Majboor is one of Bollywood’s most untouched
classics. It is a complete suspense thriller with a flawless story and screenplay, which
is packed with equally flawless performances.
The film revolves around a simple middle-aged man Ravi (Amitabh
Bachchan), who works as a travel agent. He is the sole income earner in his
family which consists of his aging mother, younger brother and crippled sister ( color="#800080">Farida Jalal) who he loves dearly. Over a period of time
Ravi starts experiencing intense pain in his head and it is later discovered that he has a brain tumor. He is now worried that if he dies, there will be no one to look after his family. That’s when Ravi strikes upon an idea.
Ravi's client Surendra Sinha (Murad), was
kidnapped and killed and his murderer was not found. The police, however, had a slight
suspicion that perhaps it was Ravi who committed the crime because he was the last person to see him alive. Surendra SinhaÂ´s brother,
Narendra Sinha (Satyen Kapoo) has offered a
5 lakhs reward to anyone who captures the killer. Ravi decides to play a trick in which he
takes the blame on his shoulders and gets the 5 lakhs so that if he does die, his family will have the 5 lakhs to live on thereafter.Â Â
Ravi is prosecuted for the crime (though he did not do it) and given the death
sentence. Prior to his death sequence Ravi has another seizure and an operation is
conducted which surprisingly removes RaviÂ´s tumor. Ravi realizes what he has done and he doesn't want to die. The only way Ravi can live again is if he catches the real killer of
Surendra Sinha. So begins RaviÂ´s mission to find the real killer. Alongside him is his girlfriend (Parveen Babi).
The movie's major addictiveness is its story, screenplay and dialogues by Salim-Javed. The plot of the movie sounds simple, yet the execution and breakneck pace of
the film works far beyond simplicity. Undoubtedly, amongst the classics that this duo has delivered in terms of
writing in Bollywood history, Majboor rates amongst their best. It’s amazing how this
duo has written a tightly packed, near flawless and gripping suspense thriller.
Performance wise the film belongs to the one man who steals the show Amitabh Bachchan. He breathes life into the character of Ravi and one is actually convinced that we are
watching "Ravi" on screen and not Amitabh Bachchan. Majboor definitely rates in
AmitabhÂ´s top ten performances. His facial expressions, explosive dialogues and
overall performance is simply remarkable. Parveen Babi is simply ok in her short role, which could
have been played by most other actresses of that time like Zeenat Aman or Rekha. But the
movie doesn't provide much scope for a female character since the film’s script is a
character of its own.
Pran’s portrayal of Michael is also excellent. His entry into
the movie has a strong impact on the viewer and his scenes in the film certainly make it
much more enjoyable. He infuses more life into the second half of the movie and matches
Bachchan step to step in the second half in terms of histrionics. Satyen Kapoo, Farida
Jalal, Mac Mohan and Iftekar all play their parts well.
Musically the film
stands out on one number that is played three times in the movie and is perfectly placed. Dekh
Sakta Ho Main Kuch Bhi Hote Hue and Nahin Main Nahin Dekh Sakta Tujhe Rote
Hue are numbers that stand out (especially the latter which was a hit number at its
time). Laxmikant Pyarelal have excelled in the music department.
Director Ravi Tandon does a fine job of directing a suspense thriller. He maintains the
film at a breakneck pace without divulging into any unwanted comedy sequences keeping the film tightly knit. The romance
sequences seem to flow well with the movie, though there aren't too many. Tandon also
extracts superlative performances from his entire cast and is complimented well by Salim-JavedÂ´s terrific script.
Certain portions will remain in your memory long after the film is over. Some include,
Amitabh’s first run in with Iftekar when he has to recall what he did that night
after he left Surendra Sinha’s car. The scene where Amitabh has his first mind
seizure; The scene where he purchases a fish tank and has another mind seizure; The scene
where the doctor tells him he has brain tumor and several others have quite a lasting impression on the viewer.
Overall Majboor is a hands down classic till this day-and the movie remains a
suspenseful and thrilling ride right to the end. Even by today’s standards Majboor is
perfect in its essence. The film is clearly a classic thriller from some of
Bollywood’s best talents.