonali Vajpai. Lyrics by Gauhar Kanpuri.[citation needed] The soundtrack was released by Venus Music.[15] 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,[7] making it the best-selling Bollywood soundtrack album of 1993.[16] The soundtrack "Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein" samples the African hit "Yeke Yeke" and others.[17]

Soundtrack album by
GenreFilm soundtrack
LabelVenus Music
Anu Malik chronology
Phool Aur Angaar
The Gentleman

Track listing[edit]

1."Baazigar O Baazigar"Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik07:31
2."Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein"Kumar Sanu, Anu Malik07:53
3."Kitabein Bahut Si"Asha Bhosle, Vinod Rathod06:28
4."Chhupana Bhi Nahi Aata"Vinod Rathod07:01
5."Chhupana Bhi Nahi Aata" (Not in Film)Pankaj Udhas05:31
6."Samajh Kar Chand Jis Ko" (Not in Film)Vinod Rathod, Alka Yagnik08:53
7."Aye Mere Humsafar"Vinod Rathod, Alka Yagnik07:29
8."Tere Chehre Pe" (Not in Film)Kumar Sanu, Sonali Vajpai07:09
Total length:57:51

Box office[edit]

Baazigar was a commercial success and the fourth highest-grossing Indian film of 1993, behind another Shah Rukh Khan film, Darr.[18] Baazigar's collections in India were ₹15 crore net and ₹32 crore gross,[18] equivalent to 571 crore (US$75 million) adjusted for inflation.[19]


Award Category Recipients and Nominees Results
39th Filmfare Awards Best Actor Shah Rukh Khan Won
Best Music Director Anu Malik
Best Male Playback Singer Kumar Sanu for "Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein"
Best Screenplay Robin Bhatt, Javed Siddiqui, Akash Khurana
Best Supporting Actress Shilpa Shetty Nominated
Best Female Debut
Best Comedian Johnny Lever
Best Lyricist Dev Kholi for "Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein"
Best Male Playback Singer Kumar Sanu for "Baazigar, O Baazigar"
Best Female Playback Singer Alka Yagnik for "Baazigar, O Baazigar"


The later American 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.[20]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ "From 'Baazigar' to 'Dilwale' - A look at SRK and Kajol's on-screen magic". The Express Tribune. 13 June 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  3. ^ Taliculam, Sharmila (4 April 1997). "Rediff On The Net, Movies: An interview with Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty". Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Baazigar to Krrish 3: Diwali hits, misses and clashes from Bollywood". Firstpost. 22 October 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Fan trailer tonight: 5 times Shah Rukh Khan wowed us with his 'dark side'". Daily News & Analysis. 29 February 2016. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  6. ^ Katiyar, Arun (30 April 1994). "What the stars don't foretell". India Today. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Bollywood hinges on Hindi film music industry, fans soak up wacky new sounds". India Today. 31 October 1994. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Shah Rukh Khan Filmfare Awards 1992 - 2009". YouTube. 30 May 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  9. ^ "Telugu Cinema Etc -".
  10. ^ Upadhyaya, Prakash (14 October 2016). "Nagarahavu aka Shivanagam movie review: Live audience response".
  11. ^ a b Iyer, Meena (14 July 2014). "Baazigar: The rise and fall of Shah Rukh, Kajol and Shilpa Shetty". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  12. ^ "Roles Rejected by Sridevi".
  13. ^ "I dont want other music directors to catch up with me: Anu Malik". India Today. 15 November 1994. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  14. ^ Press Trust of India (13 August 2012). "Melody will return to Bollywood songs: Kumar Sanu". Business Standard. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  15. ^ Vijayakar, Rajiv (4 November 2015). "Anu Malik and Shah Rukh Khan: Sharing more than birthdays". Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  16. ^ "Music Hits 1990-1999 (Figures in Units)". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
  17. ^ "How A 1956 Italian Song Became A Shah Rukh Khan Song In 1993".
  18. ^ a b "Box Office 1993". Archived from the original on 14 August 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  19. ^ "Darr - Movie (1993 inflation rate)". Box Office India. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  20. ^ "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.

External links[edit]